Florida Divorce Law and Uncontested Divorces

A divorce is not something that anyone getting married thinks about. Unfortunately over time circumstances can overwhelm a couple and there is no other choice. If there is no chance for the couple to reconcile their differences, divorce may become the only option left. The state of Florida is considered a no fault state. In Florida it only takes one spouse to declare the marriage irrevocably broken, and to state there is absolutely no chance of reconciliation.

To obtain a divorce in Florida, at least one of the parties must reside in the state of Florida for at least six months. The proceeding for the divorce is set in motion by filing a petition in circuit court. If the petitioner lives in Tampa, Miami or any other city, the petitioner should file in the circuit court of that particular city. The court then has the jurisdiction to grant the divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both parties generally agree on the important issues, such as division of property or custody of the minor children. Both parties then must sign a Marital Settlement agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to complete the divorce. The cost in minimal and generally takes about 30 days to complete. There are website that will fill out the paperwork using paralegal. This is only for uncontested divorces. A court appearance is still necessary.

In other circumstances a divorce may be granted on the grounds that the marriage is irrevocably broken. The mental capacity of the spouse can be one reason. The spouse must have been mentally incapacitated for at least three years. Florida does not recognize legal separation how ever does have provisions concerning spousal support and child support. A spouse may be ordered to maintain the financial support of his or her spouse and minor children. The court will determine custody and visitation rights of both parties. If the two spouses cannot come to an agreement, the court may order mediation. Mediation is a discussion between both parties, sometime their attorneys will be present. The court will appoint a mediator. There is also a summary divorce in Florida that could be an option as well.

Florida is an equitable distribution state on the whole. If there are relevant factors such as the contribution to the marriage by each party, the economic circumstances, or the desirability of keeping the marital home as a residence for the dependent children, are just a few of the factors that come into play. Alimony may be granted on a temporary basis such as rehabilitative reasons to give the ex spouse time to find suitable employment or to get into some sort of training program. If the soon to be ex spouse is unable to work due to a disability, alimony may be permanent,various factors can come into play such as age, standard of living during the marriage or the contribution each partner brought to the marriage. If the spouse has worked and supported the household while the other has been going to school and has become successful, alimony will be taken into consideration in all fairness.

Divorce is not something anyone like to go through. Knowing the divorce laws of the state can help make the transition go smoothly for everyone involved.

Florida Divorce Attorneys

One of the biggest questions that you need to ask if you are getting a divorce in Florida is you want to make sure your Florida divorce attorney is qualified to represent you. There are many specific requirements to Florida divorce law that are very tricky and can cause problems in the long run if you don’t have a well versed and qualified divorce attorney.

One of the issues that you need to know if your divorce attorney is knowledgeable in is with the presumptions of marriage and Florida divorce law issues. There are specific presumptions that are made if you are married in Florida or are getting divorced in Florida.

The Florida divorce attorneys that are specialized in this area of presumptions of Florida divorce law are more than just your normal divorce attorneys. They have completed specialized courses in divorce law for Florida and have studied the Florida divorce law presumptions.

These divorce presumptions can affect your settlements and alimony that you could be eligible to receive during your divorce. There are several divorce presumptions that we have covered in previous posts that we won’t dredge up again here.

When you find the right Florida divorce attorney for your specific situation, you need to determine the cost associated with the case. Often times you can find flat rate fee Florida divorce attorneys that are willing to see a case all the way to completion for a low flat fee. There are also plenty of other Florida divorce attorneys that will charge by the hour or offer consultations to you if you just need legal advice for an uncontested divorce.

You will want to make sure that your Florida divorce attorney is well versed, not only with presumptive Florida divorce law, but how uncontested divorce and alimony works in Florida as well.

Florida Divorce Law

Florida divorce laws are a lot different from many other states divorce laws. Florida divorce law has a lot of presumptions in them. A divorce law presumption assumes one fact from the existence of another fact. A presumption is a way to make it easier to establish a fact or to implement the state’s public policies.

So, what exactly are some of the Florida divorce law presumptions? Here are some of the presumptions you will find in Florida divorce law:

Florida divorce law will presume that a marriage is valid when the parties have a ceremony and live together under a belief that they are lawfully married.
Florida divorce law presumes that the assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are marital and subject to equitable distribution. Florida divorce law also presumes that both spouses made an equal contribution to the marriage.

