(DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE)
Michael N. Bress, Esq.
In Florida, the process of Divorce is called a “Dissolution of Marriage.” A Divorce is a legal dissolution of a marital relationship, after which the parties are no longer husband and wife.
Florida is a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that a divorce can be granted without the necessity of showing that a spouse is guilty of marital misconduct. The only requirement to dissolve a marriage in Florida is for one party to prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” A marriage is irretrievably broken when the parties can no longer live together because their difficulties are so deep and substantial that no reasonable effort would allow the parties to continue a normal marital relationship.
In addition to proving grounds, a dissolution of marriage requires proof that the marriage exists and, to establish the court’s jurisdiction in such actions, proof that one party has been a resident of Florida for at least six months prior the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. See also Florida Statutes § 61.514.
In Florida, there are two methods of filing for a dissolution of marriage. The first and most common method is called a “Regular Dissolution of Marriage.” The second is called a “Simplified Dissolution of Marriage,” where the marriage is dissolved by a simplified procedure. In order to qualify to dissolve a marriage by a simplified procedure, the parties must meet the following requirements:
Both parties agree to the simplified dissolution procedure;
The parties have no minor or dependent children, or adopted children under the age of 18;
Neither party is pregnant;
At least one party has lived in Florida for the past six months;
Both parties agree on the division of their assets and liabilities;
Neither party seeks alimony; and
Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
If either party does not meet all of these requirements, the parties will have to follow the procedures of a regular dissolution of marriage.
In a regular dissolution of marriage case, the parties, facts, and circumstances in each case are different and involve different issues, such as the division of property, spousal support, child support, and child custody (known in Florida as “parental responsibility” and “timesharing”).
Before you take legal steps to dissolve your marriage, you may want to consider whether your marriage can be saved. Every couple’s situation is of course different, is a product of a unique history and takes into account considerations that are particular to each individual, but if you are uncertain about filing for divorce, you may want to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, religious mentor, or other professional. Many organizations offer counseling services at rates that are reasonable, or even free, some based on your ability to afford counseling.
Divorce is often a complex process that can be emotional and traumatic for parents and their children. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of an attorney to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities, so that you can make decisions that are in your best interests. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can contact a local legal-aid organization to see if you qualify for legal assistance that is free or at a reduced rate.
Although divorces can become very combative, couples who wish to dissolve their marriage in amicable manner, have the option to resolve some or all of their disputes through mediation, in order to avoid what may otherwise become a protracted litigation battle. For more information about mediation, you can visit: http://www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/alternative-dispute-resolution/mediation.stml.
If you need legal assistance in a divorce matter, you can contact Bress Law Firm, PLLC at (954) 336-8049, or by email at Michael@BressLaw.Com. Initial consultations are free and confidential. We are a Family Law Practice located in Aventura, Florida, but serve clients throughout Miami-Dade and Broward. By appointment only.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. You are welcome to contact us about a legal matter via. Phone, Letter, or Electronic Mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Our firm, however, treats all client information as if confidential.