Five Things to Know Before Filing for Divorce in Florida

Every life-changing event is a little easier to deal with if you can prepare for it in advance. Filing for divorce in Florida is no different. Most people aren’t familiar with the divorce process; thereby, leaving people confused and overwhelmed. Previously, we discussed specifics of the Florida divorce process. Today, we address five things you should know before you begin court proceedings.

1. Florida Residency Is a Requirement – Either you or your spouse must have proof of legal residency in the state of Florida for at least six months before filing divorce papers. The only exception to this requirement is extended to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. If you or your spouse are stationed on a base inside the state, your location is considered sufficient to establish legal residency.

2. All Claims Must Be Documented – Before you can file a for a Dissolution of Marriage in Florida, you must assemble all the information necessary to support your claims for a division of property, child support, custody arrangements, alimony and more. It’s highly recommended that you let an attorney familiar with Florida divorce laws help you navigate the paperwork and protect your best interests. Some spouses leave assets on the table when they try to do it themselves.

3. Which Assets Are Allowed? – When filing for a divorce in Florida all assets you and your spouse accrued together during the marriage are considered marital assets. These marital assets are subject to an equitable division by the court. Whatever assets you had before your marriage belong to you alone as long as they were kept separate from your combined marital assets. In most cases, you keep these non-marital assets without contest.

4. Asset Documentation Involves Records – In order to verify your asset information, it’s important to pull together all relevant financial documents. These normally include records like tax returns, bank statements and mortgage payments. It’s also a good idea to work up a complete inventory of personal property in your home even if you’re filing an uncontested divorce in Florida.

5. Legal Separation in Florida Isn’t Recognized – A legal separation allows you to agree on property considerations, custody arrangements and support payments without going through the entire divorce process. However, Florida is one of six states that doesn’t recognize legal separation. The courts can oversee issues when couples are separated physically, and the state system provides for limited divorce under specific circumstances.

Helping You Understand the Issues

Often, people filing for divorce in Florida have questions unique to their situation. We’re always available to help you understand the issues and details that pertain to your filing. You are always welcome to fill out our online form to ask a question pertaining to your situation.  Our offices exclusively specialize in divorce and family law, and we offer more than 25 years of experience. Cheshire Family Law proudly serves clients in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas. Give us a call at (561) 677-8090 for an attorney consultation.

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