Going through a divorce is often a stressful and potentially emotionally devastating experience, regardless of whether it comes on suddenly or gradually. Compounding the strain of ending the marriage are the questions that a divorcing spouse faces: What property might I lose in the divorce? What rights and property am I entitled to? How will I survive financially after the divorce? What will happen to the kids? These are all difficult questions, but at Joyce A. Julian, P.A., we are on your side and will apply decades of Florida family law experience in helping you navigate these issues and get the best possible outcome in your Florida divorce action. Contact our experienced divorce attorneys today.
A Former Family Court Judge Representing Your Interests
Joyce Julian was a Broward County Circuit Judge for six years, working in the family law courts, and she knows exactly what you are going through and what challenges you will face, as she has overseen thousands of family law cases. She has brought her vast experience as a family court judge and magistrate to work in representing the interests of individuals and their families as they enter into divorce proceedings.
Since opening in 2002, Joyce A. Julian, P.A. has represented hundreds of clients in their divorce proceeding needs, including:
- Property Division
- Spousal Support / Alimony
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Modification and Enforcement of Spousal and Child Support Awards
Some people entering into the divorce process think they will avoid any unnecessary conflict by not consulting with lawyers and may assume that the other party will play fair, but there are many risks associated with attempting to navigate a divorce unrepresented. The divorce law in Florida is complex, and the procedure for obtaining a divorce takes time, and you risk not understanding what rights you have under Florida law by going it alone, not to mention that your rights might be taken advantage of by the other party. The rulings in a divorce trial – property divisions, support awards, custody determinations – can have huge financial and emotional ramifications for decades, and so it is worth it to speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you of the risks and challenges you are facing and of the exact nature of your rights under Florida law.
Expertise in High-Dollar and Financially Complex Divorces
In addition to her experience as a judge overseeing family law cases, Joyce is also a forensic accountant, having earned a Master’s Degree in Forensic Accounting. High-dollar and other financially complex divorces often involve a complicated valuation and accounting of numerous, complex assets and financial instruments, and having an attorney who can apply expert accounting skills to this difficult process will serve to ensure that your financial interests are well-represented. Furthermore, Joyce will use her skills to make sure the other side is not hiding assets or playing fast and loose with any financial or legal issues that arise in the proceedings leading to property divisions as well as spousal and child support awards.
Grounds for Divorce
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse need prove that the other’s wrongdoing led to the need for a divorce. Instead, in Florida, there are two grounds for divorce:
- The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; or
- The mental incapacity of one spouse.
To prove irretrievable breakdown, the spouse filing for divorce must demonstrate that the couple’s disputes cannot be resolved and have caused the marriage to disintegrate. Though fault is no longer a grounds for divorce in Florida, spousal wrongdoing, such as adultery, abandonment, or abuse, can be used to show that a marriage has broken down.
The use of mental incapacity as a grounds for divorce is much more rare than proving irretrievable breakdown. It requires showing that one spouse has been adjudged incapacitated for a period of at least three years immediately preceding the divorce.
The division of property is one of the most complex and often contentious aspects of a divorce. If spouses cannot reach an agreement as to how to divide property, the court will make a determination using the principles of equitable distribution of marital property. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution, but rather means what is fair to both spouses.
Marital property includes all property owned jointly by the spouses or acquired by either spouse during the marriage, including paychecks, returns on investments, and retirement benefits. It also includes debts incurred during the marriage. It does not include, however, nonmarital property. Nonmarital property includes property owned by either spouse before the marriage, inheritances bequeathed or gifts made to one spouse, income from nonmarital assets, and property that the spouses agree in writing is nonmarital.
If you are consider a divorce, our attorneys can help you figure out what property you are entitled to and will work to protect your property rights. It is especially important to have the advice of an experienced attorney if you own a home or have valuable assets such as a family-owned business.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is money one spouse owes to another after a divorce. Alimony is not automatic in all divorces, however: the amount of spousal support that a court orders depends on the unique circumstances of each case.
When determining whether and how much alimony to award, courts consider a number of factors, including the spouses’ needs and abilities to pay, the duration of the marriage, the standard of living maintained during the marriage, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, and each spouse’s number of dependents.
There are several types of spousal support in Florida:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony is short-term and meant to help a spouse transition from married to single life;
- Rehabilitative alimony is designed to help a spouse gain the education and professional skills necessary to become self-supporting;
- Durational alimony is awarded for a limited period of time and is generally used when permanent alimony is not appropriate; and
- Permanent alimony is awarded only if the marriage lasted at least 17 years and lasts until the receiving spouse’s remarriage or death.
If you are considering a divorce, an experienced attorney can help you understand the possible spousal support outcomes and how the divorce will affect your financial well-being.
Work With Joyce A. Julian, P.A. for Your Divorce Action
If you are entering into or are already in the divorce process, work with an experienced divorce attorney who will bring years of experience in representing your rights and interests as you enter into a new phase of life. Call the attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A. today at 954-467-6656 to schedule your free consultation.