Couples do not enter a marriage with the anticipation that the marriage will come to an end.  Sadly, divorce is a reality for many couples. While it is never easy to end a marriage and go your separate ways, an experienced West Palm Beach divorce attorney can provide the guidance and support you need as you work through the terms of your divorce and begin the next chapter in your life. For couples who are unable to settle matters in an amicable manner, hiring an attorney who understands Florida divorce laws and how to protect your best interest is vital. Your future and your child’s future can be drastically altered by the terms in your divorce decree.

For help navigating a separation or divorce, call our Palm Beach County separation attorney for help. Call 561-420-8500 (24/7) to request a free consultation.

An Overview of Divorces in Florida

Divorce is referred to as the dissolution of marriage in our state. Florida is considered a “no-fault” divorce state because lawmakers abolished the requirement for a spouse to prove “fault” to obtain a divorce. In other words, you do not need to prove your spouse committed adultery, was abusive, or abandoned you to dissolve your marriage in Florida. The only requirements for a divorce in this state is to prove you or your spouse has been a legal resident of the state of Florida for a minimum of six months prior to the filing of the petition and that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

However, while the court does not assign fault to either party, the reason that the marriage is irretrievably broken can be considered by the court when deciding some issues. For example, the court may consider the reason for the divorce when it is dividing marital property or awarding spousal support.  Therefore, even though you can obtain assistance filing a petition for dissolution of marriage from a non-lawyer, you should consult with an experienced Florida divorce attorney to ensure your best interest will be protected in a divorce proceeding.

Furthermore, the facts and circumstances of your case are unique, so your outcome may not be the “cookie cutter” case that many non-lawyers handle. You want an attorney in Palm Beach County that understands all laws pertaining to a Florida divorce in addition to understanding the court system and court rules. Non-lawyers cannot give you legal advice and while judges and court personnel can answer some questions, they are prohibited from giving you advice or interpreting the law for you. Because you can lose certain rights forever if you do not conform to the rules and laws for filing petitions to dissolve your marriage, it is best for you to consult with our attorney before taking any action.

Regular Dissolution of Marriage vs. Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Most couples use the regular dissolution of marriage in Florida because the requirements for a simplified dissolution of marriage are very narrow. One party must file a Petition of Dissolution of Marriage with the court and serve the petition on the other spouse. That spouse has 20 days to file a response to the petition. The response may agree with all allegations in the petition, dispute the allegations, or raise additional issues to be settled or litigated.

From this point, your divorce action can take many different directions depending on many factors including:

  • Children and child support
  • Spousal support
  • Timesharing agreement and custody arrangements
  • Division of assets and liabilities
  • Allegations of fault (i.e. adultery and abuse)

These factors determine the course and length of your divorce. For this reason, experienced legal counsel is strongly recommended.

A Simplified Dissolution of Marriage can be accomplished without an attorney if the parties meet all eligibility requirements and perform all steps set by law and the courts. Eligibility requirements for a simplified process include:

  • Agreement by both spouses to dissolve the marriage
  • The parties do not have any children or dependents, including adopted children, under the age of 18 years
  • The wife is not pregnant
  • One or both parties have been Florida residents for at least six months
  • There are no disputes as to the division of marital property or debts
  • Both parties state that the marriage is irretrievably broken

Again, even though you can complete the simplified process without an attorney, that does not mean you should do so. Consulting with an attorney ensures your rights will be protected should the divorce take a different direction.

Military Divorces

Military divorces can include issues that are unique for military personnel. Our West Palm Beach divorce attorney can help you resolve these unique issues the can relate to pensions, child custody, time-sharing, and residency requirements.

Call A West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney for Help

Contact The Eaton Family Law Firm for a free consultation by calling 561-420-8500 (24/7) or using our online contact form.

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