FAQ’s

How long does a divorce case take?
The process depends on whether the parties are willing to come to an agreement on their issues. In the situation of a settlement, the case can take as little as a few weeks to a few months. If the parties elect to litigate their case, the process can take from 6 months to 2 years on average.


How much will the attorney's fees cost?
The attorneys will analyze the specific issues in your case to determine the time and services required. Good communication and cooperation with your attorney can help minimize the fees and costs. In some cases, attorney’s fees may be awarded on a temporary basis or at the end of the case where the other party has a greater ability to pay.


What is considered marital property vs. non-marital property?
Marital properties are assets that belong to “the marriage” and are to be divided between the spouses in a divorce. Non-marital properties are personal assets that are acquired by a spouse before the marriage, acquired by a spouse as a gift or inheritance from someone who is not their spouse or an asset that is excluded from the marriage based on a written agreement by the spouses. Unless it was used by the spouses as marital assets, income derived from non-martial assets during the marriage is also considered non-marital property.


What is a QDRO?
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) refers to an Order of the Court for the division of pensions, savings plans, 401K’s or other retirement accounts. QDROs can be complex to prepare and involve crafting careful language to protect the division of the asset. Some companies may pre-approve the Order and some will determine approval after the Judge signs the Order. This process may take several months.


Who gets custody in a divorce?
In Florida, custody is treated as a time-sharing arrangement with the parents having shared parental responsibility in most cases. The details of the time-sharing arrangement are set out in a Parenting Plan. In some cases, one parent may be designated as the majority time-sharing parent.


How is child support determined?
Child support is based on various factors including but not limited to the incomes of the parents, allowable deductions and the percentage of overnight time-sharing.


When can I stop paying child support in Florida?
Unless there are special circumstances involved (e.g. the child is physically or mentally challenged), child support in Florida stops at the age of majority (18 years old). However, if the parties agree, or if ordered by the court, payments may continue up until the child graduates from high school or until age 19, whichever is sooner.


What Is the Means Test?
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must take the “means test” — a series of calculations used by the court to determine whether you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, based on your income during the six months before you file. If your household income is below the median income in your state, you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Period.
If your income is above the median income, you must perform further calculations to determines whether you have enough disposable income (income left over after you pay your expenses) to repay all or part of your debt.


Why Does My Household Size Matter for filing Bankruptcy?
Household size is an important factor in the means test because median incomes are listed by the number of people in the household. For example, the median income for a household of one will be lower than for a family of six. The bigger your household size, the higher your income can be and still be below the state median income. We will be happy to determine if you are below the Florida median income.
Who Is Counted as a Member of Your Household? Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the courts provide hard and fast rules on what counts as a member of your household for purposes of using the state median income charts.
In figuring out who is part of your household, it helps to think of your household as a unit. Your household functions as on entity, and the persons in it depend on you to provide support. You and your spouse, if you live together, are a household of two. You, your spouse, and your toddler are likely a household of three.


Must members of your household be dependents for tax purposes?
Many courts use the Census Bureau definition of household, which is “all the people who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence.” This would include children or stepchildren even if they are not dependents on your tax return. However, some United States Trustees have refused to count as a household member someone who is not a dependent of the debtor for tax purposes. We know what is required in the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division.


Can household members live with you part-time?
What if you support your child who is in college and living away from home for most of the year? Or what if your children live with you part-time under a time sharing agreement? If you pay substantial expense for your children who live with you part-time, they will probably count as part of your household.