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Florida Divorce Facts
When going through a divorce in in Florida, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Florida should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Florida Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Florida Divorce Professional.
One spouse must live in Florida for six months before filing for a divorce.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. The only requirements to getting a Florida divorce are that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that the filing spouse meets the residency requirements.
The divorce paperwork must be filed in either the county where the defendant resides or the county where the spouses last lived together prior to separating.
An uncontested divorce means that the spouses agree on the division of marital property, alimony, and child custody, support, and visitation. The spouses sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to finalize the divorce. The cost of an uncontested Florida divorce is usually minimal. It generally takes 30 days after the parties sign the Marital Settlement Agreement for the court to finalize the uncontested divorce.
Florida requires an equitable distribution of the marital property. Each spouse keeps the property and debts that belonged to them before the marriage. Each spouse also keeps any property received as a gift or inheritance, or any property that the spouses agree to divide in a written agreement. Any property that was acquired before the spouses married or that was received as a gift or inheritance is not considered marital property.
Alimony can be requested when one spouse needs financial assistance. In order to qualify for alimony, the requesting spouse must prove need and that the paying spouse is financially able to make the payments.
The Florida divorce court can award temporary alimony until the final divorce hearing is held. Then, at the final divorce hearing, the court can order permanent alimony if it is requested and necessary.
A spouse who does not make timely support payments can have his or her wages garnished. The court orders that alimony be automatically taken from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court can also order that the paying spouse give the alimony payments to the Support Enforcement Department, which will give the money to the receiving spouse.
If the paying spouse fails to make timely and sufficient payments, the court can suspend the paying spouse's driver's license.
All divorcing spouses who have children must complete a Parent Education and Family Stabilization class. This class helps parents to minimize the emotional trauma of the divorce on the children. Each parent must independently complete the course before the divorce enters the court.
When the court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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