Divorce in Florida
As long as one party resides in Florida for at least six months preceding the filing for divorce and the marriage is "irretrievably broken" a person may file a Petition for Divorce in the State of Florida.
This simple procedure can become anything but simple. When marital assets and children are added to the simple procedure, it becomes the responsibility of the parties to divide the assets, agree on support for the spouse and children, and come to an agreement on child custody and parenting time. When the parties cannot agree, the Court will take charge and distribute the assets, determine support payments and set forth a child custody arrangement along with Court Ordered visitation.
The Court Rules require that after a Petition is filed, the other party must file an Answer. The other party may also file a Counter-Petition and make allegations and demands of his/her own.
Both parties must file Financial Affidavits and make Mandatory Disclosures to each other in a timely manner. The time periods are established by Court Rule and are not only very specific, but also establish penalties if either party fails to adhere to their guidelines.
Both parties are entitled to Discovery. Discovery can be giving the requesting party documents in your possession or can be having to testify in a deposition. You may also be asked to answer written questions under oath. Discovery is a powerful tool to gain knowledge of both income and assets. If your spouse has a company, Discovery can be used to determine the market value of the company for Equitable Distribution.
Alimony and Child Support may be awarded by the Court. The Court may award temporary as well as permanent support.
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