If you’re considering divorce or firmly believe that it is a possibility in your future, it is important to learn the important details about divorce. You probably have questions regarding eligibility, the specific steps involved, and what the entire divorce process means for you and your loved ones. Here are the four important facts every Florida resident must know.
1. No-fault divorce state
That means there’s no call to accuse your significant other of abandonment, abuse, or adultery. This is because neither partner is at fault for having done something wrong. To successfully file for a no-fault divorce, you just need to say that your marriage is irretrievably broken. If you and your partner agree and you don’t have children, the court is likely to grant a divorce. In case there are kids involved or your partner disagrees that the marriage was irretrievably broken, the court is likely to order marriage counseling.
2. Residency requirements
To file for divorce in Florida, one of the partners must be a resident or stationed with the military in this state. Whether in the military or not, the couple must have stayed in Florida for six months before filing for divorce. You may be required to prove residency by showing a Florida Driver’s License.
3. Divorce petition
All divorce petitions filed in Florida must be filed in the county where both or one of the partners live. In case the divorcing parties live in different counties, they should file the petition in the county where they lived as a married couple. Otherwise, the court will transfer the case to that county.
The partner who had the divorce petition served should wait for 20 days for their partner to respond. The spouses must meet after the 20 days for mediation and handle various issues such as property division, spousal support, child support, and more. Once they reach an agreement, they don’t have to go to court. Instead, the case can proceed to a final hearing.
4. Marital and non-marital debts and assets
You and your partner will be required to disclose all your debts and assets. Marital assets are the specific assets that you both acquired during the marriage. The process of dividing these assets will be determined by the court.
Non-marital assets, on the other hand, are the assets that either you or your spouse owned before the marriage. Remember, you can retain these assets if you have the right records to prove that they are non-marital.
Just like assets, debts are usually considered as marital or non-marital. For example, student loans may have been acquired before the marriage. That means this debt can be retained if there is proper documentation. Other similar debts that either of the partners acquired before marriage may not be divided between the parties.
Most people make a mistake of thinking that the equitable division of assets is 50-50. This isn’t true. Every divorce case is unique. Besides, the process of property and debt division is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Other issues that must be analyzed during divorce include child support, custody agreements, taxes, and more. In addition to learning these facts about divorce in Florida, it’s also important to know that divorce is a long, challenging process. It is emotionally and financially challenging. This is why you should consult with an attorney who can help handle the necessary legal aspects of your divorce.