Divorce, even in the best of times, can be fraught with tension and emotional trauma. To complicate matters further, every state, and sometimes every county has different requirements which must be met to complete a divorce. Our Ocala family law attorneys have many years of experience in handling these matters and can lead you deftly through the process.
Provided that at least one spouse has been a Florida resident for upwards of six months, a couple may file for divorce in the state of Florida, which is a no-fault state. This means that neither spouse must accuse the other of bad behavior such as abuse or adultery to successfully obtain a divorce. All they must do is assert that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken”.
Florida offers this easier and quicker way for a couple to get a divorce, provided they meet all of the court’s requirements.
Contact us today to learn more about your options in a divorce, and find out how we can help you.
This process begins with one spouse filing a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage”. The petition, among other things, will outline how the filing spouse wishes to divide property, handle alimony, and how the parties will share parenting time with the children of the marriage. The other spouse then responds with an answer to this petition. If they agree, or are able to come to an agreement through mediation, a settlement document will be drawn up and signed. If not, the couple will go to trial and a judge will make those decisions for them.
There are several factors which will be taken into account by the courts when deciding if either spouse should be awarded alimony and in what amount. Marriage length, financial resources available to each spouse, the ability of each spouse to obtain employment, standard of living, and age and condition (both emotional and physical) of each spouse all will help determine if support is necessary. The state of Florida recognizes three classifications of marriage: a short term marriage, which is 7 years or less, a moderate term marriage, which is between 8 and 16 years, and a long term marriage, which is 17 years or more. These different classifications can factor in to determining the amount and duration of alimony one party can be awarded.
The division of property and debt, according to Florida laws, begins with identifying assets gathered during the course of the marriage, and dividing them. This is something which is considered alongside alimony and, as with the other aspects of the divorce, can either be agreed upon by both parties or determined by the court.
Perhaps the most contentious aspects of any divorce proceeding are issues related to the children of the marriage. Except in cases in which one spouse has a history of being abusive, the courts generally rule that both parents have a continuing and active part in the child’s life, jointly making decisions in regards to their education, religion, and health. Both parents, regardless of who has physical or legal custody, have a legal obligation to financially support their child. Florida determines the amount of child support owed by using the formulas set forth in Florida’s child support guidelines. These obligations cease after a child reaches the age of 18, becomes financially independent, or marries.
At Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A., our Ocala family lawyers have the skill and experience to guide you through this high-stress time. We work tirelessly to ensure that your needs and goals are met and that your best interests are looked after throughout the course of the divorce proceedings.
To get started, contact our offices at (352) 437-2200 and schedule your free consultation.