Divorce Frequently Asked Questions - Video Answers

Attorney, Mary Hoftiezer Zogg proudly serves the Divorce and Family Law legal needs of those in Orlando, Central Florida, and Montverde.

Call 321.209.1878 to schedule an confidential legal consultation regarding your Divorce and Family Law matters.

Florida is a no fault divorce state, so you don't need to have grounds for divorce in Florida. The only thing that has to be pled in Florida is that there is an irreconcilable differences, which means that one party or the other believes that the marriage cannot be fixed.

When your spouse has asked for a divorce, what I suggest is that you talk to learned counsel or other advisors in your life. Look to those individuals who have helped you with your life going forward, those that are in your financial world, those that are attorneys that would know about the processes and can give you your options and pathways out of your marriage.

If your business was obtained during the marriage, it may be subject to distribution. However, there will be other considerations. If your business is not something that you want to break up and move apart, you can ask for an unequal distribution. Typically, it's one of your sole versions of an earning income. Though it is subject to distribution, it's not an in-kind distribution of all assets, and you would look to preserve specifically your capacity to continue to earn income from that business.

One spouse can't kick the other spouse out. You can come to an arrangement or agreement between the two of you as to who would remain in the home, or you can seek exclusive use and possession of the marital home, but both the parents and both spouses have a right to the home, and neither can kick the other out.

Okay, step-parents. Hide that nasty, hairy wart. Put yourself in the kids' shoes. I know this is hard for you, but it's always the hardest on the children. Don't force sides. Don't ask that your spouse align with you against the children or against their former spouse. Do what works and avoid what doesn't. Seek compromise. When possible, get on the same page with the biological parent or former spouse. If possible, blend. If not possible, compromise and work together rather than against each other. Don't try to be super mom or super dad. No one wins and it typically isn't the best for anyone involved. Set clear boundaries and roles. Stick with them. You and your spouse or significant other should know what is expected of you as it relates to the children. Get help. This is challenging. Change is hard. Have a professional available to provide you the tools you will need to navigate when the waters get rough.

One of the most common financial mistakes made during divorce is to indicate a ownership by a title. So if you have a situation of you say this is my house or my retirement or my any other asset or liability, it's not a matter of who has that liability. It's a matter of when you obtained that asset or liability. So the most common mistake that I see is people determining what they should get out of the divorce by the name that's on the asset or liability.

Time is money. How much it costs you strongly depends on how much you can agree to. If your lawyer offers you one answer, walk away. Think big picture. Don't fight about it. Reduce the conflicts. Attorney's time is money, your money. Principles are great, but they are expensive. It's not always about winning. It's about getting through the process and on with your life. Don't think when, think move on. Lawyers are not your friends. They are counselors at law, not counselors. If you want to talk about your personal challenges, get a counselor or talk to your friend. Your attorney should be concerned about your future, not your past. You cannot change your spouse. That means your lawyer can't either. People do not get better during a separation or a divorce. In fact, they may get worse. Lawyers can't change people. Be organized. When a lawyer asks for your documents, get them together in an organized fashion and provide them timely. Attorneys are paid for our time. Get documents to them in an easily reviewable format. It will take you time to do it, but our time is your money.

Retirement funds and 401(k)s can be an asset of the marriage. It depends on when it's obtained. So what they do is they draw a line in the sand on the date of your marriage and again on a filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. If the 401(k) or retirement was obtained during that time, it's considered an asset of the marriage that is subject to distribution.

Every divorce is different. No two families are the same. Divorce is difficult no matter who you are married to or your orientation. Legally, the same laws are applied to heterosexual and homosexual married couples. How they apply to each couple will change from couple to couple and family to family.

Typically, in Florida, we don't look to any kind of affairs or adultery. The only time that it will be considered in Florida is as a determination in alimony, and it can be a consideration therein. If it is to become a consideration, you're not necessarily looking to the existence of the affair, but how much is spent on that affair. If you're spending marital assets and dissipating them to support your affair, it will be taken into consideration.

If you ask for a divorce and move out, the answer is, you may need to continue to pay the household expenses for the prior house. It's going to depend on the situation of the parties. Typically, when people separate, they're unable to continue to pay all of the bills at the home, as well as the bills for a second home, but you should have some sort of arrangement in place, in order to preserve your assets, and maintain a house.

