Florida Divorce FAQ
What is a legal divorce?
Divorce pertains to the official and legal contract that ends two individuals’
marriage to each other. Divorce is typically a legal matter in which an
official contract is written to separate the assets and debts of the two
spouses. In addition, divorce is the legal process by which
matters of child custody, visitation and support are determined. Different states address the issue
of marriage differently, but there are many similarities across state
laws. Each state does have a type of “no-fault” divorce that
can simplify the divorce process. After the divorce is finalized, each
party is allowed to marry someone else.
What is a no-fault divorce?
A “no-fault” divorce is offered in many states and essentially
puts no blame on either party for the separation of the two spouses. In
traditional divorces, a single party is usually blamed for the separation,
whether it is because of infidelity or abuse. This blame comes with a
legal punishment in the form of fewer assets being distributed to the
“guilty” spouse, and more being given to the “innocent”
spouse. In Florida, “no-fault” divorces take the form of “irretrievably
broken,” meaning the marriage is beyond repair.
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?
Legal separation involves a court order or agreement between married spouses.
The agreement states that the spouses are no longer co-habitating and
all issues involving children, property, debts and assets have been resolved.
In the case of a legal separation, the spouses are still considered to
be married and
cannot remarry until the marriage is legally dissolved.
May the provisions in a property settlement agreement be changed after
In most cases, the property settlement agreement cannot be changed unless
there is a pre-established arrangement in the settlement agreement. In
addition, the settlement agreement can be annulled if a spouse can prove fraud.
How is property divided in a divorce?
The family law courts in Florida apply the principle of “equitable distribution,” or equal division, in divorce proceedings. The goal here is for
each spouse to have a fair, if not even, amount of the total value of
the couple’s assets.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
By law, it is not required that an individual hire an attorney in court
proceedings, and it is completely legal for an individual to represent
themselves. However, this would cause you more harm than good, as divorce
proceedings are extremely complicated affairs that carry a lot of weight.
This weight can come in the form of difficult emotions during separation,
or the financial splitting of the spouses’ joint assets. It is always
HIGHLY recommended that you hire an attorney who can guide you through
the divorce process, work to safeguard your personal interests, and provide you with compassionate
support along the way.
To schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida divorce attorney,
call Anne E. Raduns, P.A., at (352) 310-8235. We advise and represent
divorce and family law clients in Ocala, The Villages and throughout Central Florida.