January: The Month of Divorce?
It’s not a myth that more couples file for divorce in January than any other time of the year. Experts note that people tend to take an accounting of their personal, financial and professional endeavors from the past year, including resolutions. Sometimes couples resolve that they are no longer working as a family unit, or they would be happier apart. Taking stock of your emotional and mental well- being is critical, and there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. If you have tried marriage counseling and other avenues for resolution, and still feel that divorce is your best option, contact West Palm Beach criminal attorney William Wallshein for a consultation to discuss your options.
Limited Divorce or Absolute Divorce
In Florida, there are two classifications for divorce, limited divorce and absolute divorce. Limited divorce, also referred to as bifurcated divorce, is akin to legal separation. Couples are not required to file for a limited divorce before they file for absolute divorce. However, it does offer some protections and is a legal remedy to establish distance. For example, if a couple is legally separated, they can alter tax filing status and apply for car insurance as separated. Limited divorce is also helpful for spouses that own a business together and need a business valuation prior to winding up the business or determining future ownership. Ex-spouses can also work on a parenting and child custody agreement with flexibility while they are legally separated. In addition, if a couple changes their minds and wishes to reconcile, limited divorce allows them to do so.
On the other hand, absolute divorce is final. Once the judge issues a divorce judgment, the marriage has legally ended and the couple is no longer married. After the spouses draft a marital settlement agreement, usually the agreement is incorporated into the final judgment. Fla. Stat. § 61.052 (2020). A marital settlement agreement settles all issues including child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of property, tax and insurance concerns. Only after a final judgment is issued can ex-spouses remove each other from health plans or as beneficiaries of pension, retirement funds or life insurance plans. Post-divorce modifications can be made regarding child custody and child support arrangements. However, once a party has waived alimony, they cannot independently file a post-divorce judgment requesting alimony. During your consultation, Attorney William Wallshein can assist you in determining which option works best for your current situation and long-term goals.
Preparing for a Consultation
Before your initial consultation, it can be helpful to prepare some items and bring vital documents in advance. For example, if domestic violence is prevalent, bring a copy of any police reports or evidence of violence such as photos or property damage. Our firm can assist you in obtaining an emergency or temporary restraining order from an abusive spouse as soon as possible. If you share real or personal property, statements of value, the mortgage statement, title documents and pictures of furniture, vehicles or items needing appraisal can be helpful.
Also gather income documents, W-2, 1099’s and tax forms. If you and your spouse filed a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, this document can prove extremely key in asset distribution. Also prepare a list of your monthly expenses along with assets and liabilities, and if possible, make copies of relevant documents in advance. Providing necessary documentation up front allows our legal team to hit the ground running and prepare filings more efficiently. Finally, prepare to discuss all facets of your marriage, your children, custody and support concerns and what resolution you are seeking.
Contact William Wallshein, P.A. Today
If you or someone you know are considering divorce and need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney William Wallshein. He has more than three decades of experience in family law serving Florida-based clients for divorce, child custody and child support cases. If retained, he will work tirelessly to ensure you recover the settlement you deserve. Divorce is difficult, but sometimes necessary. Call today to schedule a consultation.