Divorce mistakes that cost people thousands of dollars

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Florida, be aware of these common mistakes so that you can avoid them.

  1. Know the law as to 401k/retirement benefits in Florida: 

In Florida, if you are married and your spouse acquired pension/retirement/401k benefits while married, you are entitled to half of the benefits incurred during the marriage.  We usually calculate the benefits through date of separation or the date the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed.  You need to make sure you get your spouse’s 401k/retirement statements so that you know the exact balance.

  1. Know your options as to the marital home in Florida

If you are divorcing in Florida, and you owned a home with your spouse you should know that you are entitled to half of the equity/net proceeds in the marital home. For example, if Sue is filing to divorce Tom in Florida and they bought a home while married, they can either agree on the value of the home or agree to get an appraisal.  They can also agree to sell the home (they should agree on the realtor and selling price too) and split the net proceeds (net proceeds are what is left over after the debt and closing costs are taken out), OR they can agree that one of them will keep the home but must refinance it and pay the other spouse their share of the equity of the home.

What if you owned a home prior to getting married? Your spouse has a right to the appreciation of the value of your home during the time you were married. Even if you purchased your home prior to being married, if you lived in it or not, just be aware that your spouse may have a right to a share of the equity in the home. Of course, each case is different and if you feel you need more information about your particular case please call us to schedule a consultation.

  1. Do not agree to waive child support 

In Florida, the right to child support is a right that belongs to your child. The purpose of it is to assist with the child's expenses. Some people think that they can waive child support just so they can finalize the agreement as quickly as possible. I would suggest to those people to reconsider as child support may be necessary for you or your children in the future during tough times.

Also do not forget that you can ask for retroactive child support from the date your spouse left you with the child(ren). You can go back as much as two years from the date of the filing of the petition. But, in order to get retroactive child support you must properly request it in your petition. Again, you should consult with an attorney to get a better idea of how to calculate child support and whether you can get retroactive child support in your case.

  1. Do not go to your friend or non-attorney for advice  

When your A/C breaks you go to an AC technician. If you need therapy, you go to a licensed therapist. If you need sound legal advice you should go to an attorney. DO NOT make the mistake of hiring a non-attorney/paralegal to give you advice. This could cost you thousands of dollars as they could be giving you the wrong information. If you make a mistake in your initial divorce paperwork, your case may end up getting dismissed by the Court.    For a divorce, you go to a divorce attorney, because the attorney will give you the most accurate information about your specific case.  I charge a small fee for my consults and to review divorce paperwork. Even if you cannot afford an attorney to represent you, at least attend a consultation with a divorce attorney. It will give you peace of mind and it's worth the investment!




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top