Florida Divorce Questions

Understanding the Florida Divorce Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Are you contemplating divorce in Florida and find yourself overwhelmed with questions? You’re not alone. This blog aims to address some of the common Florida divorce process FAQs we hear in our office. From the duration of the divorce process to handling difficult situations like spousal harassment, we’ll provide insights to help alleviate your concerns.

Johnny Bardine of The Bardine Law Firm is an experienced family law attorney centered here in St. Petersburg, Florida. To have all of your specific legal questions answered face-to-face, contact us today at (727) 605-7078 or through our website to schedule a consultation.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?

The duration of a divorce in Florida varies depending on whether it is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce without major disagreements surrounding child support, property division, and alimony, can be relatively swift, potentially taking as little as four to five weeks once all paperwork is completed. 

However, the timeline can extend considerably in a contested divorce, where disagreements on key issues exist. Contested cases may take approximately four to six months, even longer if large assets are present or many complex situations arise. Moreover, if the case requires a trial due to unresolved disputes, this can further prolong the process, sometimes up to a year or more. It’s important to note that each divorce case is unique, and we can not guarantee from the outset how long your separation will take to finalize.

What if My Spouse is Violent or Harassing Me?

If your spouse is acting violently or harassing you, there are legal protections in place to protect you from this abuse. Firstly, in cases of immediate danger, always contact the police. Additionally, Florida law allows you to obtain a restraining order, which can be issued without initially notifying your spouse. This restraining order, also known as an injunction for protection, can provide a legal barrier that prevents your spouse from engaging in further abusive or harassing behavior. 

In the longer term, during the divorce proceedings, the court can issue orders to protect you and your children, such as removing the abusive spouse from the home. It’s important to communicate these concerns with your attorney, who can guide you through securing these protective measures and ensure that your safety is a priority in the divorce proceedings.

What are the Basic Requirements to File for Divorce in Florida?

To file for divorce in Florida, certain basic requirements must be met. One of the key requirements is residency; at least one spouse must have been a Florida resident for at least six months before filing the divorce petition. Additionally, the filing party must assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In layman’s terms, your marriage cannot be repaired through counseling or any other means. Instead of requiring proof of specific grounds for divorce, such as adultery or abuse, Florida’s no-fault divorce law simplifies the process. The focus is on the breakdown of the marriage rather than placing blame. Once the residency requirement is met and the marriage is deemed irretrievably broken, the process begins with filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This petition outlines the claims for child support, alimony, property division, and other relevant issues. 

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Through My Divorce?

A lawyer definitely plays a vital role in Florida divorces, no matter if they are collaborative or not. A divorce attorney can provide clear guidance on all types of matters, including the division of assets, child custody, and alimony. They can help negotiate and draft agreements, aiming for a settlement that aligns with your best interests. In contested divorces, a lawyer represents you in court, advocating on your behalf. They also assist in preparing and filing all necessary legal documents, ensuring compliance with court procedures and deadlines. 

Can I Avoid Going to Court for My Divorce in Florida?

In Florida, avoiding court appearances in a divorce process is possible, particularly in an uncontested divorce scenario where both parties generally agree on all aspects of their case. This agreement allows for the electronic transmission of documents and court submissions, eliminating the need for either party to physically appear in court. This process simplifies and expedites the divorce proceedings. However, if the divorce is contested, with unresolved issues requiring court intervention, then court appearances will likely be necessary. 

Mediation can be a valuable tool in these cases, offering a platform for both parties to negotiate and potentially reach an agreement without going to trial. Individuals considering divorce must understand how their unique circumstances could affect a case and consult with a legal professional to determine the best course of action, which may or may not involve court appearances.

Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney Today

If you still have any lingering questions – which you probably do – we encourage you to reach out to Johnny Bardine of The Bardine Law Firm to get expert legal advice through a consultation. You can get in contact through our website or at (727) 605-7078.