Divorce is typically a time of great personal upheaval. In many cases, you may have to find a new place to live. Other times, you may worry about how to fairly split the assets you have acquired during marriage. Custody of your minor children and the right to visit them is also a common concern.
It is easy to feel disheartened at the end of a marriage, which can lead some people to make critical mistakes in their divorce. While you don’t necessarily want to engage in a protracted court battle with your ex, you also don’t want to concede to every one of their demands either. You need to advocate for yourself in order to ensure that the outcome of your divorce is fair.
Prenuptial agreements can help guide your divorce
The popularity of prenuptial agreements has been increasing in recent years. As both spouses are now more likely to earn income, more people feel like they require the protection of a prenuptial agreement before marrying. If you have a prenuptial agreement that you signed before you married your spouse, chances are good that it will direct how the courts handle your divorce.
However, you want to make sure that the prenuptial agreement is valid. Specifically, consider whether the document unfairly protects one spouse more than the other. Similarly, do your best to review whether you both had an independent attorney to offer an opinion on the document prior to signing. Those issues, as well as clauses that violate Florida law, could result in the courts invalidating your prenuptial agreement.
Fair outcomes guide property division, while the children’s needs guide custody
Florida law creates different standards for different aspects of your divorce. When it comes to the division of the assets and debts you acquired during marriage, the legal standard used in Florida is called equitable division. The judge in your divorce will do their best to ensure that the division of your marital property is fair, based on the length of your marriage, your individual contributions to the marriage and your individual economic statuses.
Custody is often hotly debated, which can lead people to seek sole custody as a way to push back against their ex-spouse’s demands. In reality, the courts rarely grant sole custody to one parent if both parents seek custody. Shared custody scenarios are far more likely. The guiding principle guiding courts’ decisions is the best interest of the children.
Generally speaking, unless there are complicating factors, the best interest of your children will include a healthy relationship with both parents. The courts understand this and will use that information when deciding how to split custody. It’s important to understand that each marriage is unique.
There may be special factors in your marriage that can affect what the fairest outcome to your divorce may be. Talking with someone who understands divorce in Florida will be highly valuable.