The dissolution of a marriage contract is a lot more than just signing a few papers and moving on with one’s life. Going through a divorce is very emotionally trying and is life-changing. Individuals who share children or joint assets often find it much harder to get through the divorce process since their life is changing so dramatically and since they have more to lose through legally separating.
A divorce attorney in Florida can help individuals who are deciding to separate divide their assets fairly and can also help them decide on a fair parenting schedule for any children they share. For the divorce process to begin, the individual filing for divorce must file a petition for dissolution of marriage with a court in the county where they reside, and the other spouse must be notified of this petition.
Now here’s where things can get complicated. If the spouse disagrees with something in the petition, they can file for a Notice for Trial and a contested dissolution will result. If, on the other hand, the spouse is okay with separating then the process will be a lot easier and quicker. It is important to note that if a spouse fails to respond to the dissolution within 20 days then the individual who files for divorce can further file a Motion for Default and set a final hearing.
What makes a divorce valid in Florida?
For a divorce to be considered valid in Florida, one of two requirements must be met. Either both spouses must agree that the marriage is beyond saving, or one of the partners must be incapacitated for the last three years at least.
It is important to note that the court may tell a couple to first undergo counseling or take other measures to save their marriage if there are minor children involved. A simple dissolution is not commonly given.
A simplified dissolution will be allowed if the following conditions apply:
- Both parties agree the marriage cannot continue
- Both parties have concluded how to divide their assets and debts
- Neither spouse wants alimony
- Both parties are willing to sign the petition and attend the final hearing
- There are no underage dependents, and the wife is not pregnant
The above points describe the ideal situation for a couple who has decided to separate. However, things are usually not always easy. Anyone who needs help distributing assets and needs advice regarding custody concerns, or anyone who was in a physically abusive relationship and so they need protection while filing divorce should get in touch with a divorce lawyer as soon as possible to ensure they do not unfairly lose what is rightfully theirs.