The specific divorce process you may face will vary depending on your unique situation, as well as whether you undergo a collaborative divorce, contested divorce or uncontested divorce. In any of these situations, you will need to resolve issues concerning numerous sensitive matters, including:
High asset cases can be even more complex, as they may involve a great deal of assets, property and even businesses that will need to be sorted out.
Following is a basic description of the divorce process in Florida:
You or your spouse must be a current resident of Florida and have been a resident for at least six months to file for divorce in this state. Temporary absence due to military service does not affect residency, though an extended absence for other reasons may lead the court to conclude that the spouse is no longer a resident.
The process begins with either spouse filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with their local Circuit Court. Because Florida has a “no fault” divorce law, in general, the Petition need only state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Traditional grounds for divorce based on one spouse’s misconduct , such as desertion, adultery of abandonment , is genrally no longer relevant, though it may enter into the equation when the court decides isues such as whether to award one spouse alimiony, or the amount of that award.
The other spouse will then be served with the paperwork and given a chance to respond. Generally, the defendant spouse must be physically handed the Petition by a process server; mailing or leaving it at his or her home is genrally not considered valid service. If a spouse can’t be located, it is still possible to get a divorce, but the husband or wife who’s filing will need to show that he or she made a reasonable effort to locate the missing spouse, including publication of a notice in the newspaper.
If both parties agree upon all issues of custody, support, and property division, the divorce may be resolved without a trial. In some cases, mediation by a neutral third party may be an aletrnative to litigation, especially if the parties’ disagreements are limited to just a few issues.
If parties cannot agree upon some or all of the terms of the divorce, it may be necessary to go to court to resolve the matter, where a judge will rule upon these issues.
Clients usually ask how long their divorce will take. There is no set timetable, and the more issues the parties can resolve amicably, the faster the process is likely to be. An uncontested case in which both spouses agree on issues such as child support, custody, visitation, division of property and debts, and alimony, can soemtimes be concluded in just a few weeks. Contested cases can take significantly longer.
WHY A SOUTH FLORIDA DIVORCE ATTORNEY
Working with an attorney is how you will get the support you need throughout the entire divorce process. You will need an advocate for your rights who can help ensure that you are not taken advantage of by your spouse or your spouse’s attorney. You need someone on your side to ensure that your interests are represented inside and outside of the courtroom.
A South Florida divorce lawyer at Orner Law, LLC can meet with you for an initial consultation to discuss your unique situation, so you know what to expect through the entire legal process associated with your Florida divorce.
With offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Orner Law, LLC serves clients throughout South Florida.
Contact Orner Law, LLC today to learn more about the Florida divorce process.