“Divorce is the hardest thing you will ever do.” That is what everyone will tell you. But the truth is that it does not have to be. As much as the laws and the courts can seem threatening and confusing, the right lawyer can show you how they can be used to your advantage, to help you start this new part of your life. Nothing good in your life up to this point came easy, and life after divorce is no different.
In Florida laws about divorce are called no-fault, because unlike other states there is no need to place the blame on either the husband or the wife for the dissolution of the marriage. Consider that for a moment – you don’t have to blame your ex-spouse. Neither do you have to protect yourself from blame. As far as the State of Florida is considered, there is no-fault.
This has a very practical consequence from a legal standpoint – either you or your ex-spouse can file for divorce and the requirements are not complicated.
- The marriage must have been legal
- One of you has to have been a Florida resident for six months leading up to the filing for divorce
- Your marriage must be “irretrievably broken” or one of you must be mentally incapacitated.
Those are the first hurdles to clear. Have you made it that far? The next step is to choose whether you want a:
- Regular dissolution of marriage, or a
- Simplified dissolution of marriage.
Just as it sounds, the second choice is simpler and more straightforward. It does require that you and your ex-spouse agree on many matters beforehand and there are certain requirements, including:
- No minor children
- A division of property and debts agreement
- An agreement that no one is seeking alimony
- An agreement that the marriage is irretrievably broken
Some people even go forward with a simplified dissolution of marriage without using a lawyer at all. It would not hurt to consult a Miami divorce lawyer at Grant Dwyer Law, however, just to confirm the simplified choice is for you.
If you have minor children, or disagreements about financial or other matters, the best choice is going to be the regular dissolution of marriage. The first step involves filing for divorce in a court here in Miami.
One of the things you and your lawyer will prepare for is the disclosure of your financial documents. Sometimes it is possible to reach a financial agreement with your ex-spouse which can be filed with the court beforehand. Sometimes mediation is needed to reach this agreement. Sometimes it is necessary to go to trial. A Miami divorce attorney at Grant Dwyer Law can help you make the right choice.
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, when a court has to settle issues of property, finances and debt, it can consider fault. Questions of what exactly is marital property are sometimes the hardest to answer. These issues become emotional quickly. Does your car count? Your home? Your retirement plan? Credit card debt? Mortgages? Gifts? Sentimental objects? Pets?
The basic rule of thumb is that anything of value, or any debt, that was obtained while you were married is a marital property or a marital debt and must be distributed before your dissolution of marriage is complete.
The court will also be involved in the creation of time sharing plans with your children. When it comes to children, divorce can really become brutal. Here more than ever, it behooves you to work with an experienced lawyer and someone who can look out for your interests as well as those of your children.
If you find yourself facing a divorce, whether it was one you choose nor not, contact a lawyer at Grant Dwyer Law.
Call us at 305-215-7586 or click HERE.