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Broward County, Florida Divorce

Divorce is legally defined in Florida as the dissolution of a marriage. Divorce is court ordered and it terminates a marriage. Once a divorce is finalized, each individual is legally allowed to remarry. Divorce can be very emotionally straining, which makes the issues of property division and child custody more complex. While some divorce processes can lead to lengthy and expensive proceedings, most are resolved without a contested trial. Mediation is defined as an attempt to avoid a divorce proceeding by working out terms which are acceptable and agreeable to both parties.


Divorce law and litigation can be fairly complex when any of the following are involved:

  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Marital agreements
  • Custody of children
  • Division of property
  • Child support
  • Alimony

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Residency requirements

All states require the party filing for divorce to be a resident of the state in which they are filing. The time requirement for establishing residency in Florida is 6 months before you can file for divorce.

“Fault” and “No Fault” states

There are two different types of divorce procedures, “Fault” and “No Fault”. Each state has its own procedure. Florida adopted a “no fault” approach to divorce. In a “No Fault” divorce, the spouse filing for divorce does not need to prove any wrongdoing or “fault” on behalf of either party to get a divorce. Florida requires only that the marriage be “irretrievably broken.”

Property division after a divorce

In divorce cases where an agreement cannot be reached, the court must step in and apply Florida law in order to settle the dispute. Since Florida is an "equitable distribution" state, marital property is divided in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather, what is “fair.”  In distributing the marital assets and liabilities between the parties, the court begins with the premise that the distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors, including:

 

  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as a homemaker.
  • The economic circumstances of both spouses.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
  • The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
  • The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, free from any claim or interference by the other party.
  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties.
  • The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
  • The intentional depletion or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
  • Any other factors necessary for an equitable division of property.

Are you considering divorce?

Because divorce proceedings can be complex and emotionally taxing, you should consult with an experienced Broward County attorney who can help explain your rights and protect your interests. Your local lawyer will be able to clarify the state law pertaining to your specific case and help you navigate the process quickly and efficiently. 
 

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