A divorce is recognized as one of the most stressful events a person can endure. Recent studies show that the effects of a divorce can negatively impact our lives and our health in ways that can linger throughout our lifetime. The “irretrievable breaking” of a marriage or other long-term relationship not only has emotional and financial ramifications, but also entails lifestyle changes which may be traumatic, unexpected and difficult to deal with. That is why they should be handled by an experienced Orlando divorce attorney with demostrated success with the most complex divorce cases, in and out of court.
Our family law attorneys in Orlando understand the amount of stress a divorce can bring to a family and we are here to help. Whether you’re contemplating divorce , legal separation, or some other related matter, we’re available for guidance. David Roberts, founder of the firm, has helped hundreds of clients in the past. He treats each case as though it is the most important case he has. During his more than 20 years of practice he has been involved in over 1000 family law cases, and has won 119 out of 126 trials. We help our clients at every step of their case - mediation, negotiation, litigation, and post judgement modification. The firm has been recognized by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys for its commitment to client satisfaction.
In Florida, in order to file for divorce , one party to a marriage must be a resident of the state for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for dissolution . Generally, in most cases, a party may obtain a divorce simply by filing the requisite pleadings. If you are a Florida resident currently in the military, the fact that you are stationed outside of Florida will not detract from your Florida residency status.
There are three basic divorce options available in Florida . These are:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage – Also called simplified divorce . It is available to couples who have lived in Florida for at least 6 months, agree on the same terms, have no minor children and are not expecting one, and are not seeking alimony. Both parties must attend the final divorce hearing.
Uncontested Divorce – If the parties agree on all issues such as the division of property, debt, alimony, child support, and parenting plans, leaving nothing for the judge to decide, they can file for an uncontested divorce . In this case your attorney will draw up a Marital Settlement Agreement, and then either one or both parties will go to Court for a final hearing.
Contested Divorce – If terms cannot be worked out amicably by both parties, then decisions must be made by a judge. Contested divorces take the longest because the case goes to trial and a judge has to go through every document to settle all disputes between the spouses. Both parties have to attend mediation required by almost every court in the State of Florida.
How long it takes to get a divorce in Florida will depend on the type of divorce you are filing for. The process of a simplified divorce usually takes 30 days to complete as long as there is a complete agreement on the terms of the divorce and it is uncontested.
In an uncontested divorce case often parties will enter into a written settlement agreement, with the help of their attorney, prior to filing for their uncontested divorce. From the time of filing until entry of a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, an uncontested divorce could generally take around 4-6 months.
If the matter is contested, however, parties are looking into a more longer process, particularly if minor children are involved. In some Florida counties, parties with minor children will be required to attend mediation and Florida law now requires that parties attend a “Parent Education and Family Stabilization” course prior to entry of a final judgment. A contested divorce can take anywhere from 9 months to 3 years and longer to be completed, depending on the facts and circumstances.
If you need an experienced Orlando divorce attorney we can help through mediation or collaboration versus a time-consuming and costly court battle. Our firm’s 30 years of combined experience and skill in family law litigation allows us to negotiate on your behalf from a position of strength, which we find influences the course of such negotiations. However, when all attempts at an amicable settlement fail, our experienced trial litigators won’t hesitate to aggressively pursue your rights and interests in a court of law.
We are advocates for our clients in many divorce issues, including:
Complex Orlando divorce cases often require an intricate understanding of the law, its effect on your legal rights, and what alternatives may exist with respect to various issues involving you and your family. Our law firm therefore works closely with highly trained and trusted professionals, such as forensic accountants, child psychologists, business valuation specialists, guardians ad litem, tax specialists, and appellate experts who often assist our team in complex cases.
It is important to remember that our firm’s demonstrated ability to successfully and aggressively resolve difficult cases both inside and outside the courtroom can give you strong bargaining leverage. This not only saves you money but it often results in a settlement that is favorable for you.
The divorce process can be overwhelming. In fact, chances are that you will go trhough a lot of emotions, may even lose sight of your own interests and tend to make the wrong decisions. Our attorneys will work hard to protect your interests, and be by your side every step of your divorce.
Tax exemptions add up to a lot of money–and for some, might make or break your budget for the year. The parent with the majority of the time sharing typically is entitled to claim the exemptions but it does not have to be this way. The parent with the least amount of time sharing might also be able to claim the exemption, provided the parties agree.
No one wants to be the subject of an IRS Audit, but it may be inevitably so if you and your significant other do not resolve the issue of the exemptions upfront. There are at least three things you need to know when dealing with the exemptions for the future tax years.
First, get your agreement on the tax exemptions in writing. Do not leave this issue to chance—oral agreements are great but having something in writing will save you money in the long run. Second, be familiar with IRS Form 8332, also known as “Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent”. And third, review the requirements of the IRS’ Earned Income Credit , specifically Rules 8 and 9, which specifically set forth the “relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests” to properly claim your children on your tax returns. Knowing your rights and eligibility upfront will save you time, energy, and effort when dealing with a difficult spouse.
If you’re considering divorce arrange an initial consultation with our knowledgeable Orlando Family Law attorneys for a thorough and confidential discussion. We’ll answer any questions you have regarding divorce, legal separation, pre- or post-nuptial agreements, and other family law issues you might be facing. We are available at (407) 426-6999. You may also fill out the online form located on this page and one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will contact you shortly. We value your privacy and will keep your information confidential. We represent clients in Orlando, Winter Park, Windermere, Kissimmee and throughout Central Florida, and have offices in Orlando and Kissimmee. Free parking available in both locations.