PEACE During Your Divorce

Divorce is a difficult period, which can be outright traumatic and harrowing to go through. However, Florida has several vital statutes to offer support and guidance to those experiencing the often brutal transition from life as a family to living as separated individuals. These laws are in place to preserve the integrity and dignity of marriage and protect meaningful relationships, to promote the resolution of disputes in a civil manner, and to limit the amount of harm ex-spouses, and their children experience due to an end of the marriage. Otherwise known as ‘keeping the peace’.

With such a difficult process to experience, you may be wondering what on earth PEACE could have to do with it. It may seem like the legal proceedings could be never-ending, but at some point, there will be an end to the process. Your mind is probably racing with hypothetical situations and burning questions about how the outcome of disputes is determined, what happens if common ground and agreement can never be reached, or how things can ever be peaceful for you. There is, however, a set order to the way things happen in a divorce.

Because the process is routine for attorneys who have helped clients through many divorces, a helpful mnemonic device or acronym is often used to help describe the step-by-step process.

That is what we mean by “PEACE.”

P – Parenting Plan

This is where you figure out all of the parenting issues involving your underage children. The formation of a parenting plan is not optional in Florida. A parenting plan is a contract that parents agree to regarding co-parenting after the divorce and separation. This includes time-sharing (which you may know as ‘visitation’) and parental responsibility. This plan serves as the foundation for all other issues involving the children, based on their best interests.

E – Equity

All assets will be identified during this step, and they will be fairly distributed between the two divorcing parties. This occurs after assets are determined to be marital and non-marital and assigned a monetary value. Each party is obligated to pay an even share of debts, and is therefore entitled to an even share of marital assets.

A – Alimony

As we’ve previously discussed, there are four forms of alimony in Florida that may be awarded during the divorce proceedings depending on the disparity between both parties’ needs and abilities to support the other party following the divorce. Each case has its own circumstances that determine which, if any, alimony will be present.

C – Child Support

Guidelines – That is, statutory calculations – Are initially made based on the income of both parties. It will include deductions and the number of overnights a child has with each parent. These Guidelines may change based on future situations that may arise, such as changes in financial situation. These changes can result in payments being reduced, increased, stopped, or extended. Every family’s situation is unique, and guidelines are determined and changed based on many factors.

E – Everything Else

Like with child support, your situation is unique. There may be many other factors involving both monetary or non-financial concerns. Things like name changes, attorney fees for the other party, or a whole host of things may be determined.

No matter what, though – there will be PEACE. The professionals at Thompson Law help families through numerous issues, through the best and worst. We will help you through every step of guiding you through the PEACE process.