Overview of Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
Florida is a no-fault divorce state and that means that the only reason required for filing for divorce, also known as the dissolution of marriage, is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” That can be further described as claiming that the “marriage relationship is over and can’t be repaired.” Or, if it can be proved that one of the spouses has been mentally incapacitated for three years or longer, that is also grounds for filing for divorce.
Either spouse can file, but they must do so in the county where either of the two parties to the divorce resides. The spouse must be able to prove that a marriage does exist, and that one of the parties of the divorce is currently, and has been, a Florida resident for at least six months immediately prior to filing the petition. If one spouse is stationed in Florida serving in the military, that party would still qualify to file under Florida law.
What are the Potential Roadblocks to Divorce in Florida?
If either spouse denies that the marriage is over and beyond repair, this could potentially stall a divorce from moving forward. Courts could order professional counseling for up to three months to see if the marriage can be saved, or to help both parties ascertain that the marriage is indeed over. Sometimes there are issues with documentation, proof of residency, or even locating one of the parties involved. Each divorce case is unique, based upon the parties involved and the circumstances. Therefore, if you are considering the dissolution of your marriage, or have been served by your spouse and are uncertain of your options, we recommend obtaining the services of In Law We Trust, P.A. right away. We are the specialists in representing men in Tampa, Florida divorce proceedings.
Spousal Misconduct Can Influence the Outcome
The reason for a marriage breakdown may be considered under certain limited circumstances and the outcomes with regard to child support, parenting plan, spousal support, and division of assets can vary from case to case. Though fault isn’t needed to obtain a divorce in Florida, the court will consider misconduct such as adultery and abusive behavior by either spouse when dividing property and determining alimony payments.
Filing to Begin the Divorce Process
To start the divorce, either spouse can file a form called the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage with the Family Department of the local circuit court. The initiating spouse is named as “the petitioner.” The other spouse, the one who is served with the paperwork by the court, is named as “the respondent,” and will be allowed a specific amount of time to respond to the petition. In answering, “the respondent” can state what parts of the petition he or she agrees with, denies, or has no knowledge of, and can also raise additional matters and a counter-petition for dissolution of marriage. A financial affidavit will also have to be filed soon after.
Why Having an Attorney is So Important to Your Divorce Case
Whether you are initiating the divorce or responding to the petition, it is always advisable to consult with a divorce attorney. Even if you and your spouse both agree on how to divide the assets, liabilities, and the responsibilities of the children, you deserve representation that ensures your best interests are being protected. Many divorces can be finalized without a trial. Otherwise, if there is disagreement, the court will assign a time for a hearing and the reason for the breakdown of the marriage may then be considered as relevant under certain situations. Though fault isn’t needed to obtain a divorce in Florida, the outcomes with regard to child support, parenting plan, spousal support, and division of assets can be affected by misconduct such as adultery and abusive behavior by either spouse.
The skilled attorneys of In Law We Trust, P.A. will meet with you to discuss your situation and help you make the best decisions regarding your divorce. Don’t hesitate. Wasting time and lack of understanding about your rights in divorce proceedings could prove very costly to you personally and financially!
Call The Family Law Experts Men Trust (813) 415-3510
In Law We Trust, P.A. is a premier firm of divorce lawyers representing men in family law proceedings. We are uniquely positioned to assist our clients with the challenges men face in Florida’s court system. Call us today and get the proper representation men need and deserve.