ST. PETERSBURG FAMILY LAW & CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY (SERVICING THE TAMPA BAY AREA)
Fax Number : 727-498-5510
Florida is a no-fault state, which means you don’t need to allege that your spouse engaged in bad behavior (such as adultery) in order to obtain a divorce. Either spouse can file for divorce and simply allege that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," which is just a fancy way of saying the couple can't get along anymore. However, a court may consider allegations of “fault” or wrongdoing when deciding how much alimony to award.
At our law firm, our number one priority is efficiency and obtaining the best result for our clients! We try to keep costs reasonably low, while moving as expeditiously as possible. Whether you are dealing with a contested divorce, or an amicable one, we are here for you.
At least one spouse must be a resident of Florida for six months before filing for divorce.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
The regular dissolution process begins when either spouse files a form titled “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the court. Click here for more information on various Florida family law forms including the regular petition for dissolution of marriage. This petition states that the marriage is irretrievably broken and sets forth what the filing spouse wants in terms of division of property, alimony, custody and child support. The other spouse must prepare an answer to the petition and file it with the court.
When couples agree … Most couples find that they can reach an agreement on all of the issues presented by their divorce, and are able to sign a settlement agreement (contract) memorializing what they’ve decided.
When couples disagree… Other couples disagree on some issues, work out their differences, and appear for a final hearing with a proposed settlement agreement that must receive court approval. A judge may suggest that some couples attend mediation - a procedure whereby both spouses meet with a mediator (a neutral third party trained in mediation). The mediator’s job is to assist the spouses in reaching an agreement on their divorce issues. Mediation may help divorcing couples avoid a long, drawn-out court process.
When couples really disagree … Some couples simply cannot agree on much of anything and must go to trial. In these cases, the divorce process is generally long, unpleasant and expensive. At trial, a judge will make decisions on all contested issues.
In a regular dissolution, each spouse has the right to examine and cross-examine the other as a witness, and obtain documents regarding the other spouse’s income, expenses, assets and liabilities before going to trial or settling the case.
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