Unfortunately, not all marriages last. Perhaps both of you had different expectations that you didn’t voice or weren’t even aware of before the wedding. Maybe, as the years passed, you realized that you wanted different things out of life and are better off going your separate ways.
Whatever your reasons for divorce, you need a skilled and experienced Florida family law attorney who will protect your custody rights and help you start your new life on financially stable ground.
What are the different types of divorce in Florida?
In Florida, the steps involved in your divorce depends on a lot of things, namely whether:
- You have children
- You have property and debts to divide
- You and your spouse agree or disagree on critical issues like child custody, property division, and spousal support
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, uncontested divorce, or contested divorce.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
If you and/or your spouse have been residing in Florida a minimum of six months, have no children (and neither of you is pregnant), neither of you is seeking spousal support and you have agreed on how you will split assets and liabilities, you can seek a simplified dissolution. Both of you will have to sign the petition and one or both you must attend a hearing before the divorce can be finalized.
It is important to note that once you sign the petition, you are giving up your rights to a trial and appeal. A simplified dissolution of marriage is also not appropriate if one of you is expecting to receive part of the other’s pension. Your attorney can explain the potential drawbacks of the simplified route and whether they apply to your case.
If you and your spouse are in agreement on how you will divide marital assets and debts, share custody of your children, and whether or not spousal support will be paid, you can seek an uncontested divorce. It’s lower-stress and less expensive than a litigated divorce because you’re not constantly going to court to settle each point of contention. Working with your attorneys who will draft a Marital Settlement Agreement that both parties will sign and attend a brief court hearing. After that, you’re free to move forward!
With a contested divorce, you go to court to resolve disagreements over key areas like child custody and support, property division, and spousal support. A contested divorce takes longer to resolve, but they aren’t always the courtroom battles that you see on TV. Even if you and your spouse are on good terms and agree on everything except one important area (e.g. how to split a valuable piece of marital property), the divorce becomes contested and you’ll need to go to court. In Florida, before a divorce trial the parties are required to attend medication to settle the case amongst themselves.
As you can see, ending a marriage requires you to make some complex legal decisions, and the wrong one could impact your future. A Florida divorce attorney will explain your options, warn you about any potential consequences (e.g., tax implications for dividing certain types of property) and give you the guidance you need to meet the next stage in your life.
Compassionate advocacy during divorce
At the Law Offices of Dahlia A. Walker, PA, we understand that divorce is always emotionally difficult, even if it’s for the best. We will gently support you and help you make decisions that set you up for a happier and successful future. We’re here for you, so when you’re ready to meet with an attorney, contact Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington at 954-963-8555.