Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court. In Florida, divorce is “no-fault”. This means that the spouses are not required to prove anything other than that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The second basis for divorce in Florida is mental incapacity of the other spouse. That spouse must have been adjudicated incapacitated for at least three years before the divorce can be granted.
In a contested divorce, one or both of the spouses do not agree on the terms of the divorce. Disagreements may be about alimony, child custody, child visitation, child support, and the valuation and division of family and business debts and assets. There may be other issues that cannot be settled through calm discussions between parties.How Do Divorces Proceed in Florida?
When facing a divorce, many people panic because they simply don’t know how the divorce case will proceed. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we believe in providing our clients with knowledge of the process in order to relieve the undue stress that interferes with good decision-making and planning. Our firm is here to help you and give you the facts about the divorce process. We can assist you in the following ways:
- Filing or responding to a divorce petition
- Obtaining temporary support and relief
- Obtaining child support and alimony
- Developing a comprehensive parenting plan that assists both parents and children in the divorce transition
- Dividing assets of the marital estate
If you are contemplating divorce or have been served with a dissolution of marriage petition your first step is to consult and hire an experienced family law attorney to assist you with your case. To be eligible for a Florida divorce, one of the spouses must have resided in Florida for six months prior to the filing of the petition. If you are filing for divorce in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, or Nassau counties, our firm can prepare and file the required paperwork.
Once the paperwork is filed, a process server will serve the other spouse. He or she will have twenty (20) days to respond. In most cases, the failure by a spouse to respond to a dissolution petition does not stop the divorce.
After the divorce is filed, both parties will have to provide financial information to the other party. This involves financial affidavits and the provision of certain financial records. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A., we recommend you obtain copies of your last three years tax returns, pay stubs, insurance information, retirement account information, etc. We also recommend that you take an inventory of your assets.
After our office has both parties’ financial information, the parties, through their lawyers, can begin discussions regarding the children. The parties will in most cases attend mediation to resolve the case. If there is a resolution, a short hearing with the judge will be scheduled, and the divorce will be granted. Only one spouse needs to attend that hearing. If the spouses cannot agree to a resolution of their case, the judge will make the final decision.
At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we are committed to giving you honest advice about your case. If despite best efforts, your case cannot be resolved in mediation, we are experienced and prepared to aggressively try your case before the judge.How Long Will My Divorce Take?
All cases are different because all spouses are different, and your goals may change. There is no time requirement for the conclusion of a family law case. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we are committed to resolving your case in the manner that is best for you and your family.
Parker & DuFresne, P.A. serves clients in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau counties. If you are facing a contested divorce, it is imperative that you be pro-active in seeking the legal advice and representation of an experienced Parker & DuFresne, P.A. attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to do so could negatively impact your ability to achieve a positive resolution to the matter. Protect your legal rights by contacting Parker & DuFresne, P. A. at 904.733.7766 or at http://www.jaxlawcenter.com to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A., our skilled family law attorneys are ready to represent and protect your interests during contested divorce proceedings.