Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful and emotional things you may ever experience. Itis not easy to come to terms with the fact that the relationship you believed would last forever is ending. During this emotional and turbulent time, dealing with the legal system is something you may have a challenging time handling. This is we can be invaluable.
At Griffin Family Law, you can feel confident that we can help guide you through the legal process with experienced, compassionate legal services that ease the burdens you face. Mr. Griffin has been serving clients in and around Jacksonville and Neptune Beach for years, and we can provide you with the same professional, quality, and personalized services we offer every client.
Why You Should Hire Our Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer?
If you do not have children or any assets or debts, hiring a Jacksonville divorce lawyer may not be necessary. However, for others, using our legal services is essential for getting a fair divorce settlement, especially if you consider the consequences of the decisions you make and how an attorney can help you avoid expensive mistakes.
For most, divorce is a tense and emotional time. With the help of Griffin Family Law, you can have a stress-free process. This is possible because we will explain your options and serve as an intermediary between you, your spouse, and your spouse’s legal counsel. In fact, we will handle virtually all the details related to your case. This means you can focus on helping your family overcome the emotional toll that the divorce causes.
It is challenging to handle a divorce on your own and understand the complexities of the law. If you make a mistake, it can greatly impact your rights and situation. However, when you hire our legal team, you can feel confident we fully understand the local and state laws related to divorce. We will work to protect your rights and ensure that your best interests are protected throughout the process.
Grounds for Divorce in Jacksonville
There are two different grounds for divorce allowed in Florida:
- Mental incapacity of one spouse
- Breakdown of the marriage
If you file for divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage, you do not have to prove what caused the divorce. In the state of Florida, there are no fault-based grounds for divorce, which is when one spouse blames the other for the divorce.
Of the two legal grounds you can file for divorce in Florida, mental incapacity is not common. In fact, based on Florida law, you can only file for divorce because of mental incapacity if one spouse is judged for mental incapacitation for a minimum of three years. The spouse who files for divorce must provide evidence to show the other person’s mental state.
The Process of Filing for a Divorce in Florida
If you are ready to file for divorce, you must file the “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. “The person who files for divorce needs to use this petition to outline any issues that the court should cover during the divorce proceedings, including requests for child custody or alimony.
To be eligible, one spouse must be a Florida resident for at least six months prior to filing for the divorce. Once you have filed for divorce, your spouse is served with the papers and will have 20 days to reply.
If your spouse contests the divorce or if you and your spouse have minor children, it is required that you attend counseling and wait for a divorce hearing to be scheduled. For contested divorces, the process may take months or even years to resolve and to receive the final divorce decree.
What Does “No-Fault” Mean for Your Florida Divorce?
Florida operates under a no-fault system for divorce. This means that you or your spouse have the right to file for a divorce based on “irreconcilable differences” alone.
In the divorce petition, you do not have to list a reason, like an affair, addiction, or abuse. You do not have to provide evidence that proves your spouse was responsible, either. While this is true, the judge may look at your spouse’s misconduct when they divide your marital assets or when determining child custody.
The Division of Assets in a Florida Divorce
According to Florida law, the court will divide your marital estate equitably during your divorce. Keep in mind that equitable division does not always mean an even division. Judges will consider a few factors when dividing property in your divorce. These include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each person’s contribution to the marriage, which includes earning money, supporting the other’s career, parenting services, and household services
- Each spouse’s ability to earn income moving forward and current financial/economic standing
The court will only divide debts and assets that are a part of your marital estate. Usually, this includes anything that was acquired during the marriage. Each spouse’s assets and debts before the marriage or what was acquired as part of inheritance during the marriage are usually considered separate property and not divided.
While this is true, there are some exceptions. One is if you have “comingled” your individual assets and marital assets. If you deposit money from your inheritance to a joint account, this may occur. In this case, the money may be considered during the equitable division process.
You may have earned retirement benefits from a job that you left before getting married in another situation. Your spouse might be able to claim the benefits if the asset’s value increased during your marriage.
We understand how to assess your marital estate and can help you understand if you have any right to some of your spouse’s assets. We can also represent your best interests by negotiating for you to ensure a fair settlement.
Determining Child Custody in Your Florida Divorce
Absent an agreement, the court will determine how much time the minor children will spend with each parent and how the parents will share parental responsibility. During Florida child custody cases, the court’s top priority is what is in the best interest of the child.
The courts will consider a few factors to make this determination. These include:
- The mental and physical ability each parent has to care for the child
- The relationship, ties, and affection the child has with each parent
- Creating a custody arrangement that allows for continuity in the child’s religious affiliation, education, extracurricular activities, medical care, and interaction with family and friends
- The child’s health and age
- The likelihood that each parent will follow the time-sharing schedule, encourage the child to communicate with the other parent, and accommodate any type of reasonable change that is needed
- Concerns with each parent like substance abuse or history of domestic violence
- How well each parent meets the developmental and emotional needs of the child
- Involvement of each parent in the child’s life and how much they will personally provide
Call Our Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer For Help
It does not matter what type of divorce you are going through; we are ready to help. We can handle:
Along with helping with your divorce case, we will also help with an array of other issues that may pop up during the proceedings. This includes things like:
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody
- Postnuptial and prenuptial agreements
- Property division
You can count on Griffin Family Law to be your advocate through this difficult and emotional time. We are proud to serve clients in and around the Jacksonville area and would like to get started with an initial consultation. During this meeting, our team will get to know about your case and what your goals are. You can count on us to fight for your rights and seek to help you achieve the desired outcome for your divorce case.
At Griffin Family Law, Mr. Griffin has extensive experience handling a wide array of divorce situations. We will give you and your case the personalized attention needed along with compassionate representation. If you are ready to get started, give us a call or reach out online. We will help you with the case and provide guidance along the way.