If you are facing a divorce, the financial and emotional hardship can be overwhelming—on you and the people you love. The experienced Florida divorce Lawyers of Boyer Law Firm, P.L. can help you develop an effective plan to overcome the difficulties encountered with ending a marriage, such as transitioning to one income, sharing parental responsibility, and dividing property accumulated during your marriage. We will take the time to listen to your concerns and guide you through every aspect of your case.
Dissolution of Marriage
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Dedicated Legal Representation During Difficult Times
Our firm’s ultimate goal is to minimize the stress and cost of your divorce, by providing the most effective and efficient legal services possible. Our proficient Florida divorce lawyers are here to provide you with sound representation and protect your interests.
Continuing reading for more information on the family law and divorce services our firm offers, such as:
- Uncontested Divorce with or without children
- Spousal Maintenance or Alimony
- Child Support Establishment and Enforcement
- Contested Divorce
- Divorce Mediation
- Legal Separation
- Military Divorce
- Property Division
- Child Custody
- Enforcing a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement in Florida Divorce
- Child Relocation
- Divorce with International Factors
- Divorce for Florida Residents Living Abroad
- Divorce for Non-Florida Residents
- Florida Divorce for Foreign Nationals
- Divorce in Florida with Immigration Status Implications
- Enforcement of Foreign Divorce Judgments
- Enforcement of Foreign Child Support Orders
- Child Custody Cases with International Factors
Types of Divorce Cases in Florida
Marriage is а legal contract between two individuals. To legally sever the marital relationship and void legal duties to a spouse, one or both parties must file for а divorce.
Divorce is also known as Dissolution of Marriage, and in Florida there are three different types of Dissolution of Marriage:
- Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
- Dissolution of Marriage without Minor Children or Property
- Dissolution of Marriage with Property, but no Minor Children
- Uncontested Divorce
- Contested Divorce
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
In some cases, Florida couples are eligible to end their marriages through a simplified procedure. With the simplified divorce process, the court does not mandate financial disclosure. A couple can use the simplified process if:
- Both parties agree to the use the simplified proceeding;
- The parties have no minor or dependent children, and the wife is not currently pregnant;
- At least one of the parties has lived in Florida for the past six months;
- Both parties agree on the division of property;
- Neither party is seeking spousal support; and
- Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
There are substantial differences between a simplified and a regular dissolution of marriage. With a simplified dissolution, financial information may be requested by either party but disclosing financial information is not required.
Florida Uncontested Divorce
In Florida, at any time, any type of divorce can become an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce simply means the parties are in agreement on all issues related to the divorce.
The parties may not qualify for a simplified divorce, maybe because they have children. However, if the parties agree on all issues regarding the divorce and issues related to their children, they can file an uncontested divorce.
In some situations, a divorce matter may move from a contested divorce process to an uncontested divorce process. In the beginning, the parties may not agree on all issues, but later reach a mutual agreement. This occurrence is very common because many couples are able to reach an agreement during court-ordered mediation or negotiating a settlement.
The uncontested divorce process is typically less expensive than a contested divorce. When the parties are in agreement, they may not need to leverage Florida divorce lawyers.
Florida Contested Divorce
In Florida, if divorcing parties do not agree on getting a divorce or any related issues, they must file a contested divorce.
When the parties take a contested approach to divorce, most counties in Florida require that the parties attend court-ordered mediation before a Judge hears your case.
During mediation, if the parties cannot reach an agreement (also known as an impasse) and move to the uncontested process, then the case will continue to the trial planning portion of the Florida divorce process.
There is no jury in a Florida divorce trial. Divorces are heard by Judges or Magistrates. When a divorce case goes to trial, the parties are asking the Judge to decide on any issues that an agreement cannot be reached.
Most parties are not satisfied by the results of a Florida divorce trial. In many cases, one or both parties feels cheated because they are stuck with a decision they did not make.
Additionally, the expenses associated with taking a divorce to trial can be crippling. For this reason, it is usually the best course of action is for the parties to try to work out an agreement.
Florida Divorce Process Explained
During an emotionally confusing time, the Florida divorce process and the laws governing the process can be very intimidating. The results of the process can have a lasting effect, both financially and emotionally.
To ease the stress of the divorce process, Boyer Law Firm attorneys work alongside our clients through every step. From filing the petition to the entry of final judgment, our skilled attorneys have your back.
Eligibility and Florida’s Residency Requirement
To get divorced in Florida, one or both of the spouses must have lived in the state for six months prior to filing for divorce. Once the residency requirement is met, a Florida court can claim jurisdiction over the divorce case.
Florida Residency Requirement for Military Personnel
Typically, a party must reside in the Sunshine State for at least six months before filing for divorce in Florida. However, more lenience is given to active members of the military. In these cases, the residency requirement may be satisfied if the party is stationed in Florida.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
Traditionally, grounds for seeking divorce were based on one spouse’s fault, meaning that some type of marital wrongdoing led to the marriage’s demise. However, this is not the case in for a divorce in Florida.
