How Stay-At-Home Dads Can Protect Themselves Financially In a Florida Divorce

No couple enters into a marriage thinking that it will eventually end in divorce. However, divorce in Florida is quite common. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calculates that the divorce rate in Florida is around 3.4 out of 1,000, which is the seventh highest in the nation. But understanding the impact of a divorce isn’t just about statistics, it’s often about emotion and real-life issues that affect the entire family.

Florida divorce law has specific guidelines for what property and assets are divided between spouses. Moreover, the law also has specific factors it uses to determine how these assets are divided up. For stay-at-home dads, their contributions to the home and family are likely more than the financial contributions they’ve made. Still, this group may be wondering how they can protect themselves financially in the event that they are going through a divorce.

Let Robert Sparks Attorneys Help You Through Your Divorce

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our team of experienced Florida divorce attorneys can help any stay-at-home parent through the difficult and emotional process of divorce. By explaining your legal options and what to expect, we can make sure your interests are protected and are in a position to get your fair share of any available assets or property from your marriage. While every divorce is difficult, you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

What Do Stay-At-Home Dads Need To Know About Florida Divorces?

Florida divorce law is covered in Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. With these laws, a general outline of how a divorce case proceeds can be understood. Thus, it provides stay-at-home dads that are facing a divorce with some key points to be aware of relating to Florida divorce laws and the divorce process. Here are a few of the applicable laws and rules that stay-at-home dads need to know:

  • No-fault divorce – Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that a spouse does not need to prove fault in order to obtain a divorce. The only requirement for a divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This means that one or both spouses must declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be saved.
  • Residency requirement – In order to file for divorce in Florida, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. The divorce must be filed in the county where the spouse who is filing for divorce resides.
  • Equitable distribution – Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, in a divorce. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage, such as homes, cars, retirement accounts, and bank accounts. The court will consider a number of factors in determining what is a fair distribution of marital property.
  • Spousal support – In Florida, spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded in a divorce. The purpose of spousal support is to provide financial support to the lower-earning or non-earning spouse after the divorce. The amount and duration of spousal support will depend on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage and the earning capacity of each spouse.
  • Child custody – In a divorce, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. Both parents have equal rights to custody, and a judge will consider factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s ability to provide for the child, and the child’s wishes (if they are old enough to express them). The court may award sole custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents.
  • Child support – In Florida, both parents have a legal obligation to support their children. The amount of child support that must be paid will depend on a number of factors, including the income of each parent and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The state has established child support guidelines that provide a formula for calculating the amount of child support that must be paid.
  • Mediation – Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the spouses to reach a settlement agreement. Mediation can be a cost-effective and efficient way to resolve disputes and reach a fair agreement that both parties can live with. In many cases, the court will require the spouses to attempt mediation before going to trial.

Generally speaking, a stay-at-home dad that is going through a divorce in Florida has several things to be aware of. While these laws provide a general outline of the divorce process, every divorce case is unique. Thus, it’s helpful for stay-at-home dads to understand what exactly they need to do to protect themselves.

How a Stay-At-Home Dad Can Protect Himself Financially In a Florida Divorce

Financially speaking, a stay-at-home dad is not going to have as much leverage in a Florida divorce because they likely will not have contributed as much money to the family during the course of the marriage. Still, because of equitable distribution, the overriding rationale in terms of assets and property is to divide them fairly among the divorcing couple.

Thus, a stay-at-home dad in Florida can take several steps to protect himself financially in a divorce. Here are some actions that they can take:

  • Collect financial records – It is important for a stay-at-home dad to gather all financial records, including bank statements, tax returns, investment records, and other relevant financial documents. These records will be used to determine the division of property and assets, as well as to establish alimony and child support payments.
  • Explore all options for custody and parenting time – It is important for a stay-at-home dad to understand his rights to custody and parenting time with his children. He should work with his attorney to explore all options and pursue a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children.
  • Consider spousal support – If the stay-at-home dad earned less or no income during the marriage, he may be entitled to spousal support or alimony. The amount and duration of spousal support will depend on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning potential, and the standard of living, among other relevant factors.
  • Understand asset division – Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally in a divorce. A stay-at-home dad should work with his attorney to ensure that his share of marital assets is fair and reasonable.
  • Explore alternative dispute resolution – Mediation or collaborative divorce can be a cost-effective and efficient way to reach a fair settlement without going to court. This option can also help reduce the emotional stress and trauma associated with traditional litigation.

While these are all significant factors in how a stay-at-home dad can prepare for a divorce, one of the most proactive and helpful steps to take is to work with one of our experienced divorce attorneys. Not only can we help prepare you for the legal side of the process, but we can also assist you with properly identifying and evaluating any assets that are available.

Experienced and Skilled Florida Divorce Attorneys Can Help You

A divorce means many things, but most of all, it means change. For a stay-at-home dad, it means that the household that you helped maintain and grow will no longer exist. While this can be a stressful and sad time, it’s important to understand that you have options available to make sure you’re treated fairly by your spouse.

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we’ve helped hundreds of Florida clients through the emotional and complex process of a divorce. When you need support and guidance, we’ll be there for you. If you are going through a divorce, don’t hesitate to contact us today to set up a free consultation.