Experienced. Efficient. Effective. Excellence.
While many couples hope their divorces might be settled in such a way that is permanently agreeable for both parties, we are constantly faced with the reality that this is simply not the case. Planning during a divorce requires strategy and experience. We at Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda lead you proactively through the process to ensure the best possible settlement or trial.
Top 10 Things to Know About Divorce
- Separation: There are no separation cases in Florida, with a court case number, but we can do separation agreements.
- Residency: You must be a resident of Florida for 6 months prior to filing for divorce in Florida.
- Petition: A divorce starts with the filing of a Petition with the court, but can also be negotiated behind the scenes before the court is involved.
- Timesharing: Florida no longer uses the word custody when determining the time a child spends with each parent; further, a parenting plan must be signed for any case involving timesharing with a minor child (Divorce or Paternity case).
- Equitable distribution: This is when the divorce court divides all the stuff that is owned or owed from the marriage.
- Alimony: An amount of money paid in lump sum or monthly for a period of time to support one party. This amount is determined off the parties’ gross incomes.
- Child Support: An amount of money calculated according to the Child Support Guidelines contained in the Florida Statutes, including adjustments for health insurance costs, daycare costs and timesharing.
- Attorney’s Fees: These fees may be paid by the higher income earning spouse to ensure that both parties are equally represented.
- Mediation: Mediation is mandatory in many counties and is a voluntary process to assist parties in resolving their divorces amicably.
- Final Judgment: All agreements must be accepted by the court and a final judgment entered to properly end the marriage and enforce the terms of any agreement.
At the Central Florida law office of Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda, we understand that divorce is often a painful challenge. If you have children, we know their well-being and your role in their lives going forward are your primary concerns. Then there are the financial worries about property division and alimony. The stress of dealing with all these matters can affect your children, your career and even your sense of self-worth. That’s why, from start to finish, we make the extra effort to learn who you are so that we can pursue an outcome that preserves what you hold dear and enables you to move ahead successfully. Our attorneys handle each legal detail of your case with the skill and knowledge developed over decades of combined legal experience. Whether your divorce is amicable or contentious, we understand the emotional toll it takes on you. That’s why we are committed to helping you attain your goals and then begin a new and positive journey.
Effective, proactive advocates for spouses whose marriage is ending.
Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda divorce lawyers spend time with each and every client to find the necessary facts that inevitably guide the course of your case. We explain in detail how you will be affected by state law when it comes to:
- Filing requirements — To seek a dissolution of marriage in a Florida county, you must have established residency there for at least six months. All divorces are granted on a no-fault basis, meaning that parties need only to declare their union irretrievably broken. However, fault considerations can be used in determining property division and spousal support.
- Property division — Florida abides by the principle of equitable distribution when determining how marital property will be divided between divorcing spouses. This does not necessarily mandate an even split, however. Our attorneys advocate for a resolution that includes all relevant assets and accounts for your circumstances and the contributions you’ve made to the marriage.
- Alimony — Courts have discretion in ordering alimony payments based a series of statutory factors, including the parties’ ages, earning ability, the length of the marriage, and each spouse’s contributions. In many cases, alimony awards are made on a limited basis to allow lesser-earning spouses time to address short-term needs.
For these and other matters, we will assert your rights vigorously in settlement negotiations, mediation or at trial.
Enabling parents to establish safe, fair custody and visitation terms.
Negotiating child custody and child support agreements between divorcing parents can be tricky and contentious. We will champion your rights as well as those of your child while striving to reach an agreement that both parents can honor peacefully. Our professionals can also help modify child custody arrangements after the settlement and fight against the nonpayment of court-awarded child support.