If we are lucky, we will never go through a divorce. Those who are less fortunate and are undergoing this difficult process will undoubtedly have many questions. While each divorce is different, there are some general answers regarding what to expect about divorcing in Florida.
What Is The Cost Of A Divorce?
This can change depending on the circumstances. Obviously, if the are more assets and animosity involved, the longer the time spent in court and on lawyers’ fees. Regardless of the details, however, there will be specific documents that need to be filed. These filing fees can range from $200 and $500. If you will be divorcing in Florida, the cost to initiate a divorce is around $412.00 (considering the 5% statutory fee for filing online).
How Long Does It Take To Get a Divorce?
Again, it all depends on the details. If you and your ex agree on the essentials, such as division of assets, custody, and the value of the property involved, a divorce can happen fairly quickly. The closer you are to reaching an agreement on specific details, the easier and faster the divorce will be.
If you will be divorcing in Florida, a simple Dissolution of Marriage, if you qualify, it can take 30 days. A simple Dissolution requires that there be no children and that neither party is seeking alimony. An Uncontested Divorce is possible in six weeks provided you and your ex agree on child support and the raising of the children, the amount of alimony, and the division of assets and liabilities.
Contested divorces, depending on the animosity and disagreements involved, can take from a year to several years. It is best to work with your respective attorneys or a mediator to settle as many disputes as possible.
Will My Ex Get Half Of What I Own?
The State of Florida supports equitable division of property, and “equitable” does not always mean a 50/50 division of assets and debts. Your attorney will determine what assets are marital assets and what are non-marital assets. Any property owned prior to the marriage, such as a car or bank account, may be determined to be non-marital. The same is true for any property under the prenuptial agreement as being excluded from being a marital asset. Gifts given to only one of the parties instead of to both are also non-marital, as is any individual inheritance. Each party will retain his or her non-marital property.
What About Child Support?
The court will factor the cost of daycare, insurance, and the income of both parents into any support issue. Also relevant is the amount of time the children will spend with each respective parent.
How Much Time Can My Ex Have With The Children?
If the parents do not agree on the children’s custody, the judge will determine the issue. The courts no longer differentiate between mothers and fathers in customer disputes. Instead, they focus on what they establish as the children’s best interest. This includes the children’s relationship with each parent, the specific needs of the children, and even the children’s preferences.
What Are The Normal Divorce Procedures?
One party begins the divorcing process by filing, or having his or her attorney file, a Complaint with the court. A process server will serve a copy of this document on the non-filing spouse. If both parties agree to the divorce, the spouse will fill a response agreeing to the facts in the Complaint. If the spouse disagrees or ignores the Complain, further documents will be filed with the court.
Can I Get a Divorce If I Can’t Find My Spouse?
You can file a standard Petition. Then you need to try to contact your spouse’s known family and friends to locate him or her. You can also publish a notice in your local paper. These steps is a prerogative to show the court you have made every effort to find your spouse.
You will undoubtedly need an attorney if there are open custody or property issues which require settlement.
What Happens If My Spouse and I Change Our Minds In the Midst Of The Divorce Proceedings?
A reconciliation between the parties is always good news, regardless of when it happens. This is not such a rare occurrence if the couple has been attending counseling. If the Complaint and other documents have already been filed with a Florida court, you and/or your spouse will need to file a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal. It is best to let an attorney handle this matter.
Usually, there are many questions for the parties initiating a divorce. That is one of the reasons that it is advisable to have an attorney at one’s side to provide answers and guidance.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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