Getting Divorced in Florida

Newlyweds have high hopes for their relationship. Unfortunately, couples can and do grow apart. When this happens, many spouses will seek counseling in an attempt to improve their relationship and keep their marriage together. When these attempts fail, however, many couples will make the decision to divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Florida

Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state which means that neither spouse has to prove that the other spouse engaged in bad conduct. Instead, divorce petitions simply need to state that irreconcilable differences caused the breakdown of the marriage.

Property Division

In Florida, marital finances are subject to “equitable division.” Assets and debts are generally divided equally between spouses unless one spouse can prove that it is more fair and equitable to allocate responsibility for debts and assets differently.

Circumstances that would result in an unequal division of debtor assets may include situations in which one spouse has more earning potential than the other. Other considerations may be whether one spouse has contributed more to household finances and investments during the marriage.

In some cases, it can be difficult to assess the total value of a marital estate, as well as the long-term financial concerns of each spouse. Expert legal and financial advice can be helpful at this stage. Some couples may also seek the assistance of a professional mediator as an alternative to lengthy and expensive litigation.

Child Custody

Florida law makes the best interests of a child or children the sole consideration when deciding which parent receives custody. In many cases, the courts may decide that joint custody is in a child’s best interest, but may still assign primary physical custody to one parent.

If parents are unable to come to an agreement about child custody, mediation may be a good idea. Otherwise, the court will consider a number of factors when making a decision about custody. These factors will include the ability of each parent to provide a child with a stable home life and schedule, the relationship that each parent has with the child or children, and whether a custody decision will significantly disrupt a child’s current routine and lifestyle.

Next Steps

If you believe that divorce is necessary, or inevitable, seek out the best Tampa divorce attorney for your case. A lawyer may be able to help you better understand your case, your rights, and your responsibilities. In addition, strong legal representation can protect your interests, and those of your children, leaving you in a better position for rebuilding your life.

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