Maitland Divorce Lawyer
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that spouses do not need to prove that one or the other was responsible for the marriage’s end in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, the parties can pursue a divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of their union. A court will only, however, grant a divorce when couples have dealt with a number of issues, including property division, alimony, and if applicable, child custody. For help legally dissolving your own marriage, contact an experienced Maitland divorce lawyer today.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
There are two ways of ending a marriage in Florida. The first method is known as a Regular Dissolution of Marriage and begins with the filing of a divorce petition in the circuit court of the county where the parties lived. Either spouse can file for a dissolution of marriage, but whoever does so must allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken and propose a property division and alimony agreement. The other spouse will have 20 days to respond to the petition and will also have the opportunity to file a counter-petition or raise additional issues for the court to address. As a part of the proceedings both parties will need to make full financial disclosures about their income and property.
Contested vs Uncontested Divorce
A Regular Dissolution of Marriage can either be contested or uncontested. With an uncontested divorce, couples who come to an agreement on issues like property division, alimony, and child custody, either before or after the petition is filed, will need to enter into a written agreement that both parties sign and present to the court. Couples who don’t have a written agreement, but who have reached an understanding also have the option of attending a final hearing and suggesting the settlement arrangement to the court. If, however, the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all issues, the court will hold a hearing, where each will present evidence and testimony, after which the court will issue a final decision on the contested issues.
The second way to dissolve a marriage in Florida is referred to as Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. However, a couple will only be eligible for this process if:
- Both agree to a simplified divorce;
- The parties have no minor children;
- Neither party is pregnant;
- One of the parties has lived in the state for the last six months;
- Both agree on the division of their assets;
- Neither party is seeking alimony; and
- Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Couples who qualify for a simplified divorce will give up the right to cross-examine each other. Furthermore, a full financial disclosure won’t be required. These types of proceedings do, however, tend to be resolved more quickly and at less cost than regular dissolution proceedings.
Contact the Dedicated Maitland Divorce Lawyers at Anderson & Ferrin
Our experienced Maitland divorce lawyer has over 20 years of experience helping clients navigate the Florida divorce process. To learn more about how we can help with your own case, please call 407-412-7041 today.