A divorce can be one of the most important events that happens in someone’s life. One way to take some of the stress out of the process is to seek guidance from a diligent and experienced Miami divorce lawyer. Sandy T. Fox is available to provide you with compassionate and responsive legal guidance. He is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Marital & Family Law. Here are some general answers to questions that spouses often ask.
Yes, Florida is a no-fault divorce state. To file for a divorce, the filing party only needs to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This means that the relationship is over and cannot be repaired. Another ground for filing for divorce is when one spouse is mentally incapacitated for three years. Either spouse can file for divorce in Florida.
A divorce proceeding in Florida can take anywhere from three months to two years, depending on the circumstances of the parties involved and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is a proceeding in which the spouses are in complete agreement on all aspects of the divorce, such as the division of assets and the development of a parenting plan. On average, a contested divorce will take one year. This is a proceeding in which the parties do not agree on the division of assets, alimony, child support, or other aspects of ending the marriage. It takes only one disagreement for a divorce to be classified as contested.
You can get a divorce in Florida through an expedited proceeding called a simplified dissolution of marriage, or an uncontested divorce. Although you will be required to go to court for a short hearing, the procedure is usually much faster than a contested divorce. To go through this expedited process, the spouses must meet a set of criteria. First, they must not share children under the age of 18. The wife must not be pregnant, and at least one spouse must have lived in Florida for six months. Also, the spouses must agree on important aspects of the dissolution, including the division of assets and debts. Neither spouse can seek alimony in a simplified dissolution, and the spouses must agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Florida is not technically a 50/50 divorce state. Instead, Florida is an equitable distribution state. This process requires the court to divide the couple’s assets in an equitable manner. The court will consider all the property owned jointly by the spouses and allocate ownership based on a wide range of factors. Some of these factors include the economic situation of each spouse, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, the duration of the marriage, and whether one spouse contributed to the career advancement of the other spouse.
There are five categories of alimony in Florida: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent. Temporary alimony is intended to provide financial support for a spouse during a pending divorce proceeding. Bridge-the-gap alimony is intended to help the receiving spouse transition from his or her financial status as a married person to being financially independent. Rehabilitative alimony provides the receiving spouse with support to develop new skills to become financially independent by attending school or receiving training. Durational alimony is awarded for a set time following a divorce. Permanent alimony is rarely awarded.
A divorce can be an emotional and difficult process for everyone involved. Attorney Sandy T. Fox offers a confidential and free consultation to discuss your situation and how we can assist you. While you are going through this critical chapter in your life, he will ensure that your legal rights are protected and that the process goes as smoothly as possible. To schedule your appointment, call us at 1-800-596-0579 or contact us online to get started.