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Divorce Laws in Florida

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Divorce Laws in Florida
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When it comes to divorce in Florida, there’s the right way to go about it – and then there’s the way that involves plenty of work, headaches and heartaches for all parties involved. According to a recent study of marriage, only 34% percent of people in the United States who have ever been married have ever been divorced (a far cry from the scary 50% rumor).

If you’re considering filing for divorce in Florida, there’s some important information that you should know before you file.

Divorce in Florida: The Basics

The process of achieving a divorce in Florida is relatively easy when there is no minor child involved in the case. If there is no minor involved in your divorce, you don’t need to involve the family court system to discuss custodial issues and you can simply apply for a dissolution of marriage. In order to apply for this in Florida, you or your spouse must have been Florida residents for a minimum of six months. Florida state law doesn’t require you to list the specific reasons why you’re divorcing, so you only have to cite “irreconcilable differences” to be granted a divorce without being forced to air your dirty laundry in public.

If both parties submit a written consent form to the divorce and the division of assets, the Florida divorce court can quickly dissolve the marriage without a trial. Should you or your spouse not consent to the divorce, it’s likely that the court will order you to go through three months of marriage counseling before agreeing to the divorce.

Child Custody in Florida Divorces

If you and your spouse have children together, you’ll be required to go through a trial to decide on custodial issues. In the Florida court system, custody is referred to as “timesharing schedules”. You and your spouse will work with your respective attorneys to determine the best schedule for the child. If you can’t agree on a timesharing schedule, the family courts will design a parenting plan that they fel best suits the interest of the child. You are much better off agreeing with your spouse, through your attorneys if necessary, than leaving this decision in the hands of the court.

Child support, health insurance, primary residence, and other custodial issues will also be determined during the family court hearing before granting the divorce.

Dividing Family Assets

In Florida, all property, assets and other items that are acquired during the course of the marriage are divided equally, except in cases where there is a prenuptial agreement determining otherwise. All income and assets you acquired before the marriage are considered exempt from the divorce proceedings. The only exception to the equal division rule is if the Florida divorce court determines that one spouse has a special reason to keep certain property. For example, the court will likely grant the family home to the spouse with primary care of any minors.

As with any legal matter, you should seek the advice of an attorney before attempting to file for divorce. No material on this site is meant to serve as legal advice.
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