Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process for anyone, but stay-at-home moms in Florida face unique financial challenges during this time. In Florida, divorce laws state that marital property must be divided fairly between the two parties.
Divorce is never easy, but as a stay-at-home mom in Florida, there are some steps that you can take to protect your financial interests. Florida divorce law sets specific guidelines as to what assets and finances are available to be divided up, with stay-at-home moms having the right to claim an equitable portion of these assets. Thus, it’s important to understand what assets qualify for this distribution and what you need to do to make sure you’re financially protected.
Robert Sparks Attorneys Can Make Sure Your Finances Are Protected
Any person that is facing a divorce in the state of Florida is up against a challenging and emotional process. But when you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re especially vulnerable financially. In these situations, consider working with a team of experienced Florida divorce attorneys. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the complex process of divorce. We understand that no one situation is the same and will work with you to develop a customized plan that meets your specific needs.
Our experienced attorneys are here to answer your questions and provide the guidance you need during this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and start the process of making a new beginning.
What Are the Laws on Divorce in Florida?
Divorces are never an easy experience for anyone, but this is especially true for stay-at-home moms in Florida. This is because Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that the marital property and assets are divided among the spouses in a way that the court deems “most fair.”
It’s here that it’s important to understand how the law classifies property and assets. In Florida divorces, there are two categories of property: marital and separate.
- Marital property – Marital property refers to any assets, property, and debts that were acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Marital property in a divorce usually includes the following:
- Family home
- Vacation homes and rental properties
- Cars, boats, and recreational vehicles
- Furniture, appliances, and electronics
- Artwork, jewelry, and other valuables
- Bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts
- Business interests and professional practices acquired during the marriage
- Patents, copyrights, and trademarks acquired during the marriage
- Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds acquired during the marriage
- Pension plans, IRAs, and 401(k) plans acquired during the marriage
- Credit card debts, mortgages, and other liabilities incurred during the marriage.
- Separate property – Separate property refers to assets that were acquired by either spouse before the marriage or acquired during the marriage through gift or inheritance. Generally speaking, property that is considered separate is not subject to equitable distribution. Instead, these assets or property go to the person that it belonged to prior to the marriage. Examples of separate property usually include:
- Property that a spouse owned before the marriage, such as a home, car, or investment account
- Inheritances received by one spouse during the marriage
- Gifts received by one spouse during the marriage, such as jewelry or artwork
- Compensation for personal injury or pain and suffering received by one spouse during the marriage
- Property acquired after the spouses have separated or filed for divorce
- Property that was specifically designated as separate property in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
As a stay-at-home mom, there are other considerations to be aware of in a Florida divorce. Under equitable distribution, a fair distribution of marital property is centered on several factors. In order to ensure that a stay-at-home mom can protect herself, she’ll need to understand what factors go into the actual decision.
What Considerations Are There For Stay-At-Home Moms in a Florida Divorce?
Stay-at-home moms are in a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to equitable distribution and divorce. This is because, generally, stay-at-home moms may not have contributed as much financially to the marriage. At the same time, financial contributions aren’t the only factor that determines how the marital property will be divided. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of asset division make a fair decision based on the parties’ situation and the amount of assets. Thus, on top of the normal factors–length of the marriage, income and earning potential of spouses–that go into asset division, the following will usually be factored into the decision:
- Contributions to the marriage – The court will likely consider the contributions of the stay-at-home mom to the marriage, particularly in terms of child-rearing and household management. The stay-at-home mom may have sacrificed career opportunities or earning potential in order to care for the children and support the household.
- Career opportunities – The court may consider the career opportunities that the stay-at-home mom gave up in order to care for the family, as well as her current earning potential. This may involve taking into account her education, work experience, and other factors that could impact her ability to re-enter the workforce.
- Child custody – If the stay-at-home mom is awarded primary physical custody of the children, the court may take this into account when determining equitable distribution. The stay-at-home mom may need a larger share of the marital property in order to provide for the children’s needs.
- Financial needs – The court will also consider the financial needs of the stay-at-home mom, particularly if she has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. She may need additional support to help her transition back into the workforce or to cover other expenses.
Obviously, every divorce is different. Often, the circumstances that go into dividing assets in one divorce don’t necessarily carry over to others. However, what’s especially important for stay-at-home moms is to understand what steps they need to take to protect themselves financially.
How Can Stay-At-Home Moms Protect Themselves Financially in a Florida Divorce?
While a divorce is never ideal, there are ways that stay-at-home moms in Florida can protect themselves financially. Better yet, many of these strategies can help them protect other areas of leverage they have. Here are a few strategies that stay-at-home moms in Florida can take to protect themselves in a divorce:
- Know your rights – In Florida, marital assets are generally divided equitably between the parties during a divorce. This means that you may be entitled to a fair share of the marital property, even if you did not earn an income during the marriage. It’s important to understand your rights and to work with one of our experienced divorce attorneys who can help you navigate the process.
- Collect financial documents – Collect all of the financial documents related to your marital assets, including bank statements, tax returns, investment account statements, and property deeds. This will help you to have a clear understanding of your financial situation and to make informed decisions about property division.
- Establish your own credit – If you do not have your own credit history, it may be difficult to obtain credit after the divorce. Consider opening a credit card in your name and making regular payments to establish your credit history.
- Seek spousal support – In Florida, spousal support (also known as alimony) may be awarded to a spouse who needs financial support after the divorce. If you have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, you may be eligible for spousal support.
These are just a few strategies that may be helpful for stay-at-home moms facing divorce in Florida. Another important step is to work with our experienced divorce attorneys who can help you navigate the process and protect your financial interests.
Contact Robert Sparks Attorneys Today For a Free Consultation
As a stay-at-home mom, your contributions to your marriage shouldn’t be cast aside in a divorce. Protecting your finances and other assets is an important part of not just a divorce, but your life post-divorce. Divorce is a complex and emotional process, but stay-at-home moms don’t have to go through it alone.
With the legal support of our team of experienced Florida divorce attorneys at Robert Sparks Attorneys, you can ensure that your rights and financial future are protected. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to set up a free consultation with our team. We can advise and advocate for you during this difficult time.