What to Know When Getting Divorced in Florida

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What to Know When Getting Divorced in Florida

When you’re newly married, it’s nearly impossible to imagine either you or your spouse could feel differently about your relationship one day. But while divorce rates aren’t quite as high as they used to be, they’re still holding steady at around 39 percent, so divorce is still a highly likely possibility for most couples.

That said, it goes without saying that divorce is an emotional nightmare for those involved. But it’s essential to go into the process fully prepared for every possibility. A big part of that is understanding how divorce laws in your state and area do and don’t work. Here’s what to be aware of if you’re currently facing a divorce in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Know whether you’re eligible

If you or your spouse are looking to file for divorce within the state, at least one of you needs to have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months. However, there are exceptions for military personnel who may be stationed out of state despite technically being Florida residents.

Florida also requires couples seeking divorce to file in a county where one or both of the parties involved actually live.

Understand what counts as grounds for divorce

Although some states expect couples who’d like to divorce to have a legally legitimate reason to dissolve their marriage, Florida is one of 17 states that support no-fault divorce. This means the only necessary reason you need for seeking divorce is that your marriage is broken beyond repair.

In Florida, you can also file for divorce if you’re married to someone who has been mentally incapacitated for a minimum of three years.

You have two choices when dissolving your marriage

Again, every state has its own way of doing things regarding divorce. But in Florida, you and your spouse have a couple of options for legally ending your marriage.

Some couples may qualify for what’s known as a simplified dissolution of marriage. As the term might suggest, this type of divorce is often a lot less complicated, not to mention a lot cheaper. It’s also an option for most marriages that don’t involve any minor children or current pregnancies and where both parties agree that the marriage is unsalvageable.

Those who don’t qualify for the simplified option will need to pursue a standard dissolution of marriage instead.

You need an attorney no matter what

Many couples assume that if they’re pursuing a simplified dissolution of marriage instead of a standard option, they don’t actually need attorneys. But it’s crucial to secure proper counsel anytime you make an important legal decision like a divorce.

Emotions often run high when it comes to divorce, and a lawyer can ensure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible by:

  • Advocating for you when and where necessary
  • Protecting your rights to children or property that might be involved
  • Assisting when it comes to communicating with your partner
  • Helping you make tough or complicated decisions related to your divorce
  • Answering any and all legal questions you might have

Your attorney should be local

Anytime you’re facing a legal proceeding – divorce included – you need to hire someone local. A local attorney will have a better understanding of associated state, county, or regional laws related to your case and be better equipped to help you overall. Choosing someone local makes essentials like in-person meetings easier, too.

So it should go without saying that if you live in St. Petersburg, you should hire a divorce attorney in St. Petersburg. And you should speak to someone about your options sooner rather than later. The sooner you have representation in your corner, the sooner you can work on getting your life back.

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