Divorce FAQ

Q. Do I have to have an attorney to get divorced?

A.You can represent yourself in you own divorce case, however, it is important to remember that the experience and knowledge of a divorce attorney can help you understand and protect your rights throughout the case. The Florida legal system can be very overwhelming and hard to navigate if you are unfamiliar with the laws and procedures. You deserve to have the best possible legal help when you are going through a divorce so that you can protect your legal rights and understand the process that you will have to go through to obtain a divorce.

Q. How can an attorney help me?

A.In a divorce case, there are many necessary forms and documents to collect and return within a time limit. An attorney can help to ensure that you meet the deadlines appropriately and can also make sure that the forms are filled out correctly.An attorney is also there to help client’s understand how the divorce process will work or what to expect from your divorce.

Q. How is child custody (parental responsibility) determined?

A. In Florida, there are three types of parental responsibility: Shared Parental Responsibility, Shared Parental Responsibility with Decision Making Authority to one parent on certain issues, and Sole Parental Responsibility. According to Florida state laws, the standard on which child custody is based is “the child’s best interest”. Listed below are some of the factors that are considered when determining child custody:

  • Length of time the child has lived in a stable environment, and the desire to maintain continuity

  • Moral fitness, mental health and physical health of the parents

  • The child’s preference (if the court can see that the child can make an educated decision)

  • Ability of each parent to maintain a stable routine for the child

  • Any prior domestic violence situations or convictions on the part of either parent

  • Ability of each parent to meet the child’s developmental needs

If a case goes to trial, the court considers many more factors of a child’s life to determine custody. When it comes to child custody, you want a knowledgeable and competent child custody attorney serving Southwest Florida who can confidently handle such an issue. Our firm has experience and skills that you can feel confident in. Your family is important to us, and we will work with you to protect your rights in your child custody case.

Q. What is a Parenting Plan?

A. On October 1, 2008, the Florida legislature enacted a revised statute which requires that a written parenting plan be in place for all cases involving minor children. The parenting plan requires parties to put in writing the details of: parental responsibility, parental time sharing, shared responsibilities for the children. For example, a parenting plan will outline what each parent will do regarding the following:

  • Daily tasks

  • Healthcare

  • School functions

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Communication with the child

  • Time sharing schedule with the child

  • Holiday schedule with the child

  • Transportation of the child

Q. How will my property be divided?

A. In Florida, property and debt division is known as equitable distribution. Under equitable distribution jurisdiction, the property and debts that are considered to be marital can be equally or unequally distributed. The state law intends for equitable distribution to result in “fair” property and debt division between the parties. Below are several factors that are considered when property and debt division is undertaken. Some of these factors include:

  • Length of the Marriage

  • Contribution of both spouses to the marriage (including homemaker and childrearing contributions)

  • Contribution of one spouse to the other’s career or education

  • Intentional waste or dissipation of marital assets or property after filing for divorce or within two years prior to filing.

  • The best interests of any minor children

Our law firm has over 19 years of experience and understanding of Florida equitable distribution law that will benefit your divorce proceedings. We understand that it is important to you and your family that the property distribution is as fair as possible between you and your spouse. Our goal is to work closely with you and to cooperate with the other side to attempt to reach a settlement. However, if settlement is not possible we are completely confident in taking your case to trial if necessary.

Our staff and lawyers are available if you have questions or concerns throughout the entire process of your divorce. You will be able have meetings with your attorney when you need to and to stay well-informed of the happenings in your case. This is important to you therefore it is important to us.

Q. Will I pay Alimony?Will I receive Alimony?

A. Alimony is support money paid to the dependent spouse that continues after the marriage has been dissolved. Alimony is also called “spousal support” or “maintenance”. Florida has several types of alimony. You may be required to support your ex-spouse or you may be eligible to receive alimony depending upon the circumstances of your marriage and divorce. There are many factors considered when determining alimony awards. Those factors include:

  • How long is the marriage?

  • Standard of living established?

  • How old is each party?

  • Physical or mental disabilities?

  • Non-marital & marital assets distributed?

  • Education or training needed?

  • Contribution to homemaking, child care, education, career of other party?

  • Income available to each?

