Ending a marriage involves many important decisions that can affect your finances, your children, and your future. At Bogin, Munns & Munns, our Gainesville divorce lawyers can help you find a way forward that meets your needs and the needs of your family.
Our Florida Family Law Attorneys Will Stand By Your Side
For more than 40 years, our lawyers have helped families in need. We know that going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging times in a person’s life. We want to help you dissolve your marriage as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We can assist with questions regarding property division, custody and child support, alimony, and more. We will strive to forge a divorce agreement that puts you on a path toward a successful future.
To consult with an experienced divorce lawyer serving Gainesville, call 855-686-6752
How do You Commence Divorce Proceedings in Florida?
According to Florida Statutes § 61.021, you or your spouse must live in Florida for at least 6 months prior to the dissolution of your marriage to qualify for a divorce in the state. If you meet this requirement, your next steps depend on the type of divorce you seek:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
According to the Florida Courts, you and your spouse can petition together for a simplified dissolution of marriage if:
- Both parties agree to end the marriage
- You and your spouse have no minor or dependant children together, and the wife is not pregnant
- You and your spouse agree to terms regarding the division of your assets and liabilities (debts)
- Neither party seeks alimony
- Both parties agree to waive their right to trial and appeal
- You and your spouse agree to sign the divorce petition at the county clerk’s office
- You and your spouse agree to attend a final divorce hearing
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
With a regular, or “traditional,” dissolution of marriage, only one party petitions the court for a divorce. The spouse asking for a divorce is the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent.
The petitioning spouse must have the respondent “served” with divorce papers by their local sheriff’s department, according to Florida Statutes § 48.021. For example, if your spouse resides in Gainesville, this would be the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
The responding spouse has a set amount of time to reply to the request to dissolve the marriage. Usually, this begins a process where both parties go back and forth in an attempt to negotiate a divorce settlement.
Gainesville Divorce Lawyer Near Me 855-686-6752
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces
Regular divorces can be contested or uncontested. With an uncontested dissolution of marriage, the spouses reach an agreement regarding their marital assets, debts, custody, child support, alimony, and any other issues. Once the parties reach an agreement, they sign the divorce settlement and attend a divorce hearing.
When spouses cannot agree on all or part of the terms of their divorce, it is contested. Contested divorces go before the court, where a judge decides the terms of the dissolution. In general, it is best to avoid a contested divorce and work to hammer out an agreement.
Our divorce lawyers will work tirelessly to help you reach a satisfactory agreement with your spouse and settle your contested issues outside of court. We can represent you during negotiations and mediation and handle communications with your spouse and their attorney. However, we will not back down from representing you during a divorce trial if necessary.
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Part of your divorce proceedings will include disclosing a lot of information about your personal finances. You must complete a financial affidavit and submit it to your spouse within 45 days of filing for divorce.
You can find this document and other forms online through the Florida State Courts System’s Self-Help Center. You will also need to submit certain financial documents, including:
- Proof of assets
- Proof of debts
- Proof of income
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
Will You Receive or Pay Alimony?
Either spouse can request alimony to preserve their financial security and help pay for everyday expenses. The court determines who receives alimony based on the requesting spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.
Factors that may influence the amount of alimony you receive include:
- Both spouse’s incomes
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living prior to the divorce
- The age of the parties
- Circumstance unique to your marriage
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that misconduct on the part of either spouse generally does not affect the terms of your divorce settlement. However, a judge may award alimony payments in divorce cases involving adultery if the unfaithful spouse financed an affair using marital income.
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Resolving Custody and Child Support Issues
One of the most emotional aspects of a divorce can be issues regarding your children. In most cases, the best thing for kids is if their parents can reach custody, visitation, and child support arrangements that put their children’s needs first and give them access to both parents.
However, if you and your spouse cannot come to terms regarding custody, it may be time to consult with one of our attorneys.
How Can Our Gainesville Divorce Lawyers Assist You?
If you are sure you cannot save your marriage and you are ready to proceed with a divorce, our Gainesville divorce lawyers are here for you. Even divorces that start out amicably can become contentious when so many high-stakes decisions are on the table.
We want to help you negotiate an agreement and work to avoid going before a judge, which puts the terms of your divorce into the hands of the court. We can:
- File your divorce and assist with having your spouse served
- Help you complete and file the correct forms
- Obtain needed financial records
- Negotiate to achieve fair settlement terms
- Represent you during a divorce trial if necessary
Call Bogin, Munns & Munns Today
Reach out to Bogin, Munns & Munns for help navigating through this difficult time. Our divorce attorneys will serve you with respect, dignity, and fairness. We want to make dissolving your marriage as easy and stress-free as possible and minimize the impact of your divorce on your family.
To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Gainesville offices at 352-332-7688.