How Does Divorce Work In Florida?
The reasons why a married individual begins to consider divorce vary widely from case to case. The decision to dissolve one’s marriage is highly personal, and can result from a single incident, such as infidelity, or can spring from several factors that make continuing the marriage emotionally or physically impossible.
Whatever the reasons your marriage is ending, Florida’s divorce laws will treat your case virtually the same as any other.Quinn & Lynch, P.A.’s attorneys know the law thoroughly. Part of our duty as divorce lawyers is to educate you, the client, about matrimonial law and its implications for your case. The knowledge we impart will give you tremendous clarity when deciding what is most important to you and should be pursued in your divorce settlement – or in a trial verdict, if necessary.
We have compiled a few resources regarding the process of divorce in Florida.
- How to file for divorce in Florida?
- What is an irretrievably broken marriage?
- Is an attorney necessary for and uncontested divorce?
- How are assets divided in a Florida divorce?
- How does divorce mediation work?
This information is general. For information more specific to your case, please contact our office.
How To File For Divorce In Florida
First, state law imposes a residency requirement of at least six months on either yourself or your spouse before you can file a divorce petition in Circuit Court. There are two petitions available: the Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, and the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The former petition is used when the couple has no children and the parties have settled their property division matters. Otherwise, the filing party generally uses the standard petition.
Technically, you must state the grounds for seeking divorce, but since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, the only legitimate grounds you can name are the irrevocable brokenness of the marriage, or the mental incompetence of your spouse.
What Is An Irretrievably Broken Marriage?
The reasons why you are seeking divorce depend on your individual emotions, expectations and experiences related to your marriage. The phrase simply means that you are convinced your marriage is past the point of saving.
This makes it significantly easier to be granted divorce than in the past, when the law required the petitioner to prove in court that their spouse had done something to destroy the relationship, such as infidelity or abandonment.
Is An Attorney Necessary For An Uncontested Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have already agreed on property division, and there are typically no children involved. Though the process is relatively brief, you still need to ensure that your property rights are being respected. A divorce lawyer can explain your rights and the process to you, and represent you in court. Their representation will make sure you know exactly what to expect, minimizing the risk you will have to revisit the order later on.
In the long run, an attorney’s assistance could save you significant time and money.
How Are Assets Divided In A Florida Divorce?
Like most states, Florida uses the equitable property division system. Getting divorced requires you and your spouse to divide your marital property between the two of you. The term “marital property” refers to all assets considered by law to belong to both spouses, including most objects and valuables acquired during the marriage, and assets owned prior to the marriage that have become commingled with the spouse’s property.
It is important to distinguish “equitable” from “equal” property division. You are not required to split your assets 50-50, which is often impractical, if not impossible. The law merely requires your property division order to be fair to both parties. This gives you and your spouse a great deal of space for creativity when it comes to preserving valuable assets, such as a family-owned business, and keeping them in one party’s hands.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method for solving legal disputes, including divorce. Though most traditional divorce cases settle out of court, many people nevertheless find it a difficult process that necessarily pits them against their spouse in highly personal matters like child custody and division of property.
Instead of the confrontational nature of traditional, trial-based divorce, mediation gives spouses the opportunity to resolve their issues collaboratively. The mediation is overseen by a mediator, a neutral third party with extensive experience in family law, usually an attorney. It is the mediator’s job to explain divorce law to the parties, help them identify their major points of conflict and serve as a go-between while the parties negotiate settled agreements to those matters.
For many people, divorce mediation not only helps them feel more in control of the process, it can help them rebuild a cordial relationship with their former spouse. This is especially important if you have children together. Your martial relationship has ended, but it is in your children’s best interests that you continue to collaborate as co-parents. A successful mediation experience can be a building block toward a future where that is possible.
Learn More Information About Divorce And Florida Law
Learn more about how divorce works in Florida, and how the law applies to your individual circumstances. Call 813-773-0687 to reach Quinn & Lynch, P.A. at our Tampa offices and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced atto