While it may sound farfetched, not all divorce cases need to be drawn-out and painful. Many states, including Florida, offer streamlined methods for easy divorce. Known as “uncontested divorce,” these divorce cases are often settled much more quickly than contested divorces and at a much more efficient cost; however, for many people seeking a divorce, finding middle ground on all the issues required by uncontested divorce laws could be next to impossible for some couples. In this case, contested divorces are required to go to trial, during which relevant issues will be addressed via the “P.E.A.C.E. format,” which is broken down into five sections: Parenting, Equitable Distribution, Alimony, Child Support, and “Everything Else.”
This section pertains only to divorce cases in which children are involved. In this section, parental responsibilities are determined. Unless significant problems with a spouse’s parenting ability can be proven, judges usually grant shared parental responsibility. The state of Florida requires a parenting plan that outlines when the children of the marriage will stay with each parent, pick-up and drop-off times and accommodations, and school of choice for the children. While these are typical inclusions in a parenting plan, there may be additional conditions determined on a case-by-case basis.
Florida divorce laws define equitable distribution as the division of all assets and liabilities related to the marriage, such as checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, any home owned as a marital couple, 401k plans, personal vehicles, miscellaneous personal belongings, and any debt incurred. At this stage of the divorce process, the divorce court must determine if properties are marital or non-marital and how it will be divided. After property has been divided, the divorce court will move onto alimony.
Also known as spousal support, alimony is granted in cases where one spouse in a divorce case has a need for financial support and the other spouse has the means to provide such support. Alimony procedures often do not adhere to specific guidelines to calculate the exact monetary value of alimony payments, though Florida alimony laws outline the factors courts will consider when determining if alimony is to be paid. These factors include the standard of living established during the marriage, the age of each spouse, the length of the marriage, the physical and emotional condition of each spouse, and the earning potential of each party. Many more factors are involved in determining alimony payments, but many of these factors are contingent on the specifics of each divorce case.
The parenting section of the P.E.A.C.E. format helps determine the amount of child support to be paid. A parent who holds equal custody generally pays less than a parent who holds a minority share of custody. Beyond child custody, other factors such as the income of each parent (after alimony), the number of children, and costs of daycare and health insurance also determine child support.
The final stage of the P.E.A.C.E. system covers anything else not specifically covered by the four other sections, such as attorney’s fees and any repayment thereof.
Not all divorces will progress smoothly, and often there’s little chance of an easy divorce. Fortunately, for those seeking a divorce, Florida divorce laws are quite simple when compared to other states, especially due the inclusion of the P.E.A.C.E. format. Even in cases where agreement may not be reached, knowing what will be used to determine the specifics of the divorce will help you prepare for the proceedings of a contested divorce.
If you have any questions about easy divorce or if you would like to speak to us about your options, please contact North Tampa Law Group at (813) 518-7411 or complete a free online case evaluation. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.