Top Divorce Myths
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Top Divorce Myths

My spouse and I can agree for there to be no child support.

FACT:              It is not legal to agree for there to be no child support.  The child support is for the benefit of the child, and neither parent can waive the child’s right to child support.  In some rare circumstances, there can be no child support when the child support guidelines are so close to zero that it is considered “de minimus.”  The judge will always make sure that child support is calculated in every case involving minor children.

 

My 401(k) is 100% mine because I am the only one who paid money into it.

FACT:            Pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, and other retirement accounts can be marital assets to the extent they are contributed to during the course of the marriage.  For example, let’s say your spouse married you 5 years ago, started a new job 3 years ago, and contributed $10,000 to their 401(k) at that job during the course of your marriage.  And let’s say the value of the 401(k) is $12,000 today.  The entire $12,000 is a marital asset, and will usually be divided 50/50 via a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

 

If my spouse and I are living separate lives and living apart, we are legally separated.

FACT:             There is no “legal separation” in Florida.  Even if you are living in separate households.  Unlike some states, in Florida you are either married or not married.  In almost every circumstance, it makes sense to file for divorce sooner rather than later.  If you are the spouse with the most to lose, by filing for divorce now you will be preventing your ex from running up debt that you may have to pay and you will be preventing your ex from claiming half of what you are earning now and half of what you are saving for retirement now.  If you are the spouse who needs help, by delaying divorce you may be cheating yourself and your children out of much needed child support, alimony, or other assets.