Miami Divorce Lawyers
Have you considered filing for divorce in Miami? Do you need assistance with matters such as alimony, determining timesharing responsibilities or establishing child support? If so, Hoffman & Hoffman, P.A. is ready to assist. Our Miami divorce lawyers understand that this is a difficult and emotional time for families, especially young children, and we will guide you through the legal processes to ensure a swift resolution that is in the best interest of you and your loved ones. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your divorce matters.
Divorce Laws in Miami, Florida
Florida has enacted a no-fault divorce statute [Fla Stat §61.052(1)]. Implicit in the “no-fault” concept is the notion that both parties to the marriage are complete and equal partners, sharing equal rights and obligations in the marital relationship, and sharing equal burdens in the event of divorce. Pursuant to this concept, there are only two grounds for divorce in Florida:
- That the marriage is irretrievably broken; or,
- That one of the spouses is mentally incapacitated.
A marriage is irretrievably broken when the parties can no longer live together because their difficulties are so deep and substantial that no reasonable effort would allow the parties to continue a normal marital relationship.
Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (hereafter the “Petition”) is the first step in the divorce process. The party that files the Petition (i.e., the Petitioner) will be required to pay a filing fee of $409 to the Clerk of the Court in order to open the case.
The Petitioner is thereafter required to serve a copy of the Petition on the other party, the Respondent. If the Respondent does not agree to accept service of the Petition, a certified process server will generally be hired to formally serve the Respondent in order to satisfy the statutory requirements of due process.
The Respondent is required to file an Answer to the Petition, and may file a Counter-Petition, within 20 days of the date of service. A Counter-Petition preserves the standing of the responding party to continue the action should the Petitioner dismiss his or her pleading.
The Court is generally precluded from granting relief that is not properly pled in the pleadings. In other words, a party to a divorce will be unable to obtain relief such as equitable distribution, alimony, child support and/or the restoration of a maiden name unless such relief is requested in his or her initial pleading.
Waiting Period in Florida Divorce
In Florida, the final Judgment of Divorce cannot be entered unless at least twenty (20) days have passed since the date that the Petition for Dissolution of marriage. The Court may waive this 20-day waiting period if one party proves that a serious injustice would result from this delay. Our Miami divorce lawyers can see you through this waiting period and advise you of your rights throughout the entire process.
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