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Florida’s Divorce Law

Board Certified Boca Raton Divorce Attorney

If you want to divorce your spouse and live in Florida there are a few requirements you should be aware of first. You will want to get acquainted with these before you really consider a dissolution. In most divorce cases it is in your best interest to seek the help of a qualified Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

The process of dissolution can be both emotional and confusing. It is always best to know the requirements before you begin. To be able to file for a Florida dissolution, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state or a member of an armed force stationed in the state. You both must agree that there are “irreconcilable differences” and you want to dissolve the marriage. If one contests the dissolution then it is common for courts to order some type of counseling before a few months before granting the dissolution.

Divorce proceedings can go rather smoothly as long as both parties agree on how to divide property, debt, and responsibilities for any children. If not, the case will end up in a hearing before a judge. Marital assets will be divided equitably. This is also a time when having a lawyer act as a liaison for you can be very beneficial to make sure you get what you are entitled to.

Another part of the divorce process is alimony, custody and child support, if applicable. Florida courts will order alimony if it is well-substantiated. Custody is decided on what is in the best interest of the child. Shared parenting is very common now but usually, one parent will provide the primary residence, education or medical care. Child support is assessed by examining the income of parents, child care expenses, and the child’s health.

These decisions are life-changing and rather than get yourself in a predicament that could follow you for years, you need a Boca Raton dissolution lawyer to make sure that you get what you deserve.

The History of Divorce

Divorce wasn’t really common in the United States before World War Two, but the history of divorce actually goes back thousands of years. Ancient Greece and ancient Rome had quite liberal divorce policies. It was only with the fall of Rome and the rise of the medieval church that dissolution almost disappeared entirely. England’s Henry the Eighth, famous for having six wives, challenged Rome in the early 1500s, and after the Protestant Reformation, marriage came to be considered a civil contract rather than a sacrament. Secular authorities gradually began asserting the power to grant divorces.

 In the modern era, California was the first state to enact “no-fault” divorce in 1970, and since 1985, no-fault dissolution has been available in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. While all of the fifty states are still “no-fault” dissolution states, lawmakers in several states are imposing additional requirements upon those who now seek divorce. Before you initiate a dissolution in south Florida, discuss your circumstances first with an experienced Boca Raton dissolution lawyer. Over a dozen states have recently considered proposals that would make it more difficult to get a divorce. There’s a law now in Oklahoma requiring parenting classes for divorcing couples with children. Within the last few years, Arizona and Utah have passed laws that require counseling or a longer waiting period. If you seek dissolution in Massachusetts and have children under 18, you’ll have to attend a six-hour parenting education course. Arkansas has a 540-day standard processing time for divorce, and couples there must separate for 18 months before they can file. The upshot is that an Arkansas divorce can take almost three years. Maryland, South Carolina, and North Carolina all require a one-year separation or waiting period before you can file.

Some attorneys and judges think parenting classes and waiting periods help calm highly-charged situations and protect the children. Others simply think the laws are insulting – you’re already going through a tough time and the state is making it tougher. Apart from a 20-day waiting period after initially filing for dissolution, Florida law does not require separations or waiting periods. Neither does the law require parenting classes for all divorcing parents, but a judge, at his or her discretion, may order a couple to attend a parenting course before finalizing the divorce. If you are divorcing or you need to learn more about dissolution in Florida, help is here, so arrange as quickly as possible to speak with an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

Who Needs An Attorney?

Nobody wants to hire a dissolution attorney. It costs money. You can download all the forms for free and read everything you need to know online, right?

Actually, that’s only partially true – the part about how nobody wants to hire a lawyer. Yes, it costs a bit of money, but your divorce lawyer’s job is to protect your interests in a dissolution. Without legal representation, many divorcing people stand to lose a lot more than an attorney’s fee. As for the forms, let your divorce attorney review them or complete them on your behalf. Any mistakes, inaccuracies, or lack of thoroughness could delay your divorce or jeopardize a fair settlement.

The truth is that you need more than a divorce lawyer. A dissolution is going to be one of the most important events in your life. You need someone with rigorous legal training, someone with extensive divorce and family law experience, and someone officially recognized by other attorneys as an expert in family law. You need the services of an experienced Boca Raton dissolution lawyer who is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law.

If you are a parent, if you have real estate holdings or own a business, if you’re in debt, or if you have a pension or retirement savings, any mistake on the legal paperwork or during a dissolution proceeding could be catastrophic. A divorce shouldn’t mean losing your home, going into bankruptcy, or losing custody of your child or children.

Divorce is never pleasant. When you are divorcing, you need an attorney who is sensitive to your emotions, anxieties, and fears, someone who routinely handles similar cases, someone who confidently reassures you. In south Florida, retain the advice and services of an experienced Boca Raton dissolution lawyer from the very beginning of the divorce process, and don’t wait to make the call.