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When it comes to divorce, sweat the small stuff

In the legal system, seemingly small details can end up having major consequences to the outcome of a case. Accordingly, it is vital that Florida residents know how their case might be impacted by these seemingly minor details that may be within their control.

For instance, the simple detail of where a case is filed can have a major impact on how the case is decided. This is because different states have different laws, and these different laws may drastically change how the issues in the case are decided.

While there may be no option on where to file some types of cases, a divorce case may be different for some couples. For instance, the recent high asset divorce filed by actress Angelina Jolie against Brad Pit was filed in California court. While the high-profile couple's divorce may be different from others, many other individuals spend time in multiple states like Pitt and Jolie. This is particularly true in Florida, where many individuals may reside here in the winter while residing somewhere else during the summer.

If individuals have a choice as to which state to file in, they should understand the impact of each state's laws. Community property states handle marital property far differently from common law states. In community property states, most assets earned or acquired during the marriage are considered to be equally owned. Common law states, by contrast, examine who acquired the property, how it was acquired and how it is titled.

Different states also have different laws on other issues like spousal support laws. One state might be more or less favorable, which means the decision of whether to award alimony and how much should be ordered can vary depending on where the case is filed.

Source: CNBC, "Divorce tips from the Brangelina uncoupling," Kelli B. Grant, Sept. 21, 2016

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