Common Florida Divorce FAQs
Q: I want a divorce. What do I Do?
A: If you are considering filing for divorce and live in Orlando, Lake County or anywhere in Central Florida, it is important to speak with a qualified divorce attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you discuss your options and wishes. Our team at the Holden & Darby law office in Tavares, FL, will help you assess your family’s situation, and work with you to decide the best course of action. The first step towards getting a divorce in Florida is to file a document called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This document outlines any claims that you have for things like custody, child support, alimony and division of property and debts.
Q: How long does a divorce in Florida take?
A: This depends on whether it is a contested divorce or uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the couple ends their marriage agreeably, and the process could take as little as four-to-five weeks. Things are quite different in a contested divorce, where the couple cannot agree on key issues such as division of property and debts, child custody, a parenting plan, child support or alimony, the courts will have to get involved. That means your case could last six months or longer. In Florida counties where the courts are busy, it could easily take a year or more.
Q: Are long-term marriages in Florida different?
A: If you and your spouse have been married for 20 years or more, most likely things like child support and custody will no longer be an issue. That’s because children will likely be preparing to or have already flown the nest. However, there are three major factors that still play a big role in long-term marriage divorces in the state of Florida. They are:
- Alimony – The length of your marriage is an important factor when it comes to alimony. The longer you and your spouse have been together, the more likely a court will order spousal maintenance for the under-earning spouse (the spouse who produces less income). These types of alimony are more likely to be permanent rather than rehabilitative.
- Retirement – If a spouse paying long-term alimony can prove that it is reasonable for him to retire, then the court will usually adjust his alimony obligation downward. This means the income of the receiving spouse will drop, but it will also take a chunk out of the paying spouse’s reduced income.
- Marital Home – Odds are, couples who have been married a long time have already paid off their home. This creates a sizable and valuable asset, free of liens. When this happens, spouses close to retirement will not need to worry about paying a mortgage or refinancing the home. If the house is worth $300,000 or more, the spouse keeping it may have to take on a $150,000 mortgage to buy out the partner’s equity. Since this can often be an issue when each spouse’s income will soon be reduced due to retirement, many courts will award the house outright to one spouse, allowing the partner’s equity share to act as a one-time lump sum of alimony.
Common Florida Accident Injury FAQs
What do I do if I’m injured in an accident?
A: There are many kinds of accidents that can cause injury – defective products, slip-and-fall accidents, and car accidents. If you are ever injured in an accident, it is important that you call the police to report the incident and seek medical treatment you may need for any injuries sustained. It will also help your personal injury case if witness statements and contact information are gathered, and the scene is documented with photos or videos as soon as possible after the accident. If you are physically unable to do this, usually the law enforcement officers involved will handle it. As soon as you are able, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case so that you can receive the medical and financial compensation you deserve.