Florida Family Law Questions
ANSWERING SOME COMMON QUESTIONS
More often than not potential clients arrive in my office for their free initial consultation believing that they are well informed in the area of family law. They have learned all that they need to know from their family, friends or neighbors. In today’s society everyone knows someone, who knows someone, who has gone through the rigors of a divorce. I always ask the potential client “how much or how little do you know about divorce?’. It is obviously important to make certain that they leave my office gaining knowledge about the process. I would like to discuss some of the most common MISCONCEPTIONS.
- I am worried that my spouse will not grant me a divorce.
- Do I need to leave the marital home, and if I do, am I abandoning the property?
Neither spouse can be forced from the marital residence unless there is evidence of domestic violence or there are perhaps other extenuating circumstances which will cause a Judge to order one of the parties from the home. Due to financial constraints many couples remain together in the home even during the divorce process. It may be uncomfortable, but it certainly is not contrary to the law. In addition, unlike some other states; Florida does not require a period of separation prior to the divorce being finalized.
- I am afraid that I will have to give my spouse all of my money and be unable to live.
Florida is commonly referred to a “No Fault Divorce” jurisdiction. There are basically two requirements to dissolve a marriage. One of the parties must be a resident of the state of Florida for at least 6 months prior to the date the Divorce Petition is filed in court. Secondly, the Party filing for the divorce must state under oath that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. There is no requirement that allegations such as abandonment or mental cruelty be stated. In fact those issues do not even exist in Florida Law.
As a result of the above, it is not necessary that either spouse grant the other permission to dissolve the marriage. A contested divorce pertains to a disagreement over the issues within the divorce, not the actual divorce itself. A husband or wife can never prevent the other from obtaining a divorce if they desire to end the marriage.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances all marital property (property obtained during the marriage by either spouse) will be equally divided. There are of course some exceptions to this formula. In addition each parent will be responsible for the financial support of any minor children (18 or younger). The amount of support is determined by the joint income of the parties, the number of minor children of the marriage and the Child Support Guidelines.
The above is a very brief summary of some of the issues discussed at the free initial consultation at my law office. If you would like any additional information please call me at 954 385-9160 to schedule an appointment.