Filing for Divorce in Florida?
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At the Virga Law Firm, our Florida divorce attorneys stand ready to assist you with all your legal needs. During a dissolution of marriage, we know the significance of timely action in order to achieve our client’s goals. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, we can quickly build an effective case for your individual needs. Choose us for the experience you need. Call and schedule your consultation today!
Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
For those undergoing divorce, the reasons are varied. In a legal sense, divorce is also known as dissolution of marriage.
Within the state of Florida, there are only two grounds for marriage dissolution:
- Irreconcilable Differences - This is the most common reason for divorce. Since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, neither party is assigned fault by the court. When the petitioner states that their marriage is “irretrievably broken,” this is known as irreconcilable differences. In common terms, this means that couple is no longer able to coexist amicably.
- Mental Incapacity - The second ground for dissolution occurs when one of the parties is mentally incapacitated. A dissolution of marriage is not allowed unless the party alleged to be mentally incapacitated has been adjudged incapacitated for a preceding period of at least 3 years.
Whatever your unique circumstance is, our individualized approach will identify the best pathway for effective case resolution. Furthermore, the firm’s divorce lawyers will assist with all relevant documentation and prepare you for every aspect of your case.
The Florida Divorce Process
The first steps in the divorce process in Florida are:
- Pick up a divorce packet from your local court or download divorce forms from the Florida Courts website
- File a Petition for Dissolution and pay the fee (or have it waived, if applicable)
- File an Answer to Petition and Counterpetition
Once you have filed for divorce or responded to a divorce petition, you will either go the route of an uncontested divorce (without court) or a contested divorce (in court). This depends on whether or not you and your spouse are able to agree on the terms of your divorce, such as property division, custody, and support.
Uncontested Divorce in Florida
In some cases, both parties want an amicable end to the marriage. When the divorcing couple is willing to cooperate, no litigation is required. Both parties must agree upon the division of property and debt. This is known as simplified dissolution of marriage. In this event, the matter is resolved outside of court.
During an uncontested divorce, dedicated attorneys guide you through the process. Utilizing professional experience, our Florida divorce lawyers draft pleadings and build your marital settlement agreement with your needs prioritized.
In the event your divorce is not fully uncontested, a team of reputable attorneys will negotiate on your behalf. The Virga Law Firm’s divorce attorneys excel at mediation and reaching optimal solutions. Your needs are our priority.
Contested Divorce in Florida
In cases where one or more parties cannot agree on terms, this is known as regular dissolution of marriage. Often, volatile emotions are involved in contentious divorce proceedings, and many prospective clients undergo significant emotional stress. Our passionate litigators will work tirelessly to defend your rights and interests during this turbulent time.
Annulment vs. Divorce in Florida
Sometimes prospective clients question the difference between annulment and divorce. With annulments, the dissolution is based on the premise that the marriage is void by law. As for divorce, the parties are considered ending a legally valid marriage. Since Florida lacks an annulment statute, there are no definitive fixed steps for proceeding. Annulments are typically more difficult to attain because they require a higher burden of proof.
Within the state of Florida, some of the grounds for annulment are as follows:
- Underage Spouse - While uncommon, this still occurs from time to time. If any party was under 18 years old and lacked either parental consent or court approval, pursuing annulment is permissible.
- Fraud or Duress - A valid marriage consists of two free and voluntary parties. If any party was forced to enter the marriage under coercion or threat, this is duress. Correspondingly, if any party enters the marriage under false pretense, this is fraud. Showing either of these conditions is grounds for annulment.
- Capacity - Grounds for marriage dissolution via annulment also includes mental incapacity and physical disability. Concerning mental incapacity, the petitioner would have had to discover the disability after the marriage occurred. The influence of alcohol or drugs during the time of marriage could affect one’s capacity for consent.
At The Virga Law Firm, our seasoned litigators will use personalized assessments to determine the best path for resolution. We proudly serve Orlando, Tallahassee, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City and Panama City Beach, Florida. Whether through annulment or divorce, let our Florida divorce attorneys develop an individualized strategy to best meet your goals.
To determine whether divorce or annulment best suits your legal needs, contact our dedicated Florida divorce lawyers for a consultation today.