If your are dreading a lot of emotional arguing, let us help. Mediation is an excellent way to avoid an expensive or acrimonious trial, and is often ordered by the Court for that reason.  We can represent one client in a mediation or conduct a mediation between the parties.

No, but you or your spouse needs to be a Florida resident for 6 months — even if you live apart.

It can very considerably from a month to several years. It depends on how many details have already been agreed to, whether there are children or a shared business involved, how much property must be divided, etc. and how readily the parties are to agree on these points. We recommend you contact us and set up an initial office conference. This is where the attorney gets an overview of the case at hand, advises you of your options and determines the initial fee retainer amount.

When you decide to file for divorce, there are a number of issues that you must keep in mind. First you must find out if you meet all the legal requirements to go through the process. In order to file for dissolution, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months or are stationed in the state as a member of the armed forces. Once this requirement is met, either you or your spouse must believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

As Florida is a no-fault state, you do not have to prove that your spouse committed an act, such as adultery or abuse, in order to justify the divorce. Second, you must be aware of the economic issues that will arise. Upon dissolution of marriage, the assets and liabilities that you and your spouse have accumulated will be divided between the two of you. This means that any economic assist that developed over the course of the marriage will be equitably distributed.

If you and your spouse agree as to how these resources will be divided, you may be able to have an uncontested divorce. If not, a judge will decide how these are divided. Third, you must consider the physical and emotional safety of both you and your children. A divorce can be a trying time. Anger can easily lead to violence. If you are worried about how your spouse will react to the divorce, you should take steps to protect yourself and your children. Do not neglect yourself during this challenging time.

When a marriage is determined to be irretrievably broken, you can file for a petition for dissolution of marriage. This petition will include what you want from the court in terms of the divorce. There are four basic types of petitions that you can file depending on your situation. These include a Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with a Dependent or Minor Child, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent, and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with No Dependent or Property. A notice is sent to the other spouse who must respond within 20 days.

This response will include an answer to the requirements of the initial petition and any other issues the spouse wants resolved. Both spouses will be required to provide a number of financial documents and an affidavit. Separating financial resources is often the most difficult aspect of the entire process. If you and your spouse cannot agree upon the division, you will have to go through a judge. The judge will divide both the assets and liabilities based on equitability, or what the judge deems to be fair. This could be based on who is more capable of taking on debt and who needs more help getting back on their feet. Often, it is helpful to have an attorney during this process.

It is well known that children are often the party that is most harmed in a divorce. Many children feel as though they must take on the responsibility of their parents’ separation. Because of this, you and your spouse should have the wellbeing of your children as your top priority. Custody must be determined, followed by child support.

When a court determines how much child support must be paid, they look at a number of factors. They will look at the income of both parents and what the child will need. This includes health care and schooling costs.

When a parent decides to relocate with a child, it is called a change of residence address. In order for a move to be considered relocation, it must be a change of principal residence of more than 50 miles away from their original place of residence. If you and your former spouse both agree to the relocation, the two of you must sign a written agreement that indicates their consent, designates visitation rights, and if necessary describes transportation arrangements for the visitation.

If you and your former spouse have not entered into an agreement, you must file a Notice of Intent to Relocate. This notice includes a description of the location of the new residence and the reason for the move. It must also include a proposal for a new visitation schedule as well as the transportation arrangements to accommodate the schedule. Your former spouse must respond to this notice within 30 days. A failure to do so will automatically validate the relocation.

Alimony, or spousal support, is not necessarily a permanent payment. Often, this support will need to be modified or even terminated based on the changes in living situations that both parties see. If the spouse who is paying the alimony can no longer sustain the financial support, they may be able to appeal the courts to change the agreement.

If the spouse receiving the support no longer needs the consistent payments or can live on less support, the other spouse may also file a petition for modification or abatement. In most situations, financial documentation concerning the change in financial status of either spouse must be provided. If you are looking to modify your alimony agreement, an attorney can walk you through the process.

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