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 the divorce?
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 352-877-3786, or complete our contact form. We advise and represent divorce and family law clients in Ocala, The Villages and throughout Central Florida.