While divorce laws are similar throughout the country, there are some that are specific to each state. Florida is no exception. If you are thinking of ending your marriage, you should first become familiar with the state legislation so you can know what your options are.
What if your marriage is not working?
In Florida, your options will be to seek an annulment or divorce, as the state does not recognize separation as a legal option. However, some couples might opt for bifurcation, which means a judge considers each legally single while the negotiations for the other divorce issues continue. While the divorce process can be completed in as little as 20 days for simpler, uncontested divorces with no division of property, most divorces will take longer than that as other issues such as custody, financial support and division of property are sorted out. There are some requirements that must be met in order to end a marriage, including:
- Waiting the mandatory 20 days before the divorce case is heard by a judge
- Living in the state for at least 6 months prior to the divorce petition
- Meeting the state requirements to prove a spouse is mentally incapacitated
Who gets what during the negotiations?
According to Florida divorce legislation, marital assets, or those acquired during the marriage, as divided equitably during divorce, so the settlement might not be a 50-50 spit. Under equitable distribution, each spouse will get a portion of their assets based on a group of factors. Marital debt is also divided in the same way. Some of the assets that can be divided during this process include:
- The family home and vehicles
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
It is important to be familiar with these specific rules so you can plan how you want to approach the divorce. This can help prevent any negative surprises during the process.