The Sunshine State is one of seventeen states in the US that are considered a “no-fault divorce state.” This means that a petitioning spouse does not have to blame the other spouse for the divorce.
In Florida, the plaintiff’s petition must site grounds for the divorce request, for a court to grant the divorce. By law, there are two grounds for divorce in Florida (Florida Statutes Section 61.052):
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage – To simplify, this means that the parties divorcing simply do not get along and that the marriage is no longer working. In Florida, regardless of the reason for divorce, either spouse can petition for dissolution of marriage without consent of the other spouse.
- Mental incapacitation of a spouse – The rules to prove a mental illness allegation as grounds for divorce are very strict and heavily scrutinized.
Most commonly in Florida, divorces are sought on the grounds that their marriage has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer salvageable.
Steps in the Standard Florida Divorce Process
To begin the Florida divorce process, you must follow at least the following steps:
- File a Divorce Petition – To begin the divorce process, one or both parties must file a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” The petitioning party should file the petition in court where one party resides. Additional may be required to file at this time, such as a financial affidavit or a marital settlement agreement, depending on the marriage circumstances. If not filed with the petition, the parties must each submit a financial affidavit within 45 days of the service of the petition.
- Answer the Divorce Petition – If one spouse filed the divorce petition, the other party has 20 days from the date of service to file an answer to the divorce petition. The answer should address the issues raised in the initial petition and any additional issues that should be addressed in a counter-petition.
- Prepare for Divorce Hearing – After the initial pleadings (petition and response) are filed, the parties will begin preparing any discovery needed to represent their case adequately.
- Attend Required Mediation – Mediation is a procedure to aid divorcing couples in reaching a divorce settlement. Its purpose is to help the divorcing parties reach solutions and arrive at agreeable terms for division of property, child custody, child support, and other divorce issues.
- Trial – Should the parties not reach an agreement in court-mandated mediation, also known as an impasse, the case would proceed to the trial scheduling and preparation phase.
Significant Issues That Must Be Addressed and Resolved a The Florida Divorce
In a Florida divorce, the court will render a final judgment that will impact the lives of you and your children immediately and for years to come. For this reason, it is vital to appear in court prepared and well-represented by knowledgeable and experienced Florida family law attorneys. Decisions to be addressed in the divorce may include:
- The distribution of marital assets and liabilities;
- Parental Responsibility for the children and a Parenting Plan;
- The duration, amount, and type of alimony to be paid by one spouse to the other spouse;
- The amount of child support to be paid by one spouse to the other spouse;
- Whether one spouse is required to pay the other spouse’s attorney fees and costs; and,
- The enforceability of any prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement, if one exists.
While on the surface, these issues may appear straightforward, it is the responsibility as your legal counsel that your attorney covers all aspects of current needs as well as potential future needs. Modifying these terms after the final judgment has been entered can prove extraordinarily difficult and financially draining. Boyer Law Firm’s Florida divorce lawyers leave no stone unturned when seeking a client’s best interests.
Enforcing a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement in Divorce
Helping Non-Florida Residents In Florida Divorce Matters
Whether residing in another state or abroad, Boyer Law Firm’s Florida divorce lawyers are highly skilled in representing clients in domestic or international cross-border divorce proceedings.
Florida Divorce with Immigration Status Implications
Florida Divorce with International Implications
Advantages of Working With An Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney
Filing for a divorce without the assistance of a skilled lawyer is rarely advised, even if you and your spouse agree about all the issues (which is uncommon). In fact, even if you and your divorcing spouse are on great terms and file for a divorce in agreement about all matters, your attorney should, at the very least, review a proposed settlement before it is finalized to ensure your best interests are protected. In addition to reviewing a settlement, your attorney can aid you by:
- Explaining to you the different methods of resolving issues, including collaborative divorce, mediation, and litigation;
- Helping to form a clear picture regarding your current finances and how divorce may affect your economic situation;
- Gathering evidence that supports the matters you care about most (such as evidence demonstrating the appropriateness of you being named the primary custodial parent);
- Assisting you in choosing what things to fight hard for and where to make concessions;
- Negotiating on your behalf;
- Representing you in all discussions with your spouse or/and their attorney; and
- Litigating your case in court if necessary.
- Most important to note is that a final judgment is very difficult to modify once it is ordered. This is why having knowledgeable representation to help ensure your best interests are protected from the beginning.
Tenacious Representation Through Your Florida Divorce
Whether you are looking to file for divorce or have been served with divorce papers by your spouse, we represent clients on either side of divorce proceedings. From the simple, uncontested divorce to the complex, contested divorce that requires trial, our attorneys have the dedication and experience you seek. With the Florida divorce lawyers of Boyer Law Firm by your side, move forward with confidence knowing you have retained top-notch Florida divorce representation.
Offices in Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville