By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Many people who are going through a divorce for the first time, do not understand Florida law. I get questions like the following:
1. REGARDING JEWELRY: husbands and wives think that because a piece of jewelry is a gift given during the marriage, the jewelry belongs exclusively to them. Not true… it is marital. This can make a big difference if the jewelry is substantial.
2. REGARDING PUNISHMENT: couples often think that the one who files for divorce, or the one who leaves the marriage, is the one who will be “punished” by the court in terms of receiving less assets from the marriage. Not true, because Florida is a no fault state.
3. REGARDING ADULTERY: same premise as above. If your husband or wife is cheating on you, the only recourse you have is to divorce the cheater.
4. REGARDING MOVING OUT OF THE MARITAL HOME: Floridians do not lose their property rights by “abandoning” the marital home. If you have sweat equity in the house, or your name is on the deed, or have any other marital interest, you have an entitlement to your property whether or not you live there.
5. REGARDING NAME CHANGES: if you want your name restored, you should do it now during the divorce proceedings. If you wait, you will have to pay another filing fee for a new case in the courthouse.
6. REGARDING YOUR SPOUSE SUPPORTING YOU: you don’t have to get a divorce to get your spouse to support you. If you have the need and your spouse has the ability to pay, you can get support without divorce.
7. REGARDING CHILD SUPPORT: the statutory child support guidelines have not changed in a generation. The Florida legislature really needs to address this.
8. REGARDING RESIDENCY: you have to be a Florida resident for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce. That means having your “stuff” in the state, having a Florida driver’s license, owning property, or having a leasehold interest here.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.