Divorce in Florida is formally known as dissolution of marriage. It is never an easy option and is one of the toughest roads a family can navigate. The divorce lawyers in Jacksonville FL of Fleming Island Law Group PLLC will help you! In addition to the numerous personal effects of divorce, families are forced to deal with the court system, which can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the process. On top of dealing with the legal issues, families also must learn to move forward and deal with the many new realities associated with divorce in both their personal lives and the lives of their children.
Divorces come in many different shapes and sizes. Although the issues in divorce cases are generally similar, no one divorce is ever the same as another. Florida is a no‑fault divorce state, meaning that either a husband or a wife may seek a divorce without proving any fault on behalf of their spouse. All that is necessary is a claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one of the spouses in mentally incapacitated.
A divorce may be contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is one in which the spouses disagree on one or more issues associated with the divorce. Frequent disputed issues in a contested divorce include, but are not limited to, distribution of marital property, child custody, child support, timesharing and alimony. Some even disagree on whether a divorce is necessary. An uncontested divorce is much simpler. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all of the issues pertaining to the divorce, including those listed previously. Given the non‑adversarial nature of uncontested divorces, they typically take much less time to resolve than a contested divorce.
In order to obtain a divorce in Florida, one of the spouses to the marriage must live in the state for at least six months or be a member of the military stationed in Florida before the petition is filed. In addition to the residency requirement, there are certain complicated court processes and requirements that must be followed. Courts require particular forms and paperwork to be completed and filed. The petition must be filed with the appropriate filing fee and served upon the other spouse in accordance with state law and rules of court procedure.
When spouses divorce, the last thing either of them want is the uncertainty of putting their case in a judge’s hands. The known is always better than the unknown. Florida courts typically require a formal mediation between the parties before any divorce proceeding goes before a judge. During a typical mediation, the parties to the divorce are in separate rooms. If they are represented, their attorney is with them as well. A mediator then goes back and forth between rooms and talks to the spouses about what the others want in an attempt to work toward a resolution. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the case is then set for a trial before a judge.
Both at mediation and at trial, if one becomes necessary, many different issues are considered before coming to an ultimate resolution of the divorce. Common issues that are considered as part of any divorce include equitable distribution of marital assets and marital debts. Marital assets include money, investment accounts, retirement savings, personal property, and real estate acquired during the marriage. Marital debts include mortgages and other loans acquired by either spouse during the marriage, including credit card debt. Another issue to be considered is alimony, or spousal support. Alimony is based on several factors such as the length of the marriage, a spouse’s financial need for the support, and the other spouse’s ability to pay it. Maybe the two most important issues are child custody and child support. While child support in Florida is typically based on statutory guidelines, child custody agreements are based on numerous factors and can become a very contentious issue for parents navigating a divorce in Florida.
Whether you are considering filing a divorce petition or have been served divorce papers by your spouse, Fleming Island Law Group’s Jacksonville and Clay County divorce lawyers can help guide you through the process. Our Florida divorce lawyers are well‑versed in the Florida divorce process and have intricate knowledge of the necessary forms, documents, and issues that Florida courts require and consider during a divorce. Contact our divorce lawyers in Jacksonville FL for a free consultation.