Whether you want to separate from your spouse or you both agree to separate, the process of obtaining a divorce can be legally and emotionally complex. There are numerous issues that must be addressed before a court provides a final divorce judgment, and disagreements can drag out proceedings for months or even years.
Fortunately, help from an accomplished family attorney could make a huge difference in how efficiently you are able to complete this process in a mutually agreeable way. From compiling initial documents to advocating for your best interests throughout every discussion, a dedicated Florida divorce lawyer headquartered in Coral Gables can be an irreplaceable ally during this event in your life.
What is a “No-Fault” Divorce Under State Law?
Florida Statutes § 61.052 defines two possible grounds for ending a marriage. The first is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which generally refers to a divorce where no one is specifically at fault. The second is that one party in the marriage has been mentally incapacitated as defined under FL Stat. § 744.331 for at least three years prior to filing.
In addition to establishing these “no-fault” grounds, a person or their spouse looking to file for divorce in Coral Gables or elsewhere in the state must have maintained residence in Florida for at least six continuous months before filing, as a skilled divorce attorney could further explain. However, if one spouse is a military service member who lives in Florida but is currently stationed somewhere else, they or their partner can still file so long as they do so in the county where either of them primarily lives.
Basic Divorce Proceedings in Florida
Applicants who meet the residency requirements noted above may begin the separation process in Florida by filing a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. They must pay the requisite filing fee or fee waiver with the circuit court clerk’s office in the applicable county of residence. With rare exceptions for spouses filing jointly for a simplified dissolution of marriage, the filing party—or “petitioner”—must then ensure the “respondent” spouse is served with copies of their submitted documents. This can be done with the respondent’s cooperation through the filing of a notarized Answer and Waiver of Service form or without their cooperation through a process server.
In most situations, both parties in a divorce must submit a Family Law Financial Affidavit that comprehensively discloses all their sources of income, assets, and debts. These disclosures may then be used to determine an equitable division of marital property (especially important in high asset divorce cases), as well as resolve certain other matters like spousal support obligations, child support obligations, and possibly custody of children. Representation from a seasoned divorce attorney in Coral Gables could be crucial to effectively protect the rights and interests of anyone trying to end their marriage.
A Coral Gables Divorce Attorney Can Help Today
Ending your marriage may be the right decision for you and your spouse, but it is almost never an easy one to execute. Regardless of what led to you wanting to dissolve your marriage or what kinds of disputes come up during ensuing legal proceedings, you should think twice before moving forward without a divorce lawyer by your side.
A knowledgeable Coral Gables divorce lawyer’s assistance could be vital not only to simplify the procedural aspects of your divorce, but also to ensure it has a fair and mutually agreeable resolution for everyone involved. Call our office today to learn more.