Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Am I entitled to be divorced in Florida?

If you have been a resident of the state of Florida for at least six months, you are entitled to be divorced in Florida, even if your spouse does not live in Florida.

Do I need to have grounds for a divorce?

No. Florida is a “no fault” divorce state. All you have to do it say your marriage is irretrievably broken.

How long will a divorce take?

A typical divorce will take between 3 to 6 months. If it is truly uncontested and all matters are agreed to in advance, then it could take as little as a few weeks. However, if your divorce is hotly contested, involving complex legal issues, it could take more than a year.

Do I need an attorney to get a divorce?

No. You can represent yourself, but remember the old saying, “the person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Florida law can be confusing, even if all matters in dispute are agreed to. Also, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney before you sign an agreement or else it may be too late to protect your rights.

How much does a divorce cost?

It is impossible to know. It depends on how much time your attorney puts into your case, which depends upon the level of complexity involved and how much you and your spouse disagree.

How is child custody decided?

If the parties themselves cannot agree, the judge will decide what he or she thinks is best for the child. This is a very complicated area of family law. The law seems to be evolving towards a more equitable time sharing arrangement, rather than the old-fashioned “weekends only” approach. However, each case is different. Learn more about child custody here.

Will I pay/receive child support?

If there is a minor child, the court will almost certainly order child support. Learn more about child support here.

Will I pay or receive alimony?

This depends upon many factors, with the most important factor being the need of one spouse to be supported and the ability of the other to pay support. Learn more about alimony here.

How is property divided?

Generally, marital property is divided evenly and non-marital property is distributed to the party who owns it. This can become quite complicated. Learn more about property distribution...

What if my spouse cheated on me?

Cheating is a form a marital misconduct that can sometimes be considered by the judge, but not always. It often depends if marital money or assets were used by the cheating spouse. Learn more about cheating and other marital misconduct ...

What does it mean to be Board Certified by the Florida Bar:

Florida Bar Board Certification is the highest level of evaluation by the Florida Bar of competency and experience within an area of the law, professionalism, and ethics in practice. One area of such designation is Marital & Family Law. As of 2009, of the over 87,000 lawyers in the Florida Bar, only 216 (less than 1%) are Board Certified in Marital & Family Law.

What does it mean to be a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers:

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers was founded in 1962, by highly regarded family law attorneys, “to encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards, and advance the cause of matrimonial law, to the end that the welfare of the family and society be protected.” It is a highly selective group who number approximately 1600 in the entire United States. The Fellows are all lawyers who are Board Certified and specialize in the area of Marital & Family Law. They are further distinguished as they must pass national and local exams, including a peer review from judges and other family lawyers to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to provide excellent representation to clients in a complex area of the law. Most importantly, all Fellows agree to practice under the Bounds of Advocacy, a code that sets forth a higher ethical standard than general state bar guidelines and provides guidance in ethical and moral questions when dealing with children and family issues.
The goal of the AAML is to promote a problem-solving approach, which diminishes the emotional trauma and urges both the attorneys and the parties to proceed in a more reasoned, cooperative approach while the attorneys competently represent their clients. Clients and referring lawyers can be assured the when utilizing a Fellow, the client will be vigorously represented by a proficient attorney in the area of Marital & Family Law.

What does it means to be AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell:

The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate, and select the most appropriate lawyer for the specific task. Lawyer Ratings serve as an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability, and are used by buyers of legal services to help make decisions on which lawyer to hire. Martindale-Hubbell has a history spanning 140 years and has a database of over one million lawyers. The rating of “AV” is the highest rating made by Martindale-Hubbell.

What does it mean to be a designated by Super Lawyers:

Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers is published as a special supplement in leading newspapers across the country, including The Miami Herald. Super Lawyers magazine, which contains the list of lawyers designated as Super Lawyers, is distributed to all lawyers in the state, to lead corporate counsel of Russell 3000 companies, and to American Bar Association approved law school libraries. Polling, research, and selection are performed by Law & Politics, a publication of Key Media, Inc.