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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Divorce & Trying to do the right thing.

    Hello Aaron,

    My apologies in advance for the many number of questions I'm afraid to ask. Emotionally I never imagined any process certainly more painful and this is proving to be the case. I am lost.

    My wife and I were married for nearly 15 years and and are now separated for the last 9 months. We have managed to remain amicable throughout the process up to this date with our number one goal to make the transition as painless as possible for our ten year old daughter. Thank god this has been successful. Both of us are still conducting ourselves as adults and I dont anticipate this turning "ugly". VERY difficult yes but ugly no and there are very few items which will need to be contested overall. ie none of the "this is my record and that is yours" quibbling. We do however have several large items which are now in dispute.

    We originally drafted a number of seperation agreements only to discover Florida doesnt recognize legal seperations. We have no signed agreements in place currently.

    Current situation.
    I agreed verbally to pay the mortgage on our 4 bedroom home for a period of up 18 months unless she found another partner who moved into the home. After that time, either the house would have to be sold or she could buy out my interest with her new partner. I currently live in a 650 dollar roach infested apartment.

    She would request no Alimony as I was paying the mortgage for this period and offered to make a higher child support payment.

    Child Support:
    I would pay 1000 per month child support. She would carry our daughter on medical benefits with my medical benefits as a co provider. I would take our daughter as the deduction. She would have 100% custody and I would have our daughter every other weekend and unlimited visitation for softball games, dinners out etc.

    Previous Debt:
    I make 100K, she makes 35K. We took all the debt and divided it 1/3 to her and 2/3 to me. The net of which is that both of us ended up with exactly the same amount of money at the end of the month, ie basically nothing.

    Now here is where it just changed. When I suggested we finalize the divorce the terms suddenly changed.

    She now wants me to pay the mortgage on the house (2800.00) as long as our daughter who is ten remains in school, including college. Approximately 12 years!! This is a far cry from the 18 months we previously agreed on. I was informed that if I didnt pay this amount that she would pursue alimony in an amount to retain the house and that if i forced her to sell the home she would move out of the state with our daughter.

    Aaron, I cant afford to support her by herself in a four bedroom house for the next 10+ years. Nor do I want to be held hostage by her very real threat to move out of state. I have no choice but to engage an attorney and negotiate the entire process. (ANY MIAMI, FLORIDA RECOMMENDATIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!)

    My questions thus are relatively simple. On Average.

    15 year marriage. Both parties age 38 and working full time in professional positions. My income approx 100k, hers at approx 35K, what would be a typical alimony award in the state of Florida.

    Child Support
    I would like to pay the minimum state ordered Child Support and set a court ordered trust fund to bring it up to 1000 per month for a college fund that goes to our daughter and not to the exwife to pay misc bills. Is this even possible and what would be the typical state ordered child support award for a single dependent.

    Assuming debt incurred during the marriage is divided 50% between both parties. Is this accurate or is this also income proportionate.

    I need to have the home sold. She's welcome to everything inside hands down. Are there situations where attorneys will take a retainer fee for their initial services and the balance of the fee paid from the sale of property? With what I'm currently paying trying to hire an attorney seems nearly insurmountable unless I can find one willing to work on percentage of equity.

    Finding an attorney:

    Child Custody.
    If the home is sold, and it looks like its a near certainty, I'd like to find some reasonable resolution to retain my ability to be a part of my daughters life. Can she simply leave the state? And if so, under what circumstances typically.

    Again, sorry for the long post. Thank you for any help you or other forum readers may be able to assist with.

    Financially, emotionally drained, vulnerable and feeling utterly helpless.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Florida Divorce

    I am a Michigan lawyer, and can't speculate as to how a court might handle a Florida divorce under Florida law, particularly where I don't have the full facts (including the other side's version, true or false) at my disposal.

    It is my impression that your wife has either consulted with a lawyer, or has had somebody tell her "this is what you'll get if you go to court", either of which puts you in a bad position for negotiation.

    I suggest you consult a Florida divorce lawyer about your case, the likely outcome following litigation, available alternatives (e.g., divorce mediation or facilitation) which might make the process of dividing the estate more pleasant than litigation, and what is likely to happen if the case does in fact go to court.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Have a consultation scheduled with an attorney and am hoping to engage the services of a professional mediator shortly thereafter. Thank you for your sage advice


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