Divorce is often regarded as one of the most emotionally demanding experiences that a person can go through in their lifetime. It is hard to accept that the connection you thought would last a lifetime is over. You may find it difficult to cope with legal processes during this psychologically stressful time. This is where Griffin Family Law can help.
You can rely on us to help you navigate the legal system with professional, considerate legal services that will decrease the worries you are experiencing. When it comes to family law and divorce, Mr. Griffin has been helping people in and around Jacksonville for many years. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Why Hire a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer?
When it comes to divorce, things can get quite complicated. Arguments regarding how to divide the marital assets, who gets custody of the children, and whether one of you will have to financially assist the other are all too common. When you cannot seem to reach an agreement, it’s natural to feel stressed and frustrated.
Florida’s family law regulations and processes can be a little confusing. You could wind up wasting precious time and money if you make a few mistakes. The good news is that you do not have to go through a divorce by yourself.
If you need help with a family law issue, you can count on Griffin Family Law to handle your case with skill and professionalism. We have a proven track record from negotiation to the courtroom. We will do everything in our power to bring you the results you deserve.
Florida Divorce Process
Divorce rates in Florida are the third highest in the country. You can make the divorce process easier if you have a good understanding of the statutes in Florida. Here is a quick rundown of what to expect as you go through your divorce proceedings.
Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
Divorce has a range of reasons. A divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage” in Florida. The state only allows for two grounds for divorce:
- Irreconcilable Differences: This is the primary cause of divorce for many couples. Because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, the court does not assign any blame to either of the parties involved. In a case of irreconcilable differences, the petitioner will declare that their marriage is “irretrievably broken” to justify their request for a divorce. In other words, this indicates that the pair can no longer get along.
- Mental Incapacity: The second ground for dissolution of marriage is the mental incapacitation of one of the partners. A divorce cannot be granted unless the alleged mentally incapacitated party has been declared incapacitated for at least three years.
Regardless of the specifics of your case, we will use a tailored strategy to determine the best course of action. With the help of the Griffin Family Law’s Jacksonville divorce attorneys, you will be prepared for every step of the process.
Divorce Residency Requirements
Getting a divorce in Jacksonville is only possible if you meet the state’s residence criteria. When filing divorce papers, you or your spouse will need to have been a resident of Florida for at least the last six months. One of you must meet this criterion for your divorce petition to go through.
Process for Filing a Divorce in Jacksonville
Divorce proceedings in Florida begin with the filing of a “Petition for Dissolution” that identifies any concerns that the court should address throughout divorce proceedings.
After filing for divorce, it can either go contested or uncontested. This is determined by whether you and your spouse can reach an agreement on the conditions of your divorce, including distribution of assets, custody, and support.
Uncontested Divorces in Jacksonville
In uncontested divorces, both parties have agreed on all aspects of the divorce, such as:
- How they plan to split their assets and liabilities
- Whether or not one spouse will be required to provide alimony, and if so, the amount, duration, and amount of money
- Custody, visitation rights, and support arrangements for any minor children they may have together
Many married couples try to resolve their differences prior to filing for divorce, frequently with the guidance of a mediator. By doing so, they can simply attach a signed copy of their marital settlement agreement to the petition for dissolution of their marriage, and the remainder of the divorce proceedings will be quite straightforward.
At Griffin Family Law, our attorneys will assist you every step of the way. When it comes to drafting pleadings and building a marital settlement agreement, our divorce lawyers in Jacksonville, FL, will put your needs first.
If your divorce is not completely uncontested, our legal team will represent your interests in settlement negotiations. The Jacksonville divorce lawyers at Griffin Family Law has a track record of success in mediating and reaching agreements. We are here to serve you.
Contested Divorces in Jacksonville
A regular dissolution of marriage or a contested divorce occurs when one or more parties cannot reach an agreement. Divorce cases in Florida are encouraged to include mediation as a means of resolving disagreements between divorcing partners. During the divorce proceedings, most couples find a solution to their differences with the assistance of a mediator, their divorce lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida, or both. It is possible, however, that the case may end up in court, where a judge would have to make the final decision.
Jacksonville courts will follow the state’s guidelines on issues including child support, custody, property and debts, and alimony if a settlement cannot be reached. When it comes to contested divorces, the procedure might take months or even years to complete and receive the final judgment.
Contested divorce proceedings are often fraught with conflict, and many clients are affected emotionally. During this challenging time, you can count on our tenacious litigators to fight for your rights and interests.
The Division of Assets in a Jacksonville Divorce
In Florida, the court will distribute your assets equitably during a divorce. However, it is important to remember that an equitable split does not always imply an even distribution. There are a few things judges will consider when dividing your marital property in a divorce, such as:
- How long did the marriage last?
- How did each spouse contribute to the marriage? (This includes generating income, assisting with the career of the other, and providing parenting and housekeeping services.)
- What is the present and future earning capacity of each spouse and their financial situation?
Only those assets and obligations that were acquired during the marriage will be divided by the court. In most cases, the assets, and debts that each spouse brought into the marriage and anything that was obtained as part of an inheritance while the couple was married are regarded as separate properties and are not distributed.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. One possibility is that you’ve “co-mingled” your marital and personal assets. This could happen if you deposit your inherited money into a joint account. The assets in question may be considered when determining an equitable distribution of property.
We can help you determine if you are entitled to any of your spouse’s assets. Additionally, we can advocate for your best interests and negotiate a reasonable settlement on your behalf.
Determining Child Custody in Your Jacksonville Divorce
When it comes to topics like child custody, couples typically have a harder time coming to an agreement. In addition, any allegations or confirmed history of abuse committed against the other spouse or child by either parent might further complicate the settlement process. In the end, Florida child custody laws require judges to ensure that custody agreements and decrees are in the children’s best interests.
The following are some of the considerations that courts will weigh while making a decision:
- Each parent’s mental and physical competence to provide for the child
- The child’s connection, relationships, and affection for each parent
- A child custody agreement that supports the child’s religious upbringing, academic pursuits, extracurricular activities, health care, and social contacts with family and friends
- The age and health condition of the child
- The chance that each parent will adhere to the time-sharing arrangement, motivate the child to speak with the other parent, and allow any reasonable changes that may be required
- Concerns regarding each parent, such as domestic violence or substance misuse
- How successfully each parent satisfies their child’s emotional and developmental needs
- Each parent’s level of involvement in the child’s life and the amount of support they will each provide
With our guidance, you can produce a custody agreement that works for you and your loved ones.
Alimony in Jacksonville
Although alimony is permitted by Florida law, it is not always granted after a divorce. In the absence of agreement, a judge may award alimony if one spouse can demonstrate a financial necessity, and the other can afford to contribute. The judge will consider the duration and quality of life during the marriage, and the age and mental condition of each spouse to determine whether alimony is merited.
You Don’t Have To Face Divorce on Your Own
You might reach a point where you ask yourself: “Is divorce worth it?” However, even though you may feel overwhelmed, you should see it as a fresh start. To enjoy the next phase of your journey, you need to ensure that you receive the benefits you are due and that you can live in comfort. We are here to help you make the most of your life after divorce.
You can rely on Griffin Family Law to be there for you during this emotionally challenging time. If you live in or near Jacksonville, Florida, we would love to meet with you for a free consultation. Let us learn more about your situation and your desired outcomes. When it comes to your divorce, you can depend on us to stand up for your rights and work towards a favorable resolution. Contact us today.