Divorce in Florida
Divorce in Florida is called Dissolution of Marriage. Florida is a no-fault state, which means you don’t have to show one spouse is at fault or engaged in bad behavior to obtain a divorce. Either spouse can file for divorce and allege that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning it just isn’t working anymore.
At least one spouse must be a resident of Florida for six months before filing for divorce.
The dissolution process begins when either spouse files a form titled “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the court. This petition states that the marriage is irretrievably broken and sets forth what the filing spouse wants in terms of division of property, alimony, custody and child support. The other spouse must prepare an answer to the petition within 20 days and file it with the court.
When couples agree…
Some couples find that they can reach an agreement on all issues and are able to sign a marital settlement agreement that reduces to writing what the parties have agreed to. A Family Attorney can be very helpful in preparing this agreement ensuring that all relevant issues are covered properly.
When couples disagree…
Other couples disagree on some or all issues, but are able to work out their differences through negotiation or the help of a mediator.
When couples really disagree…
Some couples simply cannot agree on much of anything and if mediation and negotiation fail, they must go to trial. In these cases, the divorce process is generally long, unpleasant and expensive. At trial, a judge will make decisions on all contested issues.
In a Dissolution proceeding, each spouse has the right to obtain documents regarding the other spouse’s income, expenses, assets and liabilities before going to trial or settling the case. A lot of helpful information can be obtained on the Florida Bar Website
Choosing the right type of divorce can help put you on the path to a less expensive, less adversarial divorce. We offer pre-suit mediation and collaborative divorce, both are alternatives to the litigation driven divorce. In a matter of weeks, the entire divorce can be complete just waiting for the judge’s approval. We sit down with both parties to come up with a settlement agreement and/or parenting plan that is specifically tailored for their family’s individual needs. With our Divorce Package we will also draft all of the necessary paperwork required to complete you dissolution and no one will need to ‘be served’.
The traditional litigation driven divorce is financially and emotionally draining. It can further destroy the party’s relationship, it often harms relationships with children, family and friends. Less litigious, court free divorces save time, money and sanity.
Avoid the unnecessary stress and expense of combat, and let us help you resolve the conflict and stay in control of your divorce.