Divorce Attorneys Serving Cocoa, Florida
Divorce seems to have become ubiquitous these days. It is as likely that a couple will divorce as it is they will remain married for the lifetime they promised on their wedding day. However, the fact that divorce is a common occurrence does not mean there is anything common about your own.
Every marriage is unique, and so is divorce. The law can seem to treat the circumstances surrounding children of the marriage, possessions, and reasons for the breakdown of the union without distinction. That is why working through the divorce with experienced attorneys who treat every client’s case as distinct is so important.
At Gutin & Wolverton: Harley I. Gutin, we help clients navigate divorce in Cocoa, and throughout Brevard County, including Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Titusville. Divorce is never easy, but we are committed to walking with our clients throughout the process. To begin the journey, reach out to our family law attorneys today.
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What Kinds of Divorce Are There in Florida?
There are two basic types of divorce in Florida: contested and uncontested. As the names would suggest, in a contested divorce, the couple cannot agree to the terms of the divorce regarding such matters as division of marital assets and debts, spousal support, and child custody, visitation, and support. Because they cannot agree, they will each need to present their case before a judge. The judge will be the person who decides those terms based on evidence and the law.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees the marriage is irretrievably broken and work to reach agreement on the terms of the divorce. They may need help from their attorneys to negotiate details or may use mediation as a way to resolve conflicts. Even in the most amicable of divorces, a couple will not always agree on every single detail.
Even when the couple strikes agreements to all the necessary items, the court must give final approval to each of them before granting a dissolution of marriage. Its role in an uncontested divorce is to ensure each spouse’s rights are protected.
Can Anyone File for Divorce in Florida?
Not just anyone can file for divorce in the state. They must be eligible to do so. Eligibility to divorce in Florida is based on a residency requirement. One or both of the spouses must have live in the state for at least the six months immediately preceding the filing of the divorce petition. If neither of you meet that requirement, you must wait until at least one of you does.
The person who files the petition for dissolution of marriage is the “petitioner” and the other spouse is the “respondent.” Either spouse may be the petitioner.
What Are Florida’s Grounds for Divorce?
Florida is a no-fault state for divorce. What that means is that there need be no reasons or grounds for divorce in Florida, other than the fact that the marriage cannot be preserved. Such incidents as adultery, domestic violence, or abandonment do not affect the filing for dissolution of the marriage.
That said, evidence of adultery can affect the amount of spousal support (also known as “alimony”) if support will be awarded to one spouse. So, while adultery is not salient to the divorce petition, it may affect other terms of the divorce.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
How long it takes from the filing of the petition for dissolution until the granting of the judgment of dissolution depends on a number of factors. The law requires at least 20 days from the date of filing of the petition until the granting of the dissolution, but it rarely happens that quickly.
If the divorce is uncontested and no other issues arise, it can take about four to six weeks to complete. The length of time it takes for the petitioner to formally serve divorce papers on the respondent will affect the timeline. The caseload of the family court assigned to the case will affect it as well.
Of course, contested divorces take longer. If the couple agrees to nothing and they are required to get on the court’s docket for a full trial, it can take months or in some cases, even years. The couple will be required to engage in the formal discovery process, negotiate terms of divorce, air disputes, and perhaps even take part in depositions and present testimony at trial.
Can I Represent Myself in a Florida Divorce?
No one is required by Florida law to hire a family law attorney to represent them. However, even in an uncontested divorce, you will benefit from the representation of an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will help you fully understand what you are and are not entitled to in divorce, keep negotiations fruitful and on track, and ensure agreements are properly crafted for the court’s approval.
In a contested divorce, you need an attorney to give you the information and counsel you need to weigh decisions, to gather evidence, to present your case in court, and to advocate for your best interests. You never relinquish your right to make every decision for yourself, but you will be informed when you do.
Divorce Attorneys Serving Cocoa, Florida
Regardless of whether you or your spouse are beginning a contested or uncontested divorce, the road can be rough. If you want someone on your side to advocate for your best interests and yours alone, that is what we do.
If you are considering divorce or have been served with a copy of the divorce petition, let us help you. Call us at Gutin & Wolverton: Harley I. Gutin today to schedule a consultation.