Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Florida divorce. For a free consultation regarding your Florida divorce please contact the Miami family law attorneys at Benjamin & Melmer.
Do I need to prove my spouse is at fault?
No. In general, one party just needs to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
How long does a divorce take in Florida?
It depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce means that both spouses agree on child support, custody, visitation, division of property and debts, and alimony, if any. An uncontested divorce can take as little as four to five weeks. If the matter is contested — that is, the court must decide any of the above issues it can take much longer.
What is the first step towards getting divorced in Florida?
The first step towards getting a divorce in Florida is filing document called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. It outlines any claims that you may have with regards to child support, custody, alimony, and division of marital property and debts. In general, a process server must personally deliver the papers to the other spouse; this is called “service of process.”
How is Marital Property Divided in Florida?
Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means the court will distribute all marital property fairly, and will start with the assumption it will be divided equally. Marital property includes personal possessions, real property (such as your home), income, and debts acquired during the marriage. The court may divide property unequally if the facts justify it – some of the factors the court will consider include the duration of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage and the economic circumstances of each spouse.
How Will the Court Determine Alimony?
Florida courts may grant temporary or permanent alimony to a spouse who has an actual need for spousal support, as long as the other spouse has the ability to pay. The court will consider several factors in making a determination with regards to the amount, if any, to be paid to one spouse, including the standard of living established during the marriage, the financial resources and earning capacity of both spouses, and the duration of the marriage.
How Will the Court Determine the Appropriate Time-Sharing Schedule for My Children?
Florida courts determine child custody based on the best interest of the child without regard to the sex of the parent or the child. The court will order the parents to share parenting responsibilities unless shared responsibility would be detrimental to the child. In making its determination, the court will evaluate several factors, including which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent contact with the other parent, the emotional ties between each parent and the child, and the parents’ ability to provide the child with material needs.
How is Child Support Determined?
Florida courts use the official state guidelines to determine what amount child support is appropriate. Child support payments continue until the child is 18 unless the court orders otherwise. Support payments can be paid directly to the recipient parent, paid to the Central Depository or withheld from the paying parent’s paycheck.