- MYTH: My spouse cheated on me while we were married. Doesn't that count against him/her?
Answer: NO, unless your cheating spouse used marital money (ex: from the checking account or income) to spend on his/her extramarital affair.
- MYTH: I was the main caretaker of our baby while we were married, so that means I get full custody of the baby.
Answer: NO, and we do not use the word "custody" in Florida courts anymore. The term used now is "time-sharing," which refers to the time a child spends with mom or dad. In Florida, the courts want both parents to have frequent contact with the child. The courts will decide the child's time-sharing schedule based on what is in the child's best interest unless both mom and dad can come into an agreement that works for both. If, for example, the mother played the role as a primary caretaker for the child, it does not mean that father would be incapable of having time-sharing with the child. A Florida court presumes that both parents have rights to time with the child.
- MYTH: I can waive child support in my case.
Answer: NO, you cannot waive child support. Child support is a benefit to the child. Therefore, the mother and father cannot decide to waive child support. When a child is involved in a family case (ex: paternity or divorce), the court can order child support. There is a child support calculation or worksheet that should be submitted to the court. The analysis is based on the income and amount of overnights of Mom and Dad.
- MYTH: My spouse does not want to get divorced, so that means I can't get divorced.
Answer: NO, that is not true. If you file for divorce and you get a process server to personally serve your spouse the divorce papers, then you can proceed in court without your spouse is there. Of course, there is a process you must follow, and that is why it is best to hire an attorney to help you through the legal process. Even if you do not know where your spouse lives, there are still options. So, just because your spouse declares he/she does not want to get divorced, don't let that stop you from filing a petition for dissolution of marriage.
- MYTH: I don't need an attorney to resolve my case.
Answer: NO, you definitely need an attorney to make sure that your case is resolved correctly. There are rights that you may or may not have that you need to be aware of. The attorney will assess your case to make sure that you are filing the case in the right state and county. The initial documents have to declare all of your requests for the court. This is why having an attorney draft all of your divorce paperwork is beneficial. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Contact a divorce attorney now and schedule a consult at 305-255- FIRM (3476). The Aguilera Law Center, P.A., has an office in Miami and Broward and handles family and divorce cases.