Like all other states in the USA, Florida has its own set of laws regarding what happens during the early stages of a divorce. This is why it is important to contact and get help from an attorney who is licensed in the state and specifically handles divorces, rather than a generalist lawyer or anyone else.
The process to begin a divorce starts with one or both parties to the marriage saying that they have irreconcilable differences and they want to separate. In Florida, this is called a dissolution of marriage proceeding. After a brief waiting period of twenty days, the courts will formally start the separation, unless it is contested by one of the spouses. While the reasons why the marriage has broken down are not necessarily important, during the later parts of the divorce this information can be used later as a factor in alimony payments or child custody.
A divorce attorney will usually need as much information as you can provide about your personal and financial situation, as well as where you hope to be after the divorce is finalized. This can include a summary of all of your assets, investments, real property, cars and other vehicles, or anything else of significant value. If there are children, a custody dispute may begin and the lawyer will need to know some other important details, such as if you plan on moving or possible arrangements for shared custody with the other parent. The state also mandates a parenting course in most situations where children are involved.
Can someone do this alone?
It is best to have a lawyer handle all of the paperwork for court filings and guide you through the entire process. Mistakes can cost both time and money, and the upfront investment is worth the price of not having to deal with even more headaches during the stressful divorce process. A lawyer will also know the court procedures and substantive laws regarding things like property division that are unique to the state. If someone tries to do this without legal training and advocates against an experienced lawyer, they will be at a significant disadvantage. There are also certain penalties for not meeting statutory requirements set forth by state law.
How long will this take?
The whole process can take anywhere from a couple of months to over a year, so it is important to have someone in control of your case this whole time, rather than taking the risk of missing any important details. Even after the divorce is finalized, there may be ongoing issues related to things like child support and alimony. Therefore, it is best to know where to get legal help as needed.
Schedule a consultation with a local lawyer
To get help from a lawyer who specializes in divorces in the Destin Florida area, contact ASG Legal. ASG has attorneys ready to give you more detailed information about getting a divorce based on your particular situation.