In Florida, in order to obtain a divorce, you don't have to have an attorney. However, the process of divorce is a process, so it would be much like your appendix bursting and you choosing not to get a doctor. You probably needed a doctor for a burst appendix, it's likely good for you to get a lawyer to go through a divorce process.

A litigated divorce cost can depend on how litigated it is. So, typically on a contested divorce, your initial retainers will typically be around 10 hours at the attorney's hourly rate. From there, it depends on how much you don't agree to. The more you don't agree to, the more money is gonna be spent on the file, the more time it's gonna take. So, the more you have to fight over, the more expensive it's gonna be.

There are many things to consider in choosing an attorney. First, you need to like them and be able to talk to them. If you do not have a connection with your lawyer, do not hire them. Look for someone with experience. That means at least five years practicing the area of law. Choose someone who represents men and women so they understand both sides of the issues. Seek out an attorney who has additional trainings. Trainings may include mediation and collaboration. You want somebody who knows how to compromise and has the ability to find common ground. Don't let your lawyer be a one trick pony. Look for somebody who has strengthened themselves by obtaining additional trainings. The more well rounded your lawyer is, the better she will be able to serve you. Seek out an active listener. Do they hear you? Do they ask relevant questions? Do they pay attention to detail? Seek out a responsive attorney. Do they answer their phone? Do they get back to you timely? When you call them, do they call you, or do you get a call back from their staff? Think concierge service. Look for an attorney with an extended network. It is about what you know, but it's also about who you know. Lawyers should be well connected in your community and be able to put you in contact with other professional if there's a need to do so.

When you choose a divorce attorney in Florida you want to go with someone who's qualified to take the case and somebody that you get along with. Look for somebody that has in excess of five years of experience and make sure that you get along with this individual. Make sure that they're looking out for your best interest and not what's in their best interest on the case.

There are several choices when trying to determine how you may leave your lover. Some options include pre-suit mediation. This is when you and your spouse meet with a third party, neutral, or mediator who helps you resolve the issues of your case. If an agreement is reached, it is reduced to writing, signed by the parties, and filed with the court. It is then later made part of a final judgment of divorce. Simplified divorce is available only when you have no assets and no children in common with your spouse. It's a summary proceeding that obtains a final judgment of divorce rather quickly. Uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse are able to agree to all terms of your divorce. Your agreement is reduced to writing, signed by both parties, and filed with the court. It is later incorporated into a final judgment. If you are unable to agree to all terms, then you may file a contested, or litigated, divorce. This is where the court assists you in coming to terms for your divorce. It is where you ask a judge to tell his or her decision on the case. Another option is a collaborative divorce, which is a confidential, private process, in which a team, including lawyers, a mental health professional, and a financial neutral, look to help the spouses craft an arrangement that works best for the family.

In collaborative law, you may be able to use your current financial advisor; however, it's likely not a good idea, because most typically they're not properly trained. Those that are involved in the collaborative process are trained in the process. It's not necessarily the knowledge that you have as a financial planner, and it's usually not within people's [inaudible 00:00:25]. You want to ensure that the individual you use in the process is trained in the process and can be a valuable part of the team. However, if your professional is so trained, they can be used.

Facebook and social media sites are great to keep people up to date on what is going on in your life. Remember that these are public forums. What gets onto the internet, stays onto the internet. Remember you are literally allowing hundreds, if not, thousands of people into your life. Be very careful of what you post. That post may be presented in court and used against you.

An out-of-state divorce may be enforced in Florida if you domesticate it in the state of Florida. In order to domesticate a foreign judgment, you do have to have jurisdiction over all parties, including both spouses, as well as the children.

Call Orlando and Central Florida Lawyer, Mary Hoftiezer Zogg at 321.209.1878 to discuss your Divorce and Family Law needs and goals.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg has extensive experience in assisting Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Longwood, Central Florida and Montverde residents who require professional Divorce Attorney legal services.

Divorce, Family Law & Mediation Services

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Attorney at Law

Mary Zogg, formerly Mary Hoftiezer has a multidisciplinary background which helps to provide a unique experience for her clients. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in Business Administration in addition to her law degree. This allows her to provide her clients with a full vision of the financial, emotional, and legal aspects of their cases.

Mary’s degree in psychology has provided her with the ability to listen and understand the emotional impact of a divorce or paternity action. She works to understand how you feel and takes these feelings into account when putting together a strategy as to how to resolve your case.

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