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Sarasota Family Law Blog

What should you know about divorce in Florida?

Divorces are all too common in Florida, but they aren't all the same. You may have factors that influence your case that others do not. For that reason, it's a good idea to work with a professional who can help you understand your rights and the divorce laws of the state.

For example, did you know that the amount you pay for attorney fees and other costs may vary based on how well you and your spouse can get along? If you can work together, there's a chance you can make the divorce fairly cheap. However, if it's drawn out and contentious, there's a higher risk of your divorce costing you more than just a lot of your time. Sometimes, a spouse will have to pay for the other's fees, but other times, you'll have to foot the bill. Keep that in mind when you decide if an asset or arrangement is worth fighting for.

Sleep study shows couples separating due to poor sleep

For the second night in a row, you've left the bedroom to sleep somewhere else. Your spouse is hard to sleep with, and you're tired of not getting enough sleep of your own. Sometimes, couples have trouble in their lives because they simply can't get enough sleep. Trying to sleep together may result in rough nights and difficult days. This lack of sleep may also lead to problems in their marriages and eventual divorce.

Interestingly, a survey in Florida has suggested that up to 39.1 percent of people in the state want a "sleep divorce." Essentially, these couples no longer want to share a bed at night.

Relocation: You have rights if you want to relocate

When a parent needs to relocate but has a child with his or her ex-spouse, it can make it hard to do so without changing custody arrangements. That doesn't always go well, depending on the concerns of the other parent. No parent has a right to take a child to a new home or location without consent, unless there is a release from the court.

If there is express consent in your custody arrangements, then you may have a right to move as long as it is within the terms of the original agreement. If you do not have consent, then you will need to give notice to the noncustodial parent with your intention to move. It's a good idea to give the other parent notice as soon as possible, but usually at least within 30 to 90 days.

Marriage failures: Why they don't last

Marriages fail for any number of reasons, but there are some that people just don't talk about. The University of Maryland has found that you have around a 50 percent chance of getting a divorce once you're married. The reasons for these divorces aren't all the same, but for some, they're problems that are often overlooked. Catching them early on could help some save their marriages.

One of the first problems that can lead to divorce is fighting over little things. Avoiding a conflict is important in some ways, but you do need to develop a way to express your emotions. For most, finding a path of communication that works for them leads to a lasting relationship. If you can't seem to connect, divorce is more likely in your future.

3 things to consider before moving out of the marital home

When you and your spouse decide to break up, it may be difficult to live in the same home. Residing in the marital house together may cause some emotional turmoil. You may be considering leaving the marital home as soon as you can.

However, leaving the family home can significantly impact how your divorce unfolds. Before you pack up your bags and go, you should take some things into consideration.

Determining custody: Understanding Florida law

Child custody arrangements are an important step to complete for the safety and health of your child after divorce. You want to dictate who has your child when and be able to describe your time sharing and responsibilities clearly. Doing this now makes it easier if you need to dispute a problem in the future.

Florida calls custody "time sharing" and "parental responsibility," so don't be confused if you see that in your legal documents. The way it works is that parental responsibility refers to your legal right to make decisions on behalf of your child. Time sharing refers to who has physical time with the child and when.

Grandparents are in a difficult position in Florida

Grandparents are put into a difficult position when they're the mothers or fathers of divorcees. They may want to be involved in their grandchildren's lives, but with so much distance between the mother and father, it can be hard. Sometimes, the grandchildren end up with the estranged ex-spouse, making it even harder to see them regularly.

Florida has an extremely narrow set of circumstances under which it allows for grandparent visitation. Usually, they may seek visitation only if one parent is missing, deceased or comatose. They may also seek visitation if there is a threat of harm to a child due to abuse or harmful behaviors by one or both parents.

Focusing on your kids during divorce reduces tension

Your children watch what you do all the time. They may even mimic your actions or the actions of their other parent. Now that you're going through a divorce, you're concerned about this. You want to make sure that your child isn't scarred by this chance in circumstances.

The truth about children is that no matter how hard you try, it's impossible to conceal all the tension that a divorce causes. What you need to do to help is to focus on being sensitive to your child's needs. For instance, your little one may lash out because you or the other parent isn't there all the time. It's important for you, in that circumstance, to take time to make your child feel special and loved.

Changing your name back to your premarital surname

When you decide to get a divorce in Florida, many things go through your mind. Something that people often want to do right away is to change their names back to what they were before they got married. This isn't always easy, especially if your name has been changed for many years.

Legally speaking, changing your name isn't difficult. You can restore your former name in the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. You need to request it, but with simple paperwork, you can regain the legal name you had prior to marriage.

Am I paying too much in spousal support?

Perhaps a judge ordered you to pay an amount of spousal support that you thought was excessive from the start, or your circumstances have changed enough that the amount of spousal support you agreed to pay seems excessive now. It could also be that something has changed on your ex's side.

Whatever the case is, what are your options if you believe you pay too much spousal support?

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