Florida Divorce Basics
Nothing is worse than feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage. If you are considering a split, it’s important to be familiar with the basics of the process and rules. Here are some fundamental facts and tips moving forward:
The two most common grounds for divorce in the Sunshine State are irreconcilable differences, or, in legal terms, the marriage is irretrievably broken, and one of the individuals in the relationship has been certified as mentally incapacitated and has been so for at least three years or longer.
In a contested divorce, a judge may order the couple to undergo mediation.
One or both individuals must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
The basics of divorce include filing the papers and having a spouse served. If both of you agree to the split, you’ll then proceed to dividing any property and debt, creating a parenting plan if children are involved, and signing off on the final agreement. A contested divorce—where one spouse does not agree to the split—can be a bit trickier and will require a hearing where both sides have the opportunity to present their issues before a judge. Divorce can be relatively unencumbered in the simplest of situations, and quite drawn out and divisive in other cases. The amount of property, the ability to discuss things civilly, and issues surrounding children can make a divorce more complex.
There are two key types of custody in Florida:
- Physical custody refers to where the child resides and the maintenance and care of the child;
- Legal custody refers to the decision-making power of a parent with regard to major issues such as religion, health care, education, and so forth.
Custody may be sole (one parent) or joint (shared) and is not based on a parent’s gender. Rather, the best interests of the child are the primary consideration, and under this standard each parents’ efforts and abilities to accommodate the child’s school schedule, extracurriculars, and other needs will be a factor in determining custody issues. Parents will come up with a parenting plan that lays out visitation and expectations going from there.
Simple uncontested divorces will wrap up in well under a year, while those involving potentially hidden assets, bitter disputes, or other complex issues may take years.
The Legal Help You Need
Regardless of your circumstances, when you get a divorce you want an experienced, competent Boca Raton divorce attorney by your side to ensure the best possible outcomes for you. At WiseLieberman, we can promise you a commitment to the issues of importance to you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.