In adult life divorce is very common and sometimes inevitable. In the State of Florida, one of the more prevalent reasons for a divorce are plainly irreconcilable differences. If you are facing marital troubles, and live in the Orange County, Florida area, you need the help of a skilled Orlando Florida divorce attorney. At the Orlando divorce law office of Lyons Law, our family law attorneys understand that a divorce can be very trying both psychologically & financially. They are also very aware of the emotional gauntlet one goes through during a divorce. With that, please know that you are not alone during the divorce. They pride themselves on helping you to pick up the pieces and begin the process of moving on.
To arrange a consultation please contact the Orange County divorce lawyers at Lyons Law. You have rights in a Florida divorce and they need to be protected. Orange County Divorce Attorney Meg Lyons helps those with family law needs in all of Central Florida which includes Brevard County, Lake County, Orange County, Polk County, Seminole County and Volusia County, FL.
Dissolving A Marriage In Florida
The divorce process, also referred to as dissolution of marriage, in Florida starts with one party petitioning for and receiving a divorce. A majority of divorce proceedings in Florida happen on paper. Some Florida divorces are swift as Florida does not have a legal separation or mandatory cooling off period. Without the expertise of a skilled Orlando divorce lawyer you may not be aware that a divorce petition may not address much less resolve peripheral divorce issues such as:
Pre & Antenuptial Agreement Complications
Child Custody & Visitation
All other matters are handled in separate hearings which can make the divorce process seem overwhelming. Again, this is where the skill and resources of an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer can help you stay informed regarding the divorce process in Florida.
Residency Requirement For Dissolving A Florida Marriage
Under Florida divorce laws in order to dissolve a marriage in Florida, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing.
Filing For Divorce In Florida
The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage needs to be filed with the circuit court in the county where the petitioner lives. The spouse filing for divorce is the petitioner and the spouse being served the divorce papers is the respondent. The Respondent, the other spouse, must be notified of the Petition.
If the Respondent files an Answer and/or counter petition which disagrees with or denies anything in the Petition, the Petitioner may file a Notice for Trial and proceed with a contested dissolution.
Final judgment of dissolution of marriage may not be entered until at least 20 days after the date the petition was filed, unless the court finds that an injustice would result from this delay.
Uncontested Divorce In Florida
If the Respondent files an Answer that agrees with the term in the Petition or an Answer and Waiver, and the Petitioner has complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all the necessary paperwork, he/she may set a final hearing. The Petitioner must notify the Respondent of the hearing with a Notice of Hearing.
Simplified Dissolution Of Marriage
In Florida there are 2 types of divorce. The first, a simplified divorce, is a streamlined, simplified dissolution procedure provided all of the following conditions are met.
- Each spouse agrees the marriage is unsalvageable
- There are no minor or dependent children of the marriage and the wife is not currently with child
- Each spouse has reached an agreement regarding division of property including assets and debts
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony
- Neither spouse requires any financial information other than that which is provided in the court-approved financial affidavits
- The couple is willing to give up their right to trial and appeal
- Each spouse is willing to go to the clerk’s office to sign the petition (together or separately) and
- Each spouse is willing to attend the final hearing
After filing the appropriate paperwork, the couple will obtain a date and time for a court appearance from the clerk of court. Both spouses must appear together before the judge at this hearing. At that time, if all papers are in order, the judge may grant a final judgment dissolving the marriage under the simplified dissolution of marriage procedures by signing a Final Judgment of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage which needs to be provided by the parties to the divorce.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
Dissolving a marriage can also be done through more traditional channels i.e. going to court. These types can be either contested or uncontested. In either case one, only one spouse has to approach the court for the divorce.
After showing you meet the residency requirements in Florida you must also demonstrate that the marriage cannot be saved. The petitioner spouse will file for divorce with the clerk of court and have the papers served (delivered) to the respondent spouse. The respondent spouse is then required to file a written answer to the papers with the clerk of court.
With an uncontested divorce, both spouses must have all issues related to marital property, marital debts, and issues relating minor children from the marriage settled in a signed marital settlement agreement (also called a divorce settlement). Both spouses must also complete a financial affidavit within 45 days of serving the divorce paperwork, even if you and spouse have no property. Finally, both spouses must attend the final divorce hearing.
In contested divorces in Florida the spouses cannot or will not agree on the division of marital property, marital debt and/or issues involving minor children from the marriage. After one spouse files divorce papers and the other spouse answers the papers, both will go to trial in front of a judge, who will decide all issues in their case. The petitioner spouse must attend the final hearing or trial. If you need this type of divorce, you should seek the assistance of a lawyer.
A Results Oriented Approach to Divorce
Our Orange County, Florida divorce attorneys strongly believe that most clients are best served when realistic expectations are set regarding property division disputes and other issues that can be resolved ideally via negotiation. However, if this fails litigation is sometimes necessary. I feel that a great recipe for success involves having a good strategy in place for you.
Typically, no one wants to be involved in a long, drawn out legal battle when going through a divorce. No one wants to have to wonder if their divorce lawyer even remembers their name or case details. Lastly, no one wants to put undue stress on their children by making them endure long, painful custody battles. With all of this in mind our legal team stays focused on the fact that you are not just a case number. We emphasize providing you with an unprecedented level of personal service in conjunction with sound professional legal advice. Our divorce lawyers also go to great lengths to not make an already exhausting ordeal even more cumbersome.
Contact An Orlando Divorce Attorney
Contact our Orlando family law office to schedule an initial consultation. Together we can determine the best course of action regarding your situation. Dial (407) 476-3437 to speak with a member of our legal team.