Even if you’re emotionally ready to make the move, divorce can be an extraordinarily difficult process. Ease the transition with some of this helpful advice from Jaime Wallace. To learn more about the topic of divorce, click on our feature post: Lawyer of Lawyers: Divorce

Jaime Wallace practices exclusively in the area of family law, including handling a wide range of divorce cases, post-divorce matters, preparation of marital agreements, paternity matters, and custody cases. Wallace graduated with honors from Florida State University College of Law and is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubble® and The Best Lawyers in America® 2012-2015.

do

  • Do trust and rely on your lawyer’s advice and not the advice of your relatives or friends. If you are unable to trust your attorney, you need to get a different lawyer you have confidence in.
  • Do try to look at the big picture and remember that life goes on.
  • Do try to separate the emotion, hurt, and pain from your ability to make practical decisions in the case.
  • Do put your children first and try to reduce conflict with your spouse as much as possible for their well-being.
  • Do be patient. It never goes as quickly as anyone wants it to go. It’s a process, and in order to do it properly, it just takes time.
  • Do remember that your lawyer is on your side.

don’t

  • Don’t disparage your spouse to your children.
  • Don’t discuss the ongoing legal proceedings with your children.
  • Don’t try to harm your spouse through the divorce process. It just ends up costing YOU money that you could use.
  • Don’t listen to your friends’ opinions about what you should want or be satisfied with.
  • Don’t assume that anyone accurately relates to you the terms of his/her divorce.
  • Don’t believe that anyone ever “slams” the other party and “wins” their case.

Terms

  CUSTODY: There’s been a significant change in the law since 2008 in respect to what the layperson refers to as CHILD CUSTODY. In 2008, the Florida legislature changed the fact that the judge was required in every case to designate one of the parents as the PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL PARENT.

➤  THE PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL PARENT is what most people usually refer to as the parent with CUSTODY, even though that designation simply meant that the child, or children, lived the majority of the time with that particular parent and the other parent was granted VISITATION RIGHTS. Since the legislature changed the law in 2008, the judge, or the parties, determine TIME-SHARING.

➤  TIME-SHARING is the particular schedule that is followed by the parents in regards to which parent has the children on which particular days. Prior to 2008, we saw very few cases resolved by a judge awarding both parents equal time with the kids. Now it is more common than not for parents to have equal timesharing. However, there is no law that mandates that parents share the time 50/50. This is a common misconception. Although there have been legislative proposals to make 50/50 time-sharing a presumption, this has not become law as of the end of the 2015 Legislative Session in Florida.