Dissolution of Marriage or Divorce
Dissolution of marriage, commonly called divorce, is the legal process of terminating a marriage. Depending on the circumstances, divorce can be a complex process. During divorce proceedings matters of child support, child custody, spousal support (formally called alimony), and division of marital property and debt must be resolved.
Decisions regarding matters relating to the divorce, like how much is needed to financially support the children each month, where the children will live, how much monthly support will the higher-earning spouse pay the lower-earning spouse, or what happens to the family home after the divorce, can have serious long-term implications.
Making uninformed or emotionally charged decisions just so the divorce can quickly be finalized or to be done with a former spouse can adversely affect your family and finances. It is important to consult an experienced divorce attorney throughout the divorce process.
West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer
The experienced attorneys at Quality Family Law understand that divorce can be a stressful and confusing ordeal. Based on the unique circumstances of you and your family, the attorneys at Quality Family Law will explain your different options for divorce, including the simple divorce, uncontested divorce, and contested divorce.
They collaborate with you and work diligently on your behalf to ensure all related issues are resolved like child custody, child support, and visitation without financially devastating your family.
Quality Family Law proudly represents individuals in divorce and other family law matters throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and surrounding areas. Contact the divorce attorneys of Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 or submit an online form for a confidential consultation.
Florida Divorce Information Center
- Divorce Overview
- Types of Divorce in Florida
- Alternative Options to Resolve Divorce Issues
- South Florida Court Locations
- Palm Beach County Divorce Resources
Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that either spouse may file for divorce without alleging a specific reason for the dissolution of the marriage. A “no fault” divorce differs from the “fault” divorce, which requires spouses to allege specific reasons for the divorce, including adultery, abandonment, or cruelty.
In the divorce the spouses must only generally allege the marriage is irretrievably broken. While one spouse may deny the marriage is irretrievably broken, this is usually insufficient to prevent the divorce. A “no fault” divorce can be granted without the consent of both spouses.
Divorce can also be granted on the grounds that one spouse has been declared mentally incapacitated by a judge for a period of at least 3 years before filing for divorce. In cases where the divorce is granted based on mental incapacity of the other spouse, the petitioning spouse is required to pay alimony (spousal support).
To obtain a divorce in the state of Florida, one of the spouses must reside in Florida for at least 6 months before filing the petition for divorce. It is not necessary that both spouses reside in Florida. Divorce proceedings may be brought against persons residing out of state.
At this time there is no waiver to the residency requirement in Florida. In 2015 the Florida legislature introduced a bill that would eliminate the residency requirement for victims of domestic violence; however, the bill was withdrawn from consideration.
Types of Divorce
Although all divorces in Florida are “no fault”, the state permits different types of divorce, which include the following:
- Simple Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
- Contested Divorce
The type of divorce depends on a variety of factors, including property owned jointly by the spouses, children of the marriage, and the spouses’ ability to agree on divorce-related issues.
A simple divorce or simplified dissolution of marriage is a possible option for spouses that do not have any minor children of the marriage; the wife is not pregnant at the time of filing; and spouses agree in a written agreement how the property and debt is to be divided.
An uncontested divorce is a possible option when both spouses can agree to every aspect of the divorce, including the parenting plan for child custody and visitation, division of property and debt, amount of child support, the amount and duration of alimony, and any other divorce-related issue. If the spouses cannot resolve one or more issues, an uncontested divorce is not a viable option.
Commonly, when individuals think of divorce they think of the contested divorce. A contested divorce is an option when the spouses cannot resolve or agree to all of the terms of the divorce. Contested does not mean the divorce will be ugly or contentious, it just means the spouses need assistance resolving complex issues like child support, child custody, alimony, and division of marital property.
Options to Resolve Divorce Issues
A collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial and cost-effective way to resolve divorce-related issues and obtain a judgement for divorce.
In a collaborative divorce the spouses enter into a binding agreement with their respective attorneys. Per the agreement the spouses must resolve all divorce-related issues.
The collaborative divorce process happens out of court with trained professionals mediating the negotiation between spouses. Should the spouses fail to agree, the attorneys must withdraw from the case.
Like collaborative divorce, mediation is a collaborative process occurs without court intervention. With the assistance of a professional mediator (a neutral third-party), the spouses agree to the terms of all divorce-related matters.
Should the parties agree to all the terms of the divorce, the agreement is then put in writing and submitted to the family court. If the court finds the agreement acceptable, the court will order a final judgment of divorce.
Ordinarily, the court will find whatever agreement the spouses present acceptable unless the court finds one or both spouses materially representing any facts or was under duress during the mediation.
If parties are unable or unwilling to resolve divorce-related issues through alternative means, the divorce proceeding must be resolved in court. Trial is usually the most expensive divorce resolution method.
Going to trial involves pre-trial preparation, presentation of evidence, and expert witnesses. At the conclusion of the trial the judge rules on all contested matters before the court, including child support, child custody, alimony, and division of assets and liabilities.
Palm Beach County Main Courthouse
205 N. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561) 355-2996
South County Courthouse
200 W. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Phone: Criminal (561) 355-2996, Civil (561) 274-1588
North County Courthouse
3188 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: Criminal (561) 355-2996, Civil (561) 624-6650
West County Courthouse
2950 State Road 15
Belle Glade, FL 33430
Phone: (561) 996-4843
Midwestern Communities Service Center
200 Civic Center Way, Suite 500
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Phone: (561) 784-1271
Palm Beach County Unified Family Court ǀ Court Services- The Palm Beach County Unified Family Services provides general information regarding divorce and other family law issues, including filing fees, E-Filing, and wait times at the courthouse.
Palm Beach County Unified Family Court ǀ Divorce Records- The Palm Beach County Clerk provides copies of final judgments for divorces filed in Palm Beach County. Records can be searched online.
Quality Family Law ǀ Palm Beach County Divorce Attorneys
The divorce attorneys at Quality Family Law possess the knowledge and experience to help you and your family throughout your divorce process. With compassion and integrity, the team of attorneys Quality Family Law work as your legal partner to resolve all the issues related to your divorce, including division of marital property and debt, child support, child custody (time sharing), and alimony (spousal support).
Quality Family Law serves clients throughout Florida, including Boca Raton, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, and surrounding areas. Contact Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 or submit an online form for a confidential consultation.
Both Partners are Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rated in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
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