Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer
The state of Florida is a no-fault divorce state, allowing one party to request a divorce without having to prove the “fault” of the other party. Because of this no-fault standing, divorces can be a bit more amicable. Still, stressful factors such as financial, children, and irreconcilable differences will keep emotions running high during the divorce proceedings—and even longer after. To help you with this process, you need an experienced family lawyer, one who is compassionate and attentive to your case and needs. Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. has experience in divorce cases and is ready to help you with yours.
Getting a Divorce in Florida
Divorce trials can take months—sometimes even years—to finally get resolved in court. Before taking the first steps in getting a divorce you should understand the procedure and what will be expected.
Collect All Necessary Information
Before filling out the forms to petition for a divorce you need to get all legal and financial documents in order. This includes tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, car titles, furniture receipts, business records, and more. Any documents relating to finances, assets, stocks, savings, business, or property should be collected and organized.
Fill Out the Petition
At this time you will want to reach out to an experienced Florida family lawyer to help you with the rest of the divorce. Because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, you do not need to take the trouble to prove fault. After correctly filling out all aspect of the form (an attorney can help), you must notify your spouse (the Respondent).
Serving Divorce Papers
You must deliver a copy of the petition for your divorce to your spouse. A sheriff or certified process server must hand deliver the papers to the opposing party. They will have 20 days to answer the petition.
Disclose Financial Information
Florida state law has Mandatory Disclosure in divorces, meaning that each spouse must present their financial disclosures to the opposing party—including income, liabilities, expenses, and debts. You may avoid this step if both parties agree to waive financial disclosure by filing a financial affidavit.
The next step is to gather information and documents that can help in your case, including witnesses and subpoenas.
Though the courts encourage negotiation, it is not a required step in divorce proceedings. Negotiations allow the parties to declare what they want and agree on the terms of their divorce. If negotiation is not used, a judge will listen to the facts of both sides and divide assets accordingly.
If one party contests any aspect, both parties and their attorneys will need to speak with a mediator to resolve these issues. Until this process is complete, the divorce cannot move forward, as the court will not enter a final judgment.
After all is said and done, the parties will be able to sign an agreement that covers all previously discussed aspects (child support and custody, assets, and so on). After the judge determines the agreement complies with legal requirements, he or she will enter an order of dissolution. After the final order is signed, the divorce is complete.
For parties wishing to avoid regular divorce proceedings and mitigate the emotional stress caused by divorce, a simplified dissolution may be an option. Under Florida law, all of the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to file a simplified dissolution:
- Both parties agree the marriage is irreconcilable
- Neither party is pregnant
- Neither seeks alimony
- Parties agree on division of assets and debts
- Have not adopt children under 18
- Do not have minor and/or dependent children
- One member of party has lived in Florida for past six months
- Both parties agree to use simplified dissolution
If even one of these criteria is not met, simplified dissolution cannot be used.
Thinking about getting a divorce? Gustavo E. Frances can help.
Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. offers free consultations for clients who are pursuing divorce. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Frances serves clients throughout the Florida area, including Sunny Isles, Aventura, Miami, Coral Springs, and Coconut Creek. Contact his law office today toll-free at 1-800-860-6565 or complete the online form to see how he can help you.
Going through a family divorce is never easy, especially when there are children involved.MY IMMEDIATE STEPS