Jacksonville Divorce and Family Law Lawyers
Most people enter into a new marriage believing that it will last forever. In a perfect world, it would. However, we live in a less than perfect world. Sadly, many couples discover that they are simply not compatible with each other or they have fallen out of love over time. In many cases the best solution for all involved is to end the marriage and stop the hurting.
Unfortunately, ending a marriage is probably one of the most difficult and stressful experiences you will ever have to face. Not only are you severing emotional ties, but you are also splitting up the two most important things in your life - your family and your property. You need to know your legal rights from the very beginning of the divorce process.
In Florida, divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage” and the only requirements for obtaining a divorce are that at least one spouse has been a resident of the State of Florida for more than six months prior to filing a petition for dissolution and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Florida has abolished fault as a ground for divorce, however fault may be considered under certain circumstances in an award of alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities and determination of parental responsibility. Either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage, and the spouse who files does not have an “advantage” or a “leg up” on the other.
The divorce process is highly emotional and most people do not know their legal rights and obligations. Statutory requirements and court rules must be strictly followed or you may lose some or all of your rights forever. If you are going through a divorce or just considering the possibility, it is important to consult a skilled divorce lawyer who can guide you through the divorce process with as little stress as possible and ensure that your interests are protected.
Some couples are able reach an agreement on all of the issues involved in their marriage before or soon after the petition is filed. When that happens, the divorce is considered “uncontested.” While you may have worked things out, you still have to navigate the complex legal system and the confusing paperwork that is required. You should be aware, however, that if your spouse should change his or her mind and decide not to sign the paperwork, you may have lost some of your rights that could have been preserved with the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer. In the long run, it is often less expensive and almost always faster to hire a skilled divorce lawyer to help you with the process. It is always our goal to try and help you reach an amicable resolution that is fair, but we are experienced trial lawyers who will not hesitate to take your case to trial if it is necessary to protect your interests. We want you to make the right decisions today because they will affect you and your family for years to come.
While it is always our goal to try and help you reach an amicable settlement with your spouse without the expense and trauma of lengthy litigation and a trial, there are times when you cannot reach an agreement on all of the issues. Sometimes you can agree on everything except issues relating to your minor children such as child support and timesharing. Other times you may not be able to agree on property division or alimony. Those are the times when you need the skill and support of an experienced family law attorney. Finding the right attorney for you can mean the difference between a relatively smooth dissolution and a legal nightmare with consequences that can last forever. We will continue to work with you to try and settle your case up to and through mediation and right up until trial, but we are always prepared to go to trial to protect your interests in the event that negotiations fail.