When a marriage fails, it generally causes a flood of emotions such as rage, despair, concern, and dread. These sensations may appear when you least expect them, catching you off guard. Divorce is a terrible and stressful process, but having a Pensacola divorce lawyer on your side might be the difference between success and failure.
You should not approach divorce proceedings without the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. Our law firm, Brightwell Law PLLC, is here to offer you quality representation and guidance.
Why Do I Need a Pensacola Divorce Lawyer?
Marriage breakdown may be an extremely stressful and devastating experience for both partners and their children. Spouses are frequently unaware of their legal rights and duties. Court clerks and judges can provide basic information but cannot provide legal advice, which an attorney can do. You’ll need a divorce lawyer who knows the ramifications of divorce. That is why it is crucial to hire a divorce lawyer!
What makes for a competent divorce attorney?
- The skill to Communicate clearly
It is crucial to have open lines of contact with your divorce lawyer. Throughout your case, you must be able to properly convey your worries and aspirations to your lawyer, and your lawyer must be capable of accurately communicating everything to you about your case and giving you reasonable expectations. Brightwell Law PLLC understands this well. Our lawyers are incredibly focused on you in order to assist you in communicating your aspirations.
- Awareness of State Laws
For your situation, a divorce lawyer who is conversant with local regulations is indeed the preferred option. It’s logical to select a lawyer who really is versed in Florida law in order to achieve the most favorable result. Nevertheless, our civil litigation attorneys are ready to serve.
- Availability: What good is employing a lawyer if they are unavailable to you when you need them? As a result, one must always ensure that the lawyer they hire will offer them adequate time and will attentively listen to them. Fortunately, Brightwell Law PLLC is accessible and available to Floridians who want assistance and direction with a legal matter like a divorce case.
Brightwell Law PLLC can offer the legal counsel you need at this difficult time. To learn more about how we may assist you, contact our family law firm now and book an initial consultation.
What is Divorce?
A dissolution of marriage or divorce is an action to end the marriage contract. The laws of the State of Florida (Florida Statutes) and the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure regulate these situations.
Florida is one of many states that have eliminated fault as a reason for divorce. To dissolve a marriage, one of the parties must demonstrate that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Either spouse has the right to petition for divorce. You must confirm that marriage exists, that one party has been a Florida resident for six months before filing the petition, and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
What are the Different Kinds of Divorce?
Divorce comes in many forms. We’ll break down the main categories of this legal action so you know what to expect in your divorce proceedings.
No-Fault and Fault Divorce
Traditional divorce is classified into two types: no-fault and fault. A no-fault divorce occurs when one spouse petitions the court to dissolve a marriage without accusing the other. Instead of identifying a specific episode of marital wrongdoing, the filing spouse has to cite the state’s legal grounds for no-fault divorce as the cause for the divorce request in all 50 states (and certain states only allow no-fault divorce).
Each state has its standards, but in general, the alternatives are as follows:
- Irreconcilable disagreements;
- Incompatibility; or
- Irretrievable breakdown.
The filing spouse must argue that the other spouse caused the divorce by engaging in a particular behavior to obtain a faulty divorce. Only a few states continue to enable spouses to employ the fault-based divorce process. Fault divorces are more expensive and time-consuming than no-fault divorces because one spouse must establish that the other spouse’s wrongdoing caused the marriage to dissolve.
The following are some of the most prevalent causes of fault divorce:
- Domestic violence or abuse
- Desertion or abandonment
- Alcohol or drug abuse
With divorce mediation, the couple meets with a neutral third party who helps them negotiate their divorce-related difficulties. Divorce mediators are often family law attorney lawyers educated in the most recent mediation techniques and state standards.
An uncontested divorce implies that both spouses agree on the legal grounds for the divorce and all of the divorce-related issues.
To obtain an uncontested divorce, both spouses must prepare and execute a legally enforceable settlement agreement that details the couple’s plans for the following:
- Property split in a marriage
- Distribution of marital debt
- Child support and custody
- Parental leave
- Spousal support
A collaborative divorce is an additional option for completing your divorce. It is best suited for couples who are prepared to work together to settle their concerns without the assistance of the court.
Typically, the process begins with each spouse retaining the services of a collaborative divorce counsel. The attorneys and spouses will agree that if the pair cannot resolve their differences, the attorneys will withdraw from the case, and the couple will have to start over.
A contentious divorce is something that everyone strives to avoid. Anyone who disagrees with a spouse on any divorce-related subject can use the contested divorce procedure. When either spouse disputes any provision of their proposed settlement agreement, an uncontested divorce becomes contentious. When this occurs, the spouses must petition the court to resolve the matter for them.
What are the Florida Laws on Qualifying for Divorce?
To receive a divorce in Florida, you must fulfill two fundamental requirements: a residence requirement and a legally-acceptable cause for dissolving your marriage.
Florida Divorce Residency Requirement
You cannot acquire a divorce in Florida unless you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least six months before filing the original divorce papers.
Divorce Grounds in Florida
When filing for divorce in Florida, you must provide the legal grounds for the breakup. Florida is a “no-fault divorce” state, which means that there are only two grounds for divorce that do not entail accusing your spouse of wrongdoing.
How Do I File for Divorce in Florida?
To begin the divorce process in Florida, submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the district court clerk’s office in the county where you and your spouse last resided together with the purpose to remain married.
There are several variations of the dissolution petition available depending on whether you:
- are seeking a streamlined divorce of marriage;
- have little children with your spouse; and
- do not have children, but you own marital property with your spouse.
What are the Types of Divorce in Florida?
A streamlined divorce makes the procedure easier and speedier. There must be no minor children from the marriage to obtain a streamlined divorce, and the female spouse may not be pregnant. Both spouses must file documents outlining their property and money and an agreement outlining how the property will be distributed. A final divorce hearing will be held before a judge to finalize the divorce.
A simple divorce does not have to be complex. A standard divorce might be contested or uncontested. You and your spouse agree on all divorce issues in an uncontested divorce.
This covers property partition, child custody, and visiting rights. Then, you and your spouse sign a marital settlement agreement outlining the conditions you have agreed upon.
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
For Florida courts to approve a divorce, the plaintiff’s petition must state the grounds for the divorce. In Florida, there are two grounds for divorce: irreparable breakdown of the marriage and mental incompetence of one of the spouses (Florida Statutes Section 61.052).
The former is the most common reason for divorce, with a person or couple saying that their marriage has deteriorated to the point that it can no longer be salvaged.
What is the Cost of Filing for Divorce in Florida?
To submit a divorce petition in Florida, you must pay a fee. The actual fee varies significantly per county, but you should budget roughly $400.
If you cannot pay the charge, you may request a waiver. Submit an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status with your petition. This form is available online or via the court clerk.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?
From the moment you file your initial divorce papers, Florida law needs a 20-day waiting time before the court can enter a final dissolution decision. However, hardly many divorces are completed in that time frame. The time it will take in your case will be determined primarily by the kind of divorce.
Call our Trusted Divorce Lawyer Now!
Divorce and legal separation are tough times, so having a skilled family law firm on your side while you handle the complexities of legal documentation and judicial procedures is vital. Brightwell Law PLLC works hard to protect any client’s legal rights and guarantee that your relationship with your children is protected and maintained after the separation or divorce procedure is completed.
Brightwell Law PLLC is a northwest Florida law firm also specializing in estate preparation or estate planning, family law matter, landlord-tenant law, and probate. Contact us immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing legal problems. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have on your cases.