Gone are the days when divorce meant the kids would spend all week with Mom and only see Dad on the occasional weekend. Today, families are free to pursue more flexible arrangements that reflect their unique needs - and promote strong relationships with both parents.
Once upon a time, mothers had the upper hand in custody cases. They were generally the primary caretakers. Although fathers were often the breadwinners of the family, they weren't always involved in the day-to-day lives of the children.
Along with the right to marry comes the right to divorce.
In Florida, child custody is rarely all-or-nothing. The law encourages both parents to be actively involved in the lives of their children (except when there are special circumstances such as domestic abuse).
Halloween is nearly upon us. There is a good chance that your kids already know exactly what they want to be this year. If you haven't purchased their perfect Batman, Elsa, witch or other costume or sewn on those final details, you still have some time.
Today many divorcing couples are trying to avoid potentially expensive divorces. The problem is that many of these couples are simply choosing not to consult attorneys at all and therefore are not being apprised of what options they have to accomplish their very goal; including collaborative or amicable divorce, pre-suit mediation, hiring an attorney on a limited basis, or filing an uncontested divorce.
This is a question that we receive regularly. The truth is that the length of the process varies from case to case and from couple to couple. The key element is how close the couple is to resolving their issues. So a case that is essentially uncontested (meaning the parties have agreed on everything) or in a collaborative case that only takes a couple of team meetings to work out will move fast. However, a more traditional case will take longer. The parties need to complete several necessary steps before setting to a final contested hearing. Typically, discovery is exchanged, mediation is attended, and several motions may be filed and heard before the presiding judge prior to a final hearing. However, generally most dissolution cases settle prior to the final hearing because the parties have signed what we refer to as a Marital Settlement Agreement. Therefore, even in more traditional cases, the duration of the process is primarily determined by the parties themselves.
One of the first things anyone considering divorce needs to consider is "what is the proper location for my divorce to be filed?" Under Chapter 61 of the Florida statutes, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the State of Florida for at least six months prior to the filing for divorce or no Florida court has jurisdiction. The key is the date of the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. It does not matter that the case drags on and by the time the Court hears the matter, six months have passed, the Court's ability to grant the divorce is determined before the initial filing. So before filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage make sure that one of the parties can show that they have been a resident for over six months or you will be wasting your time and money.