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Divorce FAQ

Common Questions about Divorce

Why do I need to hire a divorce attorney?

There is no legal requirement in the State of Florida for you to hire any type of legal professional to represent you during your divorce, but it is highly recommended that you do so. Divorce can be a highly complex and emotional experience, and it can be difficult to achieve a favorable settlement when you represent yourself. An attorney can not only guide you through the process, but also represent you in negotiations and in court.

What are the requirements to file for divorce?

At least one of the spouses must be a resident of Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Our state does not have fault-based divorce, which means that one or the other spouse has to show that the other did wrong during the marriage. The only reasons you would need to provide to the court is that the marital relationship cannot be reconciled or one or the other spouse has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years.

Depending on your local county’s laws, there may be additional requirements needed, so be sure to double check with your county court or call on one of our knowledgeable South Florida divorce lawyers for assistance.

Do I have to go to court?

Because marriage is a legal institution, a judge will have to make the final ruling on your divorce, but the amount of intervention you receive from the court will depend in large measure on how effectively you can work out solutions between you and your former spouse. You will have to come to agreements on issues of child custody, property division/equitable distribution and child support before the court will approve your divorce, and if you are unable to reach agreements on these topics the court will have to step in.

How long will my divorce take?

There is a 60 day waiting period from the date you file for divorce, and if there is no delay in resolving the terms of your divorce settlement, at the end of this period your divorce will be finalized. An attorney can help you speed the process significantly by helping you avoid common pitfalls and representing you with your former spouse to facilitate negotiations.

How much will divorce cost?

The overall cost of divorce will depend mostly on the factors involved in your situation, as well as the individual costs of your attorney fees. In Florida, the filing fee for divorce is currently $408. Other factors that make up the sum of your case cannot necessarily be predetermined and/or are out of your control. For example, if your spouse’s behavior makes the litigation process difficult, this can add to the expense. On the other hand, good behavior can help make the process run smoother and cut down on costs. Our South Florida divorce attorneys are committed to providing services that are not only compassionate, but adaptable to your overall needs, including finding ways to minimize the costs.

Will I be able to change the terms of the divorce settlement in the future?

Individuals who have been divorced commonly encounter life changes that require a change to the terms of the divorce, and it is possible to petition the court for modifications. It is necessary to follow the proper channels and procedures when making a post-settlement modification, to avoid being charged with violating a court order.

How is child custody decided?

In any issue related to the custody or visitation of a child, the court takes the approach of seeking an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. If there is any contest over custody between you and your former spouse, it will be necessary for you to make a persuasive case to the judge of the fact that you deserve to have custody of the children and that it is for their benefit.

Divorce Attorney in South Florida

A South Florida divorce lawyer from Hager, Schwartz & Ross, P.A. can meet with you personally to answer all your questions and to help you get started on the process of filing for divorce. We believe in offering detail-oriented service and finding innovative solutions to your family law problems.

Contact a South Florida divorce lawyer for additional answers to your questions about the divorce process.