When you make the decision to divorce your spouse, the journey ahead may feel stressful and overwhelming.
A divorce can be lengthy and time consuming. It is rare that divorcing spouses agree on every aspect of life after the divorce and yet many couples want proceedings to move without delays.
Florida Law requires you to wait at least 20 days from the date you file, and a simplified divorce can take up to as little as 30 days.
However, in order for a divorce to move forward, you and your spouse must agree on everything, and this can often take more than a year.
Divorce has the potential to be lengthy and expensive. By seeking legal representation, you are ensuring you have a skilled and experienced Miami divorce lawyer, who can provide legal advice throughout the process.
You also ensure that you have an experienced individual who can help when you need to gather evidence and fill out legal financial documents, which, if done efficiently, can help in moving your divorce along quicker.
Here at The Family Matters Law Firm, we will support you in mediation to ensure that key decisions are made quickly and if your case does require a divorce trial, we will fight tirelessly for an outcome that you and your family are satisfied with.
Call an experienced divorce attorney today at 305-916-4053 to schedule an initial meeting.
It is important to note that Florida is a "no-fault" state. This means that in Florida, the spouse who files the petition, may not lay the fault on their partner for the termination of the marriage. Grounds such as adultery, cruelty, or desertion cannot be claimed as reasons for divorce. In most cases, you and your ex will claim that the marriage is 'irretrievably broken' with no chance of reconciliation.
Due to its "no-fault" title, the court will generally not consider spousal misconduct when they are deciding the value of alimony to award. In Florida, this decision is based on what each individual needs and their ability to pay.
However, in more severe cases of adultery, the court may make an exception.
Even in these circumstances, adultery alone will not be used as a means to calculate alimony, unless it has somehow increased the affected spouse's need for support or it has significantly depleted marital assets.
Florida divorces require residency in Florida before you can file for divorce. You or your spouse will need to prove that you have lived in the state for at least 6 months prior to the dissolution of the marriage.
In order to save time, when you are filing for divorce, you should provide a copy of either:
The initial part of the divorce process can seem daunting as there are many forms that need to be filled out.
Of course, each situation is unique but generally, your petition will state all assets and debts, children and their ages, any aspects of the divorce that have been agreed upon, and any issues that are still in dispute.
Our divorce attorneys can assist you in selecting the most appropriate service required for you and your individual case.
The length of your divorce will depend on many factors including whether you have an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce.
Of course, the more issues that are contested the more time the divorce may take. Especially if one spouse dodges being served divorce papers.
Once your spouse does receive their summons and petition, they will have 20 days in which they must file their answer.
The next part of the process usually takes around 3 months. This is where both sides must make their financial disclosure and send relevant documentation to the other side. This will include bank statements, tax returns, retirement account statements, pay stubs, and any other relevant financial documents.
If there are minor children involved, Florida requires a course of parenting. This usually takes around 4 hours and the divorce cannot be finalized without it.
Florida requires mediation in any divorce case that is contested. This mediation usually happens between 4/5 months after filing and often you will find the divorce comes to a conclusion at this point. This can be done privately or through your local courthouse. However, it might be useful to know that if you opt for a private mediator, you are likely to save time in the divorce process.
The final hearing of a typical divorce in a Florida divorce happens between 4 and 6 months after the initial filing of the petition.
Each circumstance is different. However, there are some common things you may want to keep in mind if you want your divorce to move as quickly as possible.
Some of the common issues that slow down proceedings are:
The length of the divorce process will depend upon your personal situation.
An uncontested divorce is when both divorcing spouses fully agree to each element of the petition without quarrel.
An uncontested filing is usually quicker as the need for mediation or a judge is omitted.
Sometimes couples opt for quick online services so that they completely remove the necessity of court intervention and whilst this may seem appealing, it is highly advisable that you enlist the legal support and expertise of a professional. Once decisions have been made, it can be very difficult to change them. It is always best to protect yourself and your family by using a trained divorce attorney.
An initially contested case is the most common type of divorce in Florida.
The paperwork is filed in court in the traditional way and the other spouse will then be served papers through a private process server.
The circumstances of each couple will be completely different. However, even if both spouses are in complete agreement that they no longer wish to be married, if there is even one issue that is contested in the divorce petition, then the case becomes contested.
More often than not, there is at least one point of contention within the divorce. This is usually in regard to child support and custody arrangements or finances.
Many couples agree on the divorce itself but cannot come to an agreement about the money being divided.
With the support of mediation, initially contested cases come to a conclusion with a compromise for both spouses. The disputed issues are met at a "halfway point" and the case then becomes an "uncontested" divorce.
A contested divorce differs from an uncontested divorce in the sense that one spouse contests one or more aspects of the petition that has been served.
Of course, this type of divorce will obviously take the longest time to finalize because spouses must agree on every single contested issue before anything can progress.
If there are issues that simply cannot be resolved through mediation alone, the case will need to go to trial. At this point a judge will take over and evidence will be gathered and examined.
Under the circumstances of a contested filing, a skilled Miami divorce lawyer will prove invaluable. They can support you and your spouse with mediation before a trial, and if this does not work, they will provide essential expertise in gathering evidence and creating a solid case to present to the judge.
If you and your spouse have qualified for an uncontested divorce and you both agree on the terms of the petition, you may want to consider a simplified dissolution of marriage. This type of divorce is the quickest way to terminate a marriage in Florida.
However, not all couples will qualify for a simplified divorce.
You must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage:
Of course, just like any divorce in Florida, one of both spouses must have lived in Florida for the past 6 months.
If you are unsure, contact one of our friendly and understanding divorce attorneys for an initial meeting. They will be able to advise you as to what path is best for you and your spouse.
Going through a divorce can be difficult, but you don't have to do it alone!
Every divorce case is unique and at The Family Matters Law Firm, we endeavor to ensure that your personal case is treated with the care and compassion it deserves.
We understand that you want your divorce to be finalized as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Call one of our experienced and skilled divorce attorneys today at 305-916-4053 to schedule an initial meeting.
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