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Family Law

 

 

Dissolution of Marriage in Florida is NO FAULT


Florida has enacted a no fault dissolution of marriage statute.
Under Florida law the husband and wife are treated as equal
partners, sharing equal rights and obligations during the
marriage and sharing equal burdens in its dissolution.
Because there is no requirement of fault, you only need to
show that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that your
spouse is mentally incapacitated.


How long must I wait once I file?


At least 20 days must elapse from the date of filing the
Petition of dissolution of marriage before a final judgment
may be entered. However, the court may enter a final
judgment of dissolution of marriage at an earlier date where
it can be shown that injustice would result from this delay.


The Relief Available


A Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage results in each
spouse having the status of being unmarried. The relief one
may seek in an action for dissolution of marriage includes:


a. Equitable distribution of property;
b. Alimony;
c. Parental responsibility and contact;
d. Child support;
e. Attorneys' fees and costs


Additional relief such as a Wife's request to restore her
maiden name or partition of real and personal property. may
be available through what is referred to as ancillary actions

 

Simplified Dissolution


Simplified dissolution of marriage is available to marriages
that meet certain criteria The Husband and Wife must join in
the petition, appear at frnal hearing together, and certify the
following under oath:


a. That there are no minor or dependent children of the
parties, and the wife is not pregnant.
b. That the parties have made a satisfactory division of
their property and have agreed as to the payment of their
joint debts/obIigations.


The parties must also certify the truth as to other relevant
facts that are described in the Family Law Rules of
Procedure.


Alimony Support


There are no specific statutory guidelines for alimony in
FIorida. There is a presumption in favor of permanent
periodic alimony in long-term marriages and a presumption
against permanent periodic alimony in short-term marriages.
Two (2) elements must always be satisfied when seeking
alimony, the entitlement to and the amount of alimony. The
most significant factors a Court considers in finding
entitlement are:


a Need of the requesting spouse:
b Ability of the paying spouse; and
c. The standard of living established during the
marriage.


Child Support


The parents' obigation for Child support in Florida is
governed by statute. It is a right belonging to the child and
the parents cannot contract away their child's right to
support. At any time during dissolution of marriage
proceedings, the judge may order either or both of the
parents to pay support in accordance with the child support
guidelines


Petition to Modify Support


Whenever a Child Support order is entered, a continuing duty
remains upon the paying parent to inform the other parent
and the court of a change in address, employer and income.


A change in circumstances in the payors income alone may
be sufficient grounds to seek modification. In final judgments
involving alimony, this is applicable when the Court reserves
jurisdiction because the need of one spouse was greater
than the other spousets ability to pay. A substantial disparity
in income is a valuable factor in showing that one spouse has
been short-changed.

 

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