To obtain a divorce in Florida at least one of the parties must reside in the state of Florida for at least six months. The proceeding for the divorce is set in motion by filing a petition in circuit court where the petitioner resides. The court then has the jurisdiction to hear the divorce.
The term “uncontested divorce” means that both parties generally agree on the important issues, such as division of property or custody of the minor children. Both parties then must sign a Marital Settlement agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to complete the divorce. A “contested divorce” is much more time consuming and expensive as the parties do not agree on the major issues, and require court intervention.
In other circumstances a divorce may be granted on the grounds that the marriage is irrevocably broken. Florida does not recognize legal separation how ever does have provisions concerning spousal support and child support. A spouse may be ordered to maintain the financial support of his or her spouse and minor children. The court will determine custody and visitation rights of both parties. If the two spouses cannot come to an agreement, the court may order mediation. Mediation is a discussion between both parties regulated by an independent party, who facilitates amicable discussions and a possible resolution.
Florida is an equitable distribution state on the whole. If there are relevant factors such as the contribution to the marriage by each party, the economic circumstances, or the desirability of keeping the marital home as a residence for the dependent children, are just a few of the factors that come into play. Alimony may be granted on a temporary basis such as rehabilitative reasons to give the ex-spouse time to find suitable employment. If the soon to be ex-spouse is unable to work due to a disability, alimony may be permanent, various factors can come into play such as age, standard of living during the marriage or the contribution each partner brought to the marriage. If the spouse has worked and supported the household while the other has been going to school and has become successful, alimony will be taken into consideration in all fairness.
Divorce is not something anyone like to go through. Knowing the divorce laws of the state can help make the transition go smoothly for everyone involved.
DADvocacy offers comprehensive divorce representation for marital estates of all sizes.