Orange County, Florida has a standard administrative Order which is incorporated into each and every divorce case. The Order is a brief list of "dos" and "donts" which helps to cut down on the necessity for emergency hearings prior to mediation. Often times the early stages of a divorce brings about questions of child support, dissipation of marital assets, and generally how to conduct yourself towards your spouse. Here are the things that you are required to do:
1. Parties are to insure that a child is allowed as much contact with both parents as possible and all decisions regarding the minor child should be shared by both parties, absent an Order of the Court stating otherwise. This basically means that if you are the primary residential parent, you should not only allow, but encourage your soon to be ex-spouse to have as much contact with minor children as possible.
2. Cannot relocate more than a ten (10) mile radius with a minor child unless there is an agreement or Court Order. You should "stay put" in order to avoid being penalized or reprimanded by the Court for failure to comply with this Order.
3. Child support starts upon separation. Therefore, it is important to establish a child support amount quickly and start paying to avoid any type of arrears.
4. Neither party can conceal or dispose of marital assets.
5. Neither party cannot change insurance policies. Violation of this provision happens often, especially when there are hurt feelings and one party wants to punish the other by removing them from their car or health insurance.
6. Neither party should incur additional debt. This is also a problem, because many times, a person is left without any means to support themselves and is left to using credit cards.
The basic rule of thumb when getting a divorce is to think before you act, and do not do anything with an asset or credit card without consulting with your attorney first.
To read the Administrative Order in its totality, see: http://www.ninja9.org/adminorders/orders/2004-05-01%20amended%20order%20governing%20dissolution%20of%20marriage%20actions%20with%20or%20without%20children%20orange%20&%20osceola.pdf