Ocala Divorce FAQ

What is a legal divorce?
A divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. From a legal standpoint, your divorce will give each person the legal right to marry someone else, it will legally divide the couple's assets and debts, and determine the care and custody of your children. Each state addresses these issues differently, but there are some relatively uniform standards. Each state does have some type of "no fault" divorce laws that can significantly simplify the divorce process.

What is a no-fault divorce?
Traditionally, divorce was granted on the basis of some marital misconduct such as adultery or physical abuse. In these cases the "guilty" spouse was punished by getting a smaller share of the couple's property or being denied custody of their children while the "innocent" spouse was rewarded for being faithful to the vows of marriage. In a no-fault divorce, however, both parties agree that there is no "fault" involved in the grounds for divorce. Florida makes it possible for you to file for divorce on the grounds that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."

What are the requirements for filing a petition for divorce?
Before you can file for divorce, it is necessary to be able to prove that either you or your spouse has resided in Florida for at least six months prior to the date when you file your petition for dissolution of marriage. Your petition must be filed in the circuit court of the county where either you or your spouse currently resides.

What is a legal separation?
What is known in the common terms as a legal separation can involve a court order or agreement between the parties declaring that a couple will no longer live together and that all the issues concerning the marriage have been resolved, such as issues related to custody of children and distribution of property. However, the state of Florida does not offer legal separation for married couples at this time. There are other legal alternatives that can be explored if you wish to separate from your spouse.

May the provisions in a property settlement agreement be changed after the divorce?
Generally, they cannot be changed unless there is a provision in the settlement agreement to do so, or the settlement can be vacated if the spouse can prove fraud.

How is property divided in a divorce?
The family law courts in Florida apply the principle of "equitable distribution" in divorce. It is important to keep in mind that "equitable" does not mean equal. The goal of equitable distribution is to award each spouse a percentage of the total value of the assets, with a final distribution that is fair even if it is not strictly even.

Do I need to hire an attorney?
It is not mandatory that you hire an Ocala divorce attorney, and you may represent yourself. You may, however, be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage in doing so. Most divorces are not straightforward unless there are no marital assets, children or other joint issues. Given the complexity of the issues in even the average case, it is beneficial to employ the services of an attorney who is knowledgeable with the law in your state and experienced in the field. On top of the complex nature of the legal aspects of divorce, the process is often made even more difficult by the fact that it may be one of the most emotionally challenging experiences you will ever have to face. Hire an attorney who can guide you through the process, work to safeguard your personal interests and provide you with compassionate support along the way. Call us at Anne E. Raduns, PA now for an initial case evaluation and to learn more about how we can help!