Our West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
Divorce is one of the most difficult and painful legal processes to undergo. Important issues such as child custody, alimony and the separation of property can make the process more complicated. This is especially true when stress and pain are mixed into the situation. No matter your situation, it is normal to have questions about the divorce process. Below, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about divorce in Florida for your convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Florida
- How long does it take to get a divorce in Florida?
- Do all Florida divorces involve alimony?
- Who gets the marital home in Florida divorce?
- What if my marriage or relationship involves domestic violence?
- What do I do if my spouse or former spouse disobeys a court order?
- Can I get an uncontested divorce in Florida?
- Do I need a divorce attorney?
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Florida?
Under Florida law, at least 20 days must pass between the date of filing and the divorce finalization. However, there are many steps in the Florida divorce process. In addition, many factors can affect the length of time it can take to get a divorce in Florida. Though it can be done in less than a month, it usually takes longer.
The length can depend on whether both parties agree on multiple issues or want to litigate and contest certain matters. These issues may include:
- Real estate
- Extent of financial accounts
Do All Florida Divorces Involve Alimony?
No. Florida law requires a judge to consider many factors before awarding alimony. A few examples of these factors include, but are not limited to:
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Length or duration of the marriage
- Age and health of each spouse
- Employment and income of each spouse
Keep in mind that a judge has wide discretion to determine if one spouse is in need of alimony and the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony. Also, there are many different forms of alimony, based on the different circumstances of each marriage.
Who Gets the Marital Home in Florida Divorce?
This issue of who gets the marital home is dependent on various factors. Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that assets and liabilities are generally split fairly, but not necessarily equally.
Usually, a spouse can force the sale of the marital home, buy out their spouse or seek the home as an award of alimony. A judge may award one parent the majority of timesharing with their child, and in result, award exclusive use and possession of the marital home until the youngest child turns eighteen. Then, the parent may sell the house and divide the net equity between both spouses.
What If My Marriage or Relationship Involves Domestic Violence?
If your spouse is violent, you should involve local law enforcement. You may be able to obtain an injunction, or restraining order against your spouse or partner. A judge will then review your petition and sign an order to keep your violent partner away from you until a formal hearing can be held. A formal hearing usually occurs two weeks later. You should hire an attorney to represent you at that hearing.
What Do I Do If My Spouse or Former Spouse Disobeys a Court Order?
If your spouse or ex-spouse disobeys a court order, you should file a motion for contempt and enforcement. This document will inform the court of your allegations about their disobedience of the court order.
It will also require your appearance at a court hearing where you will have the opportunity to testify and bring witnesses. Your former spouse will have the same opportunity to dispute your allegations.
You should have an attorney on your side for a contempt hearing. An attorney can help assist you in introducing your evidence and proving your case.
Can I Get an Uncontested Divorce in Florida?
Yes, you can get an uncontested divorce in Florida. We recommend that you have an attorney prepare a marital settlement agreement. Both spouses need to sign this agreement.
Once signed, you can use this agreement in a future divorce proceeding to resolve many, if not all issues between you and your spouse. We do not recommend signing such an agreement without first consulting with a lawyer.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?
There is no legal requirement that you must use an attorney for your divorce or any other marital litigation. However, due to the complexity of the various family laws and procedures, a person without a lawyer in court may be in an inferior position.
Additionally, even if you intend to resolve your case through mediation or settlement, failure to use a lawyer can end up causing the most important paperwork involving your rights and the rights of your children to be deficient or improper.
If you have additional questions about divorce, please contact The Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire P.A. at (561) 655-8844 or online at www.cheshirefamilylaw.com. Our West Palm Beach divorce lawyer can help you understand your best legal options for your unique situation.