5 Things You Need to Know About Family Law in Florida

Whether you are facing a complex or simple divorce case, it is always best to do your research. You might find yourself with plenty of doubts. Such as, How do I find the best family law attorney near me? What is the first step to take? How is the divorce process like?

Before getting into more questions, it’s critical for you to understand how family law works under state laws. Therefore, here the most important aspects of filing for divorce in Florida: 

Filing For Divorce

Florida divorce eligibility begins with one of the spouses — the filing for Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. To submit the form, couples must meet the following requirements: 

  • One of the parties must be a Florida resident for six months before filing for divorce.
  • The marriage has irreconcilable differences or one spouse has been diagnosed with mental incapacity for a minimum of three years.

If both parties agree to the divorce, the spouse served with the papers needs to file a form known as Answer and Waiver of Service. Once the paperwork is done, a judge might have a resolution for the case in about 20 days or more. 

Financial Disclosure 

Florida state law requires both spouses to file a financial affidavit. The document must be submitted within 45 days of filing for divorce. The affidavit should include financial information about your income, tax returns, debts, bank statements, credit card statements, and personal financial statements. 

The purpose of the affidavit is to help to define the distribution of assets for alimony or child support.

Division of Assets 

Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning the couple’s assets will be divided equally. Assets and liabilities that must be divided include property, income, and marital debts. Some factors the court will consider when dividing the marital assets include: 

  • The contributions of both spouses to their marriage and to their children.
  • The financial situation of each spouse. 
  • Length of the marriage.
  • Destruction of marital assets made from two years before filing for divorce or later. 
  • If one party contributed to the other’s education or career. Including if one spouse quit their studies to emotionally or economically support the other’s educational path. 

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

A simplified Dissolution of Marriage is a process that doesn’t require the examination of financial documents of the spouses. The requirements to qualify are: 

  • There are no current pregnancies or children under 18 involved. 
  • Neither of the spouses is seeking alimony.
  • You both agree to the simplified dissolution of marriage due to irreconcilable differences.
  • The couple has come to an agreement on the division of assets and liabilities. 

 Given that a financial affidavit will not be required, family law attorneys are not strictly necessary for this process. 

Child Custody

Couples should negotiate the custody of children. If the couple can’t come to an agreement on child custody, the court will make the decision in the best interest of the child. 

Types of custody in Florida:

  • Sole Custody. The custody is exclusively given to one parent. They are completely responsible for the decisions to be made for the child. 
  • Joint Custody. The decisions made about the child must be approved by both parents. One parent beholds the primary custody, therefore the child lives with them. The other parent is granted to visit the child. 

Divorce is a sensitive situation that requires time, economical, and emotional investment. At Paul Bowen Law we have knowledgeable and affordable attorneys to help make this process as fair and stress-free as possible. Let us help you.