We like to provide a path to help keep our divorce mediation meetings focused on the topic at hand. These are the topics you and your spouse will start thinking about and discussing as you come to a consensus regarding the terms of your Marital Settlement Agreement.
Florida no longer uses terms like “custody” and “visitation.” Instead, parents must develop a “time-sharing” plan which specifies the time and overnights with each parent. It’s up to you as parents to come up with a schedule that works for the entire family. Ideally, each parent would be responsible for some of the fun (weekends, holidays, vacations) and some of the not-so-fun events (school, homework, dr. appts.) You may be as flexible as you like with your actual schedules, but in the event of a disagreement, you will have to fall back on the Parenting Plan submitted to the court.
Marital assets and liabilities must be distributed equitably in most circumstances. Assets include houses, cash, bank accounts, retirement accounts, cars, boats, and anything of monetary value. Liabilities include mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, and other debts. Some things that you brought into the marriage can be considered non-marital assets in certain cases, and therefore not subject to distribution. A Family Law Financial Affidavit must be completed and submitted with your Marital Settlement Agreement.
Alimony is based on many elements, such as the ability of the payor to pay, and the need of the receiver. Also considered is the standard of living during the marriage, the length of marriage, the earning capacity of each party, and the time that may be required for either party to acquire education or training in order to obtain employment, and other factors. Alimony can be permanent, rehabilitative, durational, or lump sum.
Child Support is calculated using the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. The figure is based on your net incomes, the amount of money spent on the children’s healthcare and daycare, and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent.
Any other items that you and your spouse agree on will be addressed in your Marital Settlement Agreement. Your Mediator will make sure you agree with and approve everything in your paperwork, provide notarization services at no charge, make copies of the signed paperwork and file the originals at the courthouse.