Divorce – Family Law
It is imperative to have an attorney on your side who understands the law regarding divorce in Florida.
The Divorce Process:
- The first step is deciding you want a divorce.
- Once you have decided with your spouse that you would like a divorce, you must petition in your county for the divorce.
- A petition in orange county and most of the surrounding areas is $408.00
- If you use a process server it will roughly add $45-60. This will deliver the news (either your attorney or you can deliver the news or you can) to your spouse.
About the Petition:
- The petition will ask for the least part of what you want including alimony
- Alimony is a husband or wife’s court-ordered provision for their spouse after separation or divorce. If you still have contact with your soon to be ex-spouse it is a good idea to discuss who gets the house, funds, kids, etc.
If a petition was sent by the server the alleged spouse has twenty days to answer it. If it was sent by mail the spouse is allotted more time to drag their feet, which is why it is a good idea to send it by server.
Following the response of the spouse’s divorce file there is more paperwork to be done. This paperwork includes both spouses individually going over their personal finances meaning income, debt, assets and bills. This will help divide the money and decide the child support payments (if there are children involved).
- Child support will be given to the one that takes care of the children. Even if the other spouse has visitation rights, he/she must still pay child support if they are not the primary caretaker.
- Child support payments will be determined based on extracurricular activities (such as dance, baseball, etc.), medical co-pays (what insurance does not cover), living costs (house, food, clothing, water) and other child-related expenses.
- Both parents must take a parenting course before being accepted to take care of the children or have visitation rights. Child support checks can be taken right out of the parent’s payment checks if deemed necessary.
- Following all the paperwork the parties must come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. This means child support, splitting the funds and everything entailed in a future living situation. This can be done with an attorney or at a mediation between the two parties.
- If an agreement has still not been reached by this time it is time to go to court. Generally, you start with a half-hour hearing in front of a magistrate who will make a recommendation. If the parties are still not in agreement then the parties will go on trial. This does not have a minimum or maximum length of time.
Final Judgment and Income Deduction Order:
- The Final Judgment is the final and official statement dividing the said property between the two parties. This can be changed in a future trial if needed.
- The Income Deduction Order takes the income straight out of the parent’s paycheck that is paying child support. This makes it impossible for them to miss a child support payment.