Florida Divorce Attorneys
Divorces in Florida are stressful, bring out emotion, and are deeply personal. The attorneys at Fairway Law Group have experience handling divorce cases in Florida. We treat our clients with the respect they deserve while giving real advice and guidance throughout the divorce process. Clients of Fairway Law Group have the benefit of an experienced team working for them during their divorce action.
The purpose of an attorney in a divorce case is to handle the court proceedings while advising their client. The attorneys at Fairway Law Group believe in keeping their clients updated on their case and providing their clients with real advice. When you hire Fairway Law Group to represent you in your divorce, you will receive honest advice regarding your case.
What is a Florida Divorce?
At its simplest, a divorce (also known as a “dissolution of marriage”) is a legal action taken by married individuals to terminate their marital union. It involves the process of dividing marital assets, determining spousal support if necessary, and if you have children, settling on matters of child custody and support. Depending on the specifics of your case the divorce can range anywhere from simple to complex.
If there are no kids, no marital property, and the marriage only lasted a short amount of time, then many times the divorce will be considered “uncontested” and can move through the court system faster. Alternatively, when there are children and/or marital property the divorce process can become more complicated and difficult. This is especially true when the spouses cannot agree on how to split up the marital assets (such as the home or retirement accounts).
What are the basic parts of a Florida Divorce?
1. Grounds for Divorce: Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that either spouse can file for divorce without having to prove that the other did something wrong. The person filing for divorce only needs to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
2. Residency Requirement: At least one spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
3. Property Division: Florida follows an “equitable distribution” rule, meaning marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between spouses.
4. Spousal Support/Alimony: This is not guaranteed in every case. The court considers various factors such as length of the marriage, each spouse’s economic circumstances, and the contribution of each spouse to the marriage. Florida also recently updated the laws regarding the award of alimony in an effort to increase fairness.
5. Child Custody and Support: Florida courts make decisions in the best interest of the child. The state encourages shared parental responsibility and strives to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
6. Process: The process begins when one spouse files a ‘Petition for Dissolution of Marriage’ with the court. If both parties agree on all terms, it can be a simplified divorce process. If not, it could involve negotiations, mediation, or a court trial.
What are the first steps to take if I want a divorce?
1. Get A New Email Address: If you believe there is any possibility that your spouse has access to your email address, it will be smart to obtain a new email address. This will allow you to know that any communications sent to you from your attorney will be private.
2. Start Gathering Financial Information: Start by collecting and organizing all your financial records including bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, retirement accounts,
mortgages, and any other documents showing income, debt, assets, or liabilities. This will be vital when it comes to the division of assets and debts and is a requirement in divorce cases.
3. Consider Your Living Situation: Decide whether you want to stay in your marital home during the divorce or whether another living arrangement might be better for your emotional wellbeing
and/or the wellbeing of your children if any are involved.
4. Think about Custody Preferences: If you have children, start thinking about what type of custody arrangement you believe would be in their best interest. This can be a sensitive topic,
but the earlier you consider this, the better prepared you’ll be.
5. Inventory Personal Property: Make a list of all the personal property that belongs to you, such as jewelry, vehicles, furniture, or any other items of value. This can be important in the property division aspect of your divorce.
6. Establish Individual Credit: If you do not already have credit in your own name, consider applying for a credit card or loan to establish it. This can be crucial in establishing your financial independence.
7. Seek Emotional Support: Don’t underestimate the emotional strain of divorce. It can be helpful to start seeing a therapist or counselor, or join a support group to help navigate your emotions during this process.
Will I lose custody of my kids if I file for divorce in Florida?
The short answer: no. Although every case is different, Florida follows the “best interest of the child” standard in determining custody (referred to as “time-sharing”). At the outset, the court will start at a 50/50 time split between the parents. This is because the courts in Florida believe that it is in the best interest of the child to spend time with both parents.
Prior to the court making a determination regarding the custody of the children, the parties will have the ability to work out the time sharing arrangement between them outside of court. Typical time-sharing models include one week on, one week off. There is also another model where one parent has the children for 2-3 days at a time.
How much is a divorce attorney?
One of the most asked questions is “how much will an attorney cost?” The cost of an attorney ranges based on the complexity of the case in addition to how contested the case is. In short, if the parties agree on how to split up assets, child-time sharing, and child support, then the cost will be reduced. On the other hand, if the parties are fighting over these issues, the cost will increase.
Unfortunately sometimes one spouse will be reasonable while the other spouse fights the divorce action. In these types of cases, if the fighting is not justified there is a chance that the court can impose sanctions against the unreasonable spouse.
Should I hire a lawyer to help me with a divorce in Florida?
It is always in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you in a divorce action, regardless of how simple or complex your case is.
At the core, an attorney serves as your advocate and guide, ensuring your interests are protected, and helping you understand and navigate the legal system. Although it is possible to file a divorce without an attorney, it will always be in your best interest to hire an attorney. Here are some reasons why:
1. Legal Advice: The attorneys and staff will provide advice about your rights and responsibilities under Florida law. We will explain the potential outcomes you can expect in your case and guide you in making informed decisions.
2. Filing and Paperwork: The divorce process involves a significant amount of legal paperwork. An attorney ensures that all necessary documents are correctly completed and filed in a timely
manner with the appropriate court.
3. Negotiation and Mediation: A major part of any divorce involves negotiations between the parties on issues like property division, spousal support, and child custody. We will represent
your interests during these negotiations and work towards a settlement that is favorable to you.
4. Representation in Court: If negotiations fail, or if it’s in your best interest, we will represent you in court proceedings to advocate for your rights.
5. Ensuring Compliance: Once a divorce agreement or court order is in place, we will assist you in enforcing the agreement with your ex-spouse.
At Fairway Law Group, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and empathetic legal support while aggressively representing our clients. We’ll be there to walk you through each step, keeping you informed and making sure your voice is heard throughout the process.