120 East Robinson Street, Orlando FL 32801 deborah@dacooklaw.com
Follow Us:

Frequently Asked Questions

Family Law FAQs

How does Florida divide property in a divorce?

The first step is to identify all assets and debts as marital and non-marital. Usually, marital are those that are acquired during the marriage and non-marital are acquired before the marriage or after filing for divorce. Next is to determine the value at the time of filing for each asset and debt. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means the assets and debts will be divided equally. In most cases, with the help of an attorney, the husband and wife are able to divide their assets and liabilities fairly, to where each spouse is walking away with an equal chance to start their life as a single person. Through mediation, collaboration or wise guidance, couples can do this without a court appearance. When spouses are unable to come to a complete agreement about the assets, liabilities or family matters the court steps to make those decisions based on Florida case law. The majority of family cases do not need the intervention of the courts.

What are the grounds for divorce or dissolution of marriage in Florida?

There are two grounds for divorce in Florida. Florida is a “no fault” state, the reasons for the breakdown in your marriage has no effect on the outcome of your dissolution. The grounds for the majority of divorces is called “irretrievable broken.” This means that no one is blaming the other for the breakdown of the marriage. There is one other grounds for divorce and it is rarely used. If your spouse is mentally incapacitated for a period of three years or greater, you are able to file for divorce. The state of Florida does not recognize cruelty or adultery as grounds for divorce. If you have inquiries, contact us..

How does the court determine child custody?

Many factors are considered when the courts determined the child custody, one thing is for sure, the decisions you make for timeshare and parental responsibility should be in the best interests of your child. If the parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan together, the court will establish a parenting plan by using the “factors” found in Fla. Statute 61.13. It is important to know that the best interests of the children supersede the desires or interests of the parents. The State of Florida encourages a positive relationship with both parents. For inquiries, contact us. We are more than willing to assist you.

How is child support determined?

The state of Florida follows guidelines in determining child support. Florida has an “Income Shared Model” and it is what the courts use for determining child support. Both parents’ income is expected to contribute to the care and welfare of the children. A formula is used to divide the incomes fairly to replicate the life the family could provide before the divorce. Child-care costs and the cost of health insurance for the children are relevant factors too. Florida 61.30 is the statute that also guides the court in knowing the amount of child support. For more information, call us.

What is Family Mediation?

If spouses cannot come to terms with the finances and parenting responsibilities, Florida relies on the process of mediation. Mediation is required prior to any court hearing on family matters unless an emergency. Most families have issues, great or small, that need an open fair discussion. In family mediation, a third and neutral person called the mediator moderates the discussions and helps both parties towards a resolution that both parties can agree. Most divorces are resolved in a creative mediation or collaborative process and the results are more positive and longer lasting than decisions made in a litigated situation. Mediation is less expensive, more rewarding, and faster than litigating. A marriage can be carefully ended without people being destroyed. Call us and see how we can help.

What is the best time to start mediation?

The best time to start mediation is as soon as possible. Disputes are stressful and some cannot sleep at night in peace. Do not delay your concerns, discuss them with the other party in the presence of a mediator for a faster and better resolution. If you think you are still too angry and you want to take a little time before proceeding with the mediation, consider individual counseling. How you end your marriage will have a great impact on how you will start your future. Call us if we can assist as your mediator.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

In Florida, the Collaborative Divorce has become a popular way to settle your marital challenges. In a Collaborative Divorce both the parties and their respective attorneys deliberately choose not to go through litigation and collaborate instead. Often a professional counselor and financial specialist are involved. The team of professions (the “Team” as the parties and professionals are called) contribute to reduce conflict and provide transparency to a process that needs to be completed with grace and trust. A Collaborative Divorce can have a healthy, healing effect for any family. Collaborative Divorce surprisingly can be more fluid and timelier then waiting through the process of financial disclosures, mediation dates and hearings. Call us to discuss further the positive effects of collaboration..

Copyright © 2020 Deborah Cook. All rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer


This privacy policy applies to information collected online from users of this website. In this policy, you can learn what kind of information we collect,when and how we might use that information, how we protect the information, and the choices you have with respect to your personal information.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.