Filing for Divorce in Coconut Creek
Consult with Our Lawyer in Broward County
If you realize that your marriage is broken beyond repair and believe that divorce is your best option, then you probably need to speak with an experienced lawyer who can address your questions and concerns about the divorce process. Divorce may involve more than just ending a legal relationship—it may involve the determination of your rights to alimony, property division, child custody, or child support.
At The Law Offices of Jonny Kousa, P.L., our legal team is highly knowledgeable and experienced in the field of family law in Broward County. We can help you get through this painful time in your life and work toward a positive outcome on all issues involved.
Table of Contents
- Types of Divorce in South Florida
- What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
- Is Florida Residency Required for Divorce?
- What Needs to be Documented?
- What Can I Do if My Spouse is Contesting the Divorce?
- What is a Collaborative Divorce?
- What is Considered Marital Property?
- Legal Separation Is Not Allowed in Florida
Assisting with the Difficult Decisions
In a divorce where children are involved, matters can be especially heated. Topics of where your children will live and who will pay support can be grounds for arguments between you and your spouse. We understand how hard it can be to make these types of decisions, and we are here to guide you through the complex legal process. We are happy to help you with divorce matters throughout Broward County.
Types of Divorce in South Florida
When you have made the decision to pursue divorce, it is important to remember that you have a number of different options. There are more options than just one avenue of divorce. Our divorce lawyer in Coconut Creek can explain the different methods that are available to you and explore the one that is most suited to your needs.
There are four types of divorce cases we handle:
- Simplified divorce
- Uncontested divorce
- Contested divorce
- Collaborative divorce
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
In Florida, you do not need to prove that your spouse is at fault for the end of your marriage. Florida is a “no-fault state,” so you only need to claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken or has deteriorated to a point where there is no chance for the two of you to reconcile and get back together.
Fault may be considered in cases such as custody or alimony. For example, if a spouse has had a history of alcoholism, the courts can consider that spouse to be irresponsible. They may not receive the custody or alimony arrangement that they desire.
Remember that before a judge can finalize your divorce, you must have met minimum residency requirements. At least one spouse must have been a continuing resident of the state of Florida for at least six months. You can show your state ID, driver’s license card, a voter registration card, or provide a testimonial witness, as examples.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 61.001-61.45
Florida Residency Is Required
You cannot just walk into a Florida court and get a divorce. In order to successfully file divorce papers, Florida law § 61.021 requires that either you or your spouse be a legal resident of Florida for at least six months.
The only exception to this rule is if one of you is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. For instance, if you and your spouse have been stationed on a base in Florida, your location is enough to establish legal residency in the state and you are allowed to file for divorce here.
Before the court will take your case, you must prove your residency through concrete evidence. Failure to do so may result in your divorce case being dismissed.
How to Prove Residency
To establish your proof of residency, you can do so through two methods:
- Proving your actual physical presence within state lines
- Proving your intentions of moving to Florida for primary residence
Keep in mind, you are permitted to move in and out of the state as you please during your 6 month requirement, as long as Florida remains your primary residency. Vacationing from a different state would not hold up in court.
Proving that you had intentions of moving can be done via:
- Proof of lease or home purchase in the state
- Proof of permanent employment in the state
- Obtaining a valid Florida driver's license
- Filing your taxes within the state of Florida
All Claims Need to be Documented
In times of divorce, obtaining the best outcome for you and your family means assembling the right documents to prove all your claims related to property division, child support, custody arrangements, alimony, and more. Such pieces of documents could include:
Your child’s school and medical records
Testimonies of friends and family members
This process can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with local familiar law courts and the types of evidence that can work in your favor. It’s recommended that you hire an attorney to help you with this process. An experienced divorce attorney will make sure you don’t leave anything on the table or miss any important details that are needed for a successful outcome for your family.
What Can I Do if My Spouse is Contesting the Divorce?
A contested divorce can be more stressful and difficult to navigate, which is why it is important to hire a Coconut Creek divorce lawyer to represent you. We can guide you through the complex process.
What is a Collaborative Divorce?
A collaborative divorce is one that keeps your personal matters out of the courtroom. You and your spouse each retain your own attorney and work towards an amicable agreement.
Certain Assets Are Considered Marital Property
The state of Florida defines marital property as anything that you and your spouse accrued together during the course of your marriage. It does not matter whose name is on the title. Any marital property is subject to equitable division of the assets.
Essentially, this means that Florida courts will divide up the assets equally. This may not mean 50/50 division, but it is meant to ensure that both spouses are treated fairly and walk away with a similar amount of marital estate. Non-marital assets are generally kept with whomever they belonged to prior to the marriage.
Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer?
It can be very painful to cope with both the internal pain and the worries of how life will go on following a breakup while a marriage is ending. Additional questions arise as a result of the legal rules governing divorce. Many people have questions like "do I need a divorce lawyer to apply for divorce?" and "what can a divorce lawyer support me with?"
Talking with a knowledgeable divorce counselor about the legal rights and how the divorce process works will also alleviate some of the uncertainty. A divorce lawyer will also help you defend your rights and desires, which is particularly important if you and your husband cannot agree to how to handle your divorce settlement.
Sometimes, the marketed "easy" or "cheap" do-it-yourself divorces result in a settlement deal that you may not completely comprehend. Divorce arrangements and parental proposals can be complicated and costly to alter until the divorce is complete, and you'll have to find a lawyer anyway if you've committed to anything unknowingly.
It's their duty to clarify what the legal forms entail before you sign them, but hiring a competent divorce lawyer early on will help guarantee that you don't commit to something you don't understand.
Legal Separation Is Not Allowed in Florida
Some states in the U.S. allow couples to legally separate, meaning that they can agree on property division, support payments, and custody arrangements without having to go through the entire legal process of a divorce. Florida, however, is one of six states that does not allow for this kind of legal separation.
- Florida and High Asset Divorce
- My Spouse Owns a Business — Am I Entitled to Half of it in a Divorce?
- When Does Alimony End in Florida?