Divorce & Family Law
If you and your partner are facing the intimidating prospect of Divorce, it is important for both of you to fully understand your rights and all aspects of the process. Will the divorce be “contested” or “uncontested”? Will a division of property be necessary? Who gets custody of the children?
While the divorce process can be complicated, it can be made considerably easier with the right legal representation. The experienced attorneys at Williams Jarosz, LLC have a firm knowledge of Family Law in Florida and want to help you protect your rights. There is a $100 consultation fee.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
By law, there needs to be a reason in order for a divorce to legally end a marriage. According to Florida statutes, there are 2 main grounds for divorce:
• One spouse becomes mentally incapacitated
• The Marriage is irretrievably broken
You must be able to prove that one of these situations has occurred in order for the divorce to be accepted in the eyes of the law. Furthermore, there is a requirement in place that states one of the spouses must live in Florida for at least 6 months before the petition of dissolution is filed.
Contested divorces can be some of the most unpleasant, highly charged situations seen in the court of law. When a divorce is said to be “contested” it means one of the parties will not agree to the divorce or does not agree to the terms of the divorce. Sometimes a volatile legal confrontation is necessary to settle the matter. Matters involved in contested divorces can include:
• Child Custody
• Visitation rights
• Division of property
• Child support
These issues can be quite complicated, so you’ll need an experienced attorney with you to ensure you get the official “dissolution” of your marriage approved in the court of law. Only an attorney with years of experience in the field can adequately defend your rights.
An “uncontested” divorce is said to occur when both spouses agree on all the issues that relate to the dissolution of the marriage. This means that all major decisions, including property division, division of debts, child custody, child support and alimony have been agreed upon.
Uncontested divorces are often considered to be the easiest approach to a separation, and can most times be handled with a “flat rate”, rather than incurring ongoing attorney fees over time. The requirements for an uncontested divorce are the same as those for a contested divorce. It must be shown that:
• One spouse becomes mentally incapacitated, or
• the Marriage had become irretrievably broken
This process does still involve the courts, however, but a trial is usually not required in uncontested cases. Keep in mind though, that a valid divorce decree can only be issued by the courts.
Even though the uncontested divorce process may be simpler, the dissolution of a marriage is still difficult on everyone in the family, particularly the children. This is why you need a skilled attorney to help you get through the divorce proceedings with as little trouble as possible.
Q. Can my spouse force me to stay in a marriage?
A. No. In the state of Florida, all that is needed to end a marriage is to prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. This is because Florida is a “no fault” state.
Q. How are assets and liabilities determined?
A. The judge in the case and the attorneys are responsible for determining marital assets and marital liabilities using the case law and statutory laws as reference. Generally speaking, if any asset came into being during the course of the marriage, it will be considered marital, but you’ll need to consult your attorney to be sure.
Q. In Florida, are the marital assets always equally divided?
A. While the judge will always begin with a 50/50 split in assets, the actual distribution will be adjusted to what they believe will be the most “fair” result after considering all circumstances involved in the case.