Divorce happens when couples aren’t happy with each other. Sometimes, it’s a good thing, and it’s for the best. However, there are times when one party isn’t happy with the decision and wants to fight it for many reasons, such as property and child custody. It can be a hard battle, which sometimes takes years. That’s why you need to find trustworthy divorce lawyers in Florida.
Fortunately, Smith & Eulo has a team of expert divorce Florida lawyers on your side. With years of skills and expertise in divorce cases, we are here to provide you with legal counsel that’s solid and foolproof.
Divorce Eligibility Requirements
According to Fla. Stat. § 61.021, in Florida, one of the two parties who want to file for a divorce must have lived in the state for at least six months. But there’s one exception, such as when you’re in the military, and your residential address is in Florida. However, you’re stationed in a different state.
Of course, the divorce filing must be in the state of Florida, where the two parties reside. These are eligibility requirements that everyone should adhere to before the court can process your divorce.
What are the Common Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
Florida is one of the many no-fault divorce states. So you must present at least one of the grounds or reasons for the divorce to be granted by the court below:
- The marriage is broken, where the relationship is beyond repair and unrecoverable.
- The judge ordered the other party to be mentally incapacitated. But it must be declared for at least three years before you can file for a divorce.
Sometimes, the other party will argue to the judge that they can still repair the relationship through counseling or mediation. But your Florida divorce lawyer should know how to defend your case and explain to the judge that divorce is in everyone’s best interest, especially if the other party is an abuser.
Furthermore, mediation is only offered to solve the divorce issues and not to repair the marriage. And once the judge takes your concerns about domestic violence, they can take extra steps to keep you safe. For instance, they can do the following:
- Put the abuser in another room separate from you
- Making sure the mediator is aware of the abuse
You can refer to the Fla. Stat. § 61.052 for more information regarding the common grounds for the dissolution of marriages, such as annulment or divorce.
The Process of the Divorce
Once you meet the eligibility requirements, you must file for a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. You will be the petitioner, while the other party will be the respondent. After that, you must give a copy to the respondent, which is also called serving divorce papers.
If they accept it, they will agree to the service of the papers and fill out and file an answer and waiver of service form. They must have it signed and notarized before filing it. But if the respondent doesn’t agree to the divorce, it can become complicated. In such cases, you can get a sheriff to serve the divorce papers on your behalf.
But you can serve a constructive service if you need to know where the respondent is. It’s when you place an ad in your local newspaper to alert them that you’re serving them divorce papers.
In the 45 days of filing your petition, the state will require you to provide a signed financial affidavit. It will disclose your financial situation, such as the following:
- Personal financial statements
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Credit card statements
As for mediation, the judge can authorize it to assist you and the respondent in reaching a divorce settlement agreement. If not, you both will go to trial, where each side will call on witnesses and present evidence. After that, the judge will conclude and make their final decision.
What a Judge Will Consider in Terms of Alimony
If you’re wondering if you can get alimony, it will depend on some factors that the judge will need to review. They will decide whether you need it and whether your spouse can pay for it.
Some of the factors the judge will look at are as follows (but not limited to):
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Length of marriage
- Age, physical, and emotional condition of you and your spouse
- Financial resources of you and your spouse
- Contributions made by you and your spouse during the marriage
In addition, the judge will also order the spouse to keep paying their life insurance or secure assets to ensure that they protect the ongoing payment.
You may refer to the following statutes regarding alimony:
Child Support Under Florida Divorce Laws
In Florida, the court can order a non-custodial parent to pay child support to their ex-spouse. However, they will consider the factors below when calculating child support:
- Parent’s ability to pay
- The child’s needs
- How many children do they need to support
The behavior of the spouses during the marriage, such as instances of adultery and violence, will also be taken into account by the judge.
Trust a Reputable Divorce Attorney Who Thinks About Your Best Interests
When choosing the right divorce defense attorney in Florida, you must consider their skills and expertise. If they have already handled numerous divorce cases, then it’s better to trust them and get their legal advice.
Smith & Eulo covers many practice areas, which means you can find a lawyer to meet your needs. So if you’re trying to file a divorce now, it’s best to have a professional’s guidance. So don’t hesitate to contact us today so that we can work on your case immediately.
*Additional Orlando Florida & Orange County Legal Resources