The equal distribution in Florida also presumes a 50/50 split of assets and debts as the starting point for division.

Children born during a marriage are presumed to be the legitimate children of the spouses. This means that Florida courts are presumed to have continuing jurisdiction over child matters when the original decision came from a Florida court.

Shared parental responsibility is also assumed in Florida divorce law.
Florida divorce law presumes that an entitlement to alimony in a long-term marriage and presumes no entitlement in a short-term marriage.

Florida law also presumes an ability to pay support amounts ordered by the court.
If you have an uncontested divorce or you are representing yourself in a divorce in Florida, you are also presumed to know every law and court rule. This also means that you are expected to know every presumption in Florida as well. This is were most people get into trouble in a Florida divorce case.

If you are the petitioner in Florida, the presumptions in the Florida divorce laws will help you in your divorce case. If you are the respondent, you will have to prove, with evidence, to overcome or dispute the presumptions if they are raised in court.

If you are the respondent in a Florida divorce case, you really should consider hiring a divorce attorney. If not for the full case, at least to consult with.

What is a Summary Divorce?

Is a summary divorce a good option for you? Have you ever heard of a summary divorce? Chances are you haven’t, and that’s ok. Let’s take a look at what a summary divorce is and if it is a good choice, potentially, for you.

If you are filing for a divorce and meet certain requirements in your state, you could possibly file for a summary divorce and save both time and money. A summary divorce is generally sought if the divorcing couple have no children and limited or no assets that would need to be divided. While each state is different in how they require a summary divorce to be filed, those are the two general guidelines to consider if you are looking for a summary divorce.

How does a summary divorce compare to a traditional divorce? The end result is still the same, however there are three key differences that a summary divorce provides:

  • There is less paperwork to fill out, which saves filing costs and time.
  • There is fewer court appearances required. In some states, a summary divorce generally only requires one or two court appearances.
  • Less time involved. As there are no custody issues or property disputes, a summary divorce is quick.

But, what are the general requirements that would make you eligible for a summary divorce? As each state is different, you need to check with your lawyer or state to find the specific requirements. However, here are a few generally accepted guidelines.

  • The couple were married for a relatively short time (usually 5 years or less);
  • The couple has no minor children (natural or adopted);
  • The couple does not have any significant “real property” interests (i.e. does not own or mortgage a home);
  • Total value of marital property is less than a certain amount (usually between $25,000 and $35,000, and not including the value of motor vehicles);
  • Total value of either spouse’s separate property is less than a certain amount (may be same threshold as with total marital property, above);
  • Both spouses give up any right to spousal support.

Do It Yourself Divorce Scams

There is a growing trend in the legal community that a “do it yourself divorce” is a quick and easy thing. Many people are looking to the quick and easy divorce as a way to save both time and money. Most people also don’t want to have to deal with the long and drawn out process for a divorce that involves the court systems.

The do it yourself divorce is a good thing if you fully understand what the process is, what is required of both parties and how it actually works. Many websites are offering a “Do it yourself divorce” kit that they promise will quickly and easily allow you to divorce each other. You should really be hesitant about these quick and easy divorce scams.

Don’t fall victim to one of the Do-It-Yourself Divorce scams! Although it sounds like you can save a lot of money by having a do it yourself divorce, one of the biggest problems most people fall into is the hidden costs of the do it yourself divorce.

The do it yourself divorce is a scam because in order for it to work, you must have an uncontested divorce. Both parties in an uncontested divorce agree that the divorce is the right thing. There are no child custody issues in an uncontested divorce either. Usually in an uncontested divorce there is also a limited amount of assets that would have to be divided, or a prenuptial in place.

If you and your partner are in agreement about seeking a divorce, then you are both in an uncontested divorce situation. If there is any doubt about debt that is owed, personal finance situations, or who is going to keep the dog, then you should not seek a do it yourself divorce.

When you divorce your spouse, not only are separating yourself from the other person, but you are severing ties with all things including bank accounts, debts, credit ratings and more. If there is limited assets from the marriage or everything property related can be quickly and easily divided, then a do it yourself divorce might work.

One of the big issues many people face is how to rebuild your credit after divorce. This is a question that if you are wondering how to divide your debts, bills and property, then you need to seek legal advice in your location from a competent divorce lawyer and not rely upon a “do it yourself” divorce.