Q. How much child support will I pay/receive?

A. Florida statutes provide guidelines and the formula to be used in calculating child support. A child support guideline calculation is based upon many different factors including the parties monthly income and the number of children.Often, the child support calculator is used to find a starting point and does not necessarily indicate the amount that you will actually pay. Every person’s case is unique and depending on the circumstances, the amount of time you spend with the child and other factors, the amount might be more or less.


Q. How can I relocate with my children if I have shared custody?

A. You must get a written agreement from the other parent or a court order allowing the relocation if you are going to move with your child(ren) more than 50 miles away from your principal place of residence. Our law firm can help you through the process of obtaining either written agreement or a court order. Our family law attorneys can effectively guide you through the process of relocation.

Q. How can I modify Alimony?

A. Alimony is a part of a divorce in which one of the parties requires financial support to maintain the standard of living that he or she became accustomed to during the marriage. The monetary support that one spouse gives to the other is generally determined based on the financial situation of both spouses before and during the marriage. Many factors are considered when determining the appropriate type of alimony as well as the amount. The different types of spousal support in a Florida divorce are permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, temporary alimony and lump sum alimony.

Sometimes when a party’s circumstances change a change in the amount or type of alimony is warranted. An attorney at our law offices can meet with you and discuss your circumstances as well as your former spouse’s situation to determine whether a modification of alimony is possible.

There are certain circumstances which will definitely warrant an evaluation of the alimony agreement. For example the following events are all good reasons to speak with one of our attorneys: loss of a job, a sizable increase or decrease in income, or increase or decrease of income needs.


Q. What types of paternity tests are available to me?

A. A blood test is the most accurate way to determine paternity. There are two different types of blood tests used in Florida paternity cases: 1) the first test is the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) blood test. If this blood test indicates that the person being tested has an over 95% chance of being the biological father, then the court will assume that the man is the father unless someone comes forth to contest the results with proof that states otherwise. 2) the other type of test used is a DNA test that compares the genetic code of the child with those of the mother and the father in question.


Q. What is a contested divorce?

A. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the many issues encompassed by your divorce, such as custody, alimony, child support and property division, your divorce is considered to be “contested.”

Q. What is an uncontested divorce?

A. Uncontested divorces are for individuals who do not have issues that need to be settled or discussed regarding child custody, alimony, property division, child support, etc. Uncontested divorces are for couples that want a Florida divorce where both parties already know and agree on what they want out of your divorce.

Our divorce lawyers will work with you and your spouse to get everything together per the requirements of Florida divorce law. Uncontested divorce can encompass every area of a regular divorce. The only difference and uncontested divorce and a contested divorce is that you and your spouse go into the process having already agreed on every aspect of your marriage dissolution.

Our law firm can also help individuals who have started the divorce process on their own and have run into trouble finishing the process. Even parties who agree on every issue will still have process their divorce through Florida legal system. Many times, when people attempt to navigate a divorce on their own, they end up with problems or snags that would not have occurred if they had legal counsel. Our divorce lawyers can help you sort out confusion that you may have encountered while attempting represent yourself in your divorce.

Often, it is cheaper and faster in the long run to hire an divorce lawyer to help you through an uncontested divorce process. We have the experience and familiarity with the Florida legal system to help you process your divorce faster through the system. Contested divorces can take months to years to resolve. If you and your spouse both want to avoid that then you will likely want to consider an uncontested.

Q. What if I am in need of a high net worth divorce attorney?

A. Division and protection of assets is big concern when you and your spouse are considering divorce. You need an attorney who has experience and knowledge in high net worth divorces if one of the parties is a business owner or has significant assets, real estate, bonds, stocks, or high value personal property.

The Rocuant Law Firm has the experience and knowledge in handling high net worth divorces that you need and can trust. Your right to certain assets is important and must be protected. The Rocuant Law Firm can help ensure that your rights are protected and your divorce goes as smoothly as possible.

Every divorce is unique and deserves to be treated accordingly. We always strive to resolve divorces in a cooperative manner. Though we are always problem solving and solution oriented, there can come a time when settlement becomes impossible due to differences or high emotions. If this occurs, you can be sure that we will be able to protect your rights in a court of law.