Uncontested / Contested
A divorce in Florida is also called a “Dissolution of Marriage”. A divorce is “uncontested” if both the Husband and Wife agree on all of the issues. A divorce is “contested” if the Husband and Wife do not agree on at least one issue involved.
The Dissolution paperwork should be drafted by a qualified divorce attorney and must be served upon the opposing spouse by a private process server or the Sheriff’s office. The responding spouse then has twenty (20) days to respond to the paperwork. The issues concerning the dissolution of marriage are presented in this paperwork, called “pleadings”.
Property is classified as either “nonmarital” or “marital”. One of the most difficult and complex areas of divorce is the classification of property as nonmarital or marital and the division of the marital property. Marital property may include cars, houses, retirement benefits (pensions), business interests, cash, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, personal property and other things of value.
The division is based upon all facts of the case and the contribution of both spouses to the marriage. Liabilities (debts) as well as assets must be considered. Other factors include the nature of the property and whether it is marital property or non-marital property; the duration of the marriage; and the economic circumstances of each spouse. If you and your spouse can agree, and if your agreement is reasonable, it will be approved by the court. If you cannot agree, the court will divide the property after a trial. It is now possible to seek a temporary property distribution prior to the conclusion of the case at trial.
In Florida, various types of alimony can be awarded to either a husband or a wife when there is a need and an ability to pay or as otherwise required to do “equity and justice” between the parties, including:
- Permanent Alimony
- Rehabilitative Alimony
- Bridge-The-Gap Alimony
- Lump Sum Alimony
- Temporary Alimony
The court has fairly broad discretion to award alimony and to craft orders for spousal support tailored to the specific needs of the parties. Working with a family law attorney can help you to ensure that you are aware of your options and that the court is made aware of all factors relevant to an award of alimony. Factors relevant to an alimony award may include:
- The length of your marriage.
- Your standard of living during the marriage.
- Your age and physical or mental health.
- Your spouse’s age and physical or mental health.
- Financial resources available to you and your spouse.
- Whether a party’s career or education was disrupted because of the marriage