FAQ About Divorce In Florida

When you speak to an attorney at Zachary A. Vandyke, P.A., you can get specific answers to your specific questions, and those are the only ones you should rely on. That being said, we know the divorce process can be very intimidating and confusing — and often rife with misinformation.

Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions about divorce in Florida:

  1. How long will my divorce take?
  2. How much will my divorce cost?
  3. Is an attorney necessary?
  4. Do I have to prove that my spouse caused the divorce?
  5. When can I file for divorce?
  6. Do military families have a residency requirement?
  7. Can I get spousal maintenance or child support before my divorce is final?
  8. What if my spouse refuses to divorce?
  9. Does it matter whose name is on the deed to the house?

If you are considering filing for divorce, please contact us for a free initial consultation. A lawyer at our firm can answer your questions, explain your options and help you understand your rights.

Call our office in Panama City at 850-851-0864 . You may also send us your information in a confidential email, and we will contact you. Se Habla Español!

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How Long Will My Divorce Take?

The time from filing to finalization is different in every case. You can finalize your divorce in a matter of weeks or it can take much longer. In general, contested divorces — cases in which the parties do not agree on all issues — and contentious divorces take longer.

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How Much Will My Divorce Cost?

Like the length of a divorce, the cost varies also from one to another. It all depends on your situation. When cost is a primary concern, make this clear to your attorney. Your lawyer can help find ways to keep costs down, like maximizing your time in mediation and avoiding litigation when possible.

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Is An Attorney Necessary?

Under Florida law, you are not required to have an attorney to file for divorce. The better question may be, "Should you have an attorney?" The answer is a resounding, "Yes." You should at least have an attorney review any agreement before you submit it to the court. Even when you and your spouse agree, you may make mistakes in drafting or miss important details that could prove extremely costly later.

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Do I Have To Prove That My Spouse Caused The Divorce?

Proving that your spouse was neglectful, was abusive, cheated or was otherwise "at fault" in breaking up the marriage is no longer a requirement in Florida. You must only declare that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or show that your spouse was adjudicated mentally incapacitated for three years. Proof of fault may not be a requirement, but it can still factor into a discussion about alimony (maintenance).

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When Can I File For Divorce?

Florida law has a residency requirement, which means that one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six consecutive months to file for divorce. If you currently reside out of state on a temporary basis, a judge will consider whether or not you are a Florida resident for purposes of a divorce.

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Do Military Families Have A Residency Requirement?

Yes. You must be a resident of Florida for at least six months or stationed in Florida.

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Can I Get Spousal Maintenance Or Child Support Before My Divorce Is Final?

Yes. A judge can issue temporary orders providing for maintenance, support and custody while a divorce is pending, before a final agreement has been determined.

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What If My Spouse Refuses To Divorce?

The decision to divorce is not always mutual. When the other spouse does not want a divorce, a court has the ability to order the couples to participate in marital counseling for 90 days. It is important to remember that the court has the authority to stop proceedings, but it does mean the court will issue this order in every instance. The court often determines the marriage to be irretrievably broken and allow it to proceed.

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Does It Matter Whose Name Is On The Deed To The House?

No. "Who gets what" in a divorce is not determined by which spouse's name is on a deed or whose salary funded a retirement account. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage are subject to division, with extremely limited exceptions such as an inheritance.

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