Family - Divorce
We offer our clients options in the methods used to arrive at settlement agreements, including negotiation, mediation and out-of-court settlement. When divorce litigation cannot be avoided, we are aggressive advocates, protecting your parental rights and financial interests.
Because Florida is what we call a "no-fault" state, it is not necessary for you to prove that your spouse did anything wrong in order for you to obtain a divorce or dissolution of marriage. In fact, courts are authorized to grant a divorce even if the other spouse does not want or consent to the divorce. All that's required to obtain a divorce in Florida is that:
- One of the parties to the marriage must reside in Florida for six (6) months prior to filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
- The marriage must be "irretrievably broken" and one of the parties must testify to that fact under oath.
There are numerous factors to consider when contemplating the dissolution of a marriage. The first step is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If you are the party who initiates the Divorce/Dissolution process, you are the Petitioner. If not, you are called the Respondent. After receiving service of the petition, the Respondent has twenty (20) days to file an Answer to it or a default may be entered. After the Answer is filed, both spouses are required by law to exchange certain documents and information which are used to prepare for trial and to assist the court in judging certain aspects of the case, including Custody & Visitation, Child Support, Alimony and Equitable Distribution.
Once all required documents and papers have been filed, the case is ready to be set for trial. A trial may last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks depending upon the amount of evidence that is presented and the complexity of the issues involved.