Getting a divorce isn’t always easy, as there are many overwhelming emotions and confusing legal actions you must take. However, understanding how the divorce process works and what steps you must take can help you navigate this time and minimize the stress you’re likely experiencing. Keep reading to learn more about how Flordia’s divorce proceedings work and why you need the assistance of a Pasco County, FL divorce lawyer.
What Are the Steps During the Divorce Process in Florida?
The first requirement for filing for divorce in Florida is to meet the residency requirements. Florida law dictates that one, if not both, spouses have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. You must prove residency before the courts will hear your case.
Once you have met the residency requirements, one party must for divorce. This party is known as the petitioner and must state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. These divorce papers will then be served to the other spouse, known as the respondent.
After the spouse has been served, you’ll begin discovery, which is the process in which the attorneys for each spouse will find additional information about the other spouse that could impact the outcome of the divorce. Generally, this includes ensuring each spouse has been fully transparent in terms of their finances to ensure the division of assets is fair.
The next step is negotiations. This includes decisions on how you will divide assets and property and whether or not alimony is in order. You must also decide, if applicable, what your parenting plan will look like. Your parenting plan includes how you will divide custody and make decisions regarding your children.
If you are unable to come to an agreement about your finances or children, you must proceed to trial. A judge will hear both sides before making a final decision about issues that were not previously settled. After this, you will sign a final judgment, which completes the divorce process.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Even if you and your spouse are amicable and agree on specific terms for your divorce, it is in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney to help you through this process. Not only can an attorney help you navigate the process, but they will also help ensure any agreement is fair for you. Without an attorney, you may agree to terms that are not fair to you. This is true regardless of whether or not children are involved.
At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, our dedicated legal team will prioritize your best interest. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through your divorce so you can focus on healing.