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Factors for dividing property

General rule: 50/50 split, but may be modified as equity demands and these following factors:
1. Each spouse's contribution to the marriage
2. Each spouse's contribution to the care and education of the children.
3. Services of the homemaker.
4. Economic circumstances.
5. The duration of the marriage.
6. Each spouse's career and education sacrifices.
7. The desirability of retaining any asset free from claim and hostile interference.

Marital Property

1. Any asset acquired during marriage other than gifts or bequests.
2. Any enhancement of or appreciation in the value of a nonmarital asset as a result of the efforts of the other spouse during marriage.
3. Interspousal gifts
4. All benefits accrued during the marriage in retirement plans, pension plans, etc.

Pendente Lite

Alimony given for the dissolution of marriage.


Alimony to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs while making a transition from being married to being single. The length of an award may not exceed two years.


Alimony to assist a party in obtaining education or training necessary for establishing the capacity for self-support. There must be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan.


Alimony to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration when permanent alimony is not available. This is an either or alimony with permanent; one cannot receive both.


Alimony to provide for the needs of a spouse who lacks the financial ability to be self-sustaining. It may be awarded following a marriage of short or moderate duration under exceptional circumstances, but is generally reserved for marriages of long duration.

Child Support Order Must

1. Provide for the child support to terminate on the child's 18th birthday.
2. Provide a schedule stating the amount of monthly support what will be owed for any remaining children after one or more of the children are no longer entitled to receive support.
3. Provide the specific date that the reduction or termination of support become effective.

Factors for Determining Alimony Amount

1. Standard of living during the marriage
2. Duration of the marriage.
3. The age, emotional, and physical condition of both parties.
4. The financial resources of each party
5. The earnings capacity and education of each party.
6. Each party's contribution to the marriage.
7. The responsibilities each will have with regard to any minor child they have in common.
8. The tax treatment and consequences to each of any alimony award

Short-term Marriage

Less then 7 years

Moderate-term Marriage

Greater than 7 Years but less than 17 years.

Long-term Marriage

17 years or greater

Factors for Choosing Custody

The single most important factor is the "best interest of the child." To determine the best interest of the child, the court will evaluate the following:
1. The parent's ability to provide a "stable home environment."
2. The child's preference, even though there is no age at which the child has absolute choice;
3. Each parent's willingness to allow time-sharing and to encourage an ongoing relationship with the other parent.

Parent Plan

Any parenting plan must have:
1. How the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child;
2. The time-sharing schedule;
3. A designation of who will be responsible for healthcare, school-related matters, and other activities;
4. The methods and technologies that parents will use to communicate with the child.

Note: Florida emphasizes that both parents retain "shared responsibility"

Antenuptial Agreements

1. AA's fall within the Statute of Frauds and must be evidenced by a writing.
2. AA's require consideration to be valid, but entry into the marriage is sufficient consideration.
3. AA's require strict scrutiny for bad faith and undue influence.
4. AA's and PA's can provide for binding property settlement.

Home State Rule

The state that is the home of the child or has been within the last six months has jurisdiction.

Exclusive Continuing Jurisdiction

The court that made the custody determination has exclusive jurisdiction until 1) neither the child nor any parent continues to live in the state or 2) the child no longer has significant connections with the state.

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