Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyers
Divorce is virtually always an emotional experience, even when both parties are on board. Beyond emotion, it is necessary for both parties to fully commit to doing what is best for the future, as well as for any children involved. The very best, most productive thing you can do at this point is to ensure you have one of the top-rated Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyers in your corner. At Lauriston Law Firm, we understand that your divorce can feel overwhelming. You may even feel as though it is all simply too much—that you would rather walk away with nothing than continue the fight.
While this is understandable, it is crucial that you consider your future and that of any children you may have. Let Lauriston Law Firm take the burden from your shoulders. We are highly skilled, empathetic, and experienced in every aspect of divorce. We will ensure your rights and your future are fully protected, while you take this time to consider where you go from here. We strive to instill confidence in your abilities which go far beyond your current divorce litigation.
What is the Legal Definition of Divorce in Florida and Florida Laws Regarding Divorce?
Divorce, known as the dissolution of marriage in the state of Florida falls under Title VI, Chapter 61 of the 2021 Florida Statutes. The basic requirements for a Florida divorce include proving the marriage exists, showing that at least one party in the marriage has been a Florida resident for six months prior to filing the petition. The divorce petition must be filed in the Florida county where either of the two parties to the divorce resides. One exception to the Florida residency requirement exists for those who are members of the military living in Florida but currently stationed outside the state.
What are the Differences Between a No-Fault Divorce and a Fault Divorce?
Florida, like many states, has gone to no-fault divorce. This means either spouse can seek a divorce without providing a “reason” for the divorce (such as adultery, drug or alcohol abuse, or desertion). The spouse who files for divorce must only state the marriage is irretrievably broken—i.e, the couple no longer wants to be married and there is no hope of reconciliation. This takes the element of blame out of the divorce, which can decrease the level of antagonism between the parties.
What is the Difference Between a Contested vs. an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties are in 100 percent agreement on the details of the divorce, including asset division, child custody, spousal support, and child support. Many divorces that begin as an uncontested divorce quickly turn into a contested divorce as couples realize they really are not in absolute agreement about everything. For clarity’s sake, a contested divorce is not only one that goes to court.
The vast majority of divorces settle out of court—even those that seem destined for a trial. If there are any disagreements between the parties regarding a divorce, then it is considered contested, even if those disagreements are relatively mild. Experienced Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys from Lauriston Law Firm can guide you through the process to the best outcome regardless of whether your divorce is contested or uncontested.
Considerations Regarding Children During a Florida Divorce
Those who have gone through a divorce know how easy it is to get caught up in the details of the divorce. There are tough financial arrangements, division of assets, determination of spousal support, and, when children are involved, custody arrangements. Child custody can be one of the most contentious areas of a divorce, and children—no matter their ages—can be negatively affected by the divorce. It can be extremely helpful to bring in a child specialist to ensure any harmful effects of the divorce are minimized. Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks for many parents is preserving the relationship with the other parent for the sake of the children.
No matter how you feel about your ex, unless he or she is a clear danger to the children, you must accept that children benefit from having a relationship with both parents. To the extent possible, parents should avoid “bad-mouthing” the other parent, or dragging them into the details of the divorce. Children should never be forced to “choose” between their parents, and as tough as it is, it is important that both parents support the other’s decisions and parenting style. A divorce professional from Lauriston Law Firm can help you and your children through the divorce in the best way possible while fighting for your rights regarding child custody and child support.
How Can Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyers Protect You During Asset and Debt Distribution?
Your first task is to determine what is and isn’t marital property prior to dividing assets and debts. Anything you owned prior to your marriage—and vice-versa for your spouse—remains your separate property unless you have commingled that property during the marriage. As an example, suppose your great-aunt left you a seaside cottage. Even though you marry, the cottage remains yours unless you do one of the following:
- Use marital funds to improve the property
- Receive money for renting the cottage during the marriage
- Take out a mortgage on the property with your spouse
- Add your spouse’s name to the property title.
In these situations, all or at least some of the cottage will likely be considered marital property, subject to division. If you are given a gift or inheritance during your marriage, it remains your separate property, unless you commingle the asset. Once it has been determined what is and isn’t marital property, marital assets and debts must be divided. There are two types of marital asset division—community property and equitable division.
There remain only nine states that still operate under community property laws that state every marital asset is divided exactly down the middle, 50/50. Equitable distribution divides the property fairly, but not necessarily equally. Florida is an equitable distribution state; the judge will consider the following factors when determining a fair property distribution:
- The length of the marriage
- Whether one spouse helped the other to advance his or her career or education
- The economic circumstances of each spouse
- Contributions by each spouse to the marriage—including homemaking and childcare
- Career or education interruption for one spouse by the other
- The manner in which each spouse contributed to the marital assets
- Whether there was any deliberate wasting of assets in the two years prior to the divorce filing
- Whether either spouse will be required to stay in the family home for minor children
- The desirability of obtaining a specific asset, particularly for business reasons
Based on the factors listed above, the marital assets and debts will be divided in the fairest way possible by a Broward County judge unless the parties are in total agreement regarding asset division. Even if you believe you and your spouse have agreed to the asset division, it is crucial that you have a highly experienced Lauriston Law Firm divorce attorney as your advocate.
Can I Afford a Divorce in Broward County?
You may be (understandably) worried about the cost of your divorce. It is true that divorce can be both lengthy and expensive. Many of those in broken marriages avoid divorce for the single reason of expense. At Lauriston Law Firm, we have earned our reputation as affordable divorce lawyers in Broward County and other areas of South Florida. We work hard to ensure our divorce services are offered at the most reasonable prices possible.
We are equally committed to the idea that no divorcing spouse should pursue a divorce on his or her own without the assistance of an experienced, educated legal professional from Lauriston Law Firm. We work hand-in-hand with our community, enjoying a strong reputation among our clients as highly skilled, yet affordable divorce attorneys.
How the Divorce Lawyers at Lauriston Law Firm Help You During Your Divorce?
When you choose Lauriston Law Firm, you have chosen highly experienced attorneys who take pride in being transparent with our clients. We will tell you how it is, honestly and clearly, while finding the best solution for your particular situation—one that will help you reach your goals. If you want a fierce advocate—particularly if you are a woman or man who wants to be empowered while going through hard times—our firm provides advocacy, trust, and empathy, along with exceptional knowledge and skill. The Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyers at Lauriston Law Firm will use every resource at our disposal to help you through this difficult time while ensuring your future is as secure as possible. Contact Lauriston Law Firm today!