If you have been a legal resident of the State of Florida for more than six(6) months prior to filing for divorce, you are eligible to dissolve you marriage in the State of Florida. While some states have requirements for the parties to separate for a period of time, Florida only requires six(6) months of residency. If you elect to file for divorce, your attorney will file a petition to dissolve the marriage, thus requesting certain relief from the court. Specific relief may include but is not limited to: a simple dissolution of marriage, a request to divide property, and potentially awarded alimony, child support, timesharing, and attorney’s fees. Once the petition is filed, it must be served on the other party, who will then have 20 days to respond. After a response is filed, the parties must exchange financial disclosure and typically attend a mediation to settle the case. If the parties are unable to agree on a reasonable settlement, they will be forced to have a judge decide.
Many people feel a divorce can be one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life. This is why it important that the divorce process is handled correctly, and in accordance with your personal needs. Some people may be looking for a “bulldog lawyer”; just be careful what you wish for. The “bulldog” will always cost you twice as much, only to get the same result. The only difference is, when you hire that “bulldog” attorney, expect conflict to potentially follow you for years to come. On the other hand, you can hire an attorney that will fight aggressively and fairly for what you are entitled to, all the while handling the matter with class and dignity. The last thing you need is to spend your hard earned money on lawyers fighting and making the situation worse for you and your children. This process can bring out the worst in people, so it is important to remember that how you behave will be something your children will remember forever. Before you decide to go through this process, it is critically important to choose the right lawyer for you, and think about how this process will impact your family emotionally and financially for years to come.