At Family First Legal Group, we understand how difficult divorces can be on families. When you choose our Naples attorneys to be your advocates during this time, you will receive excellent legal counsel and representation from family lawyers who genuinely care for you. We can help protect your rights and achieve your goals, to set you up for a great future.
Contact Family First Legal Group now to get started on the divorce process. We have two convenient locations in Naples and Cape Coral.
Choose our dedicated team of attorneys to represent your case. Contact us online or call us at (239) 319-4441 today. With offices in Naples and Cape Coral, we proudly serve clients in Collier County and Lee County.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
In the state of Florida, divorce is known as dissolution of marriage. The grounds for divorce in Florida are:
- The marriage is irretrievably broken
- One of the parties has been considered mentally incapacitated for the previous three years
Marriages are considered to be irretrievably broken when there are differences and disputes between the spouses that cannot be resolved and have caused the complete breakdown of the marriage.
How Long Does Divorce Take in Florida?
This is a common question we hear at Family First Legal Group and, regrettably, the answer is almost always "it depends." Most cases resolve themselves within 12 months. Some cases can go on for as long as two years or longer.
The amount of time it takes to get a divorce in Florida depends on multiple factors, such as the amount of money involved in the litigation, the level of safety (or danger) for the children, whether there is real property, retirement accounts or other assets to be sold, transferred or moved, etc.
We have also seen a number of cases which concluded quickly in the original proceeding, yet resulted in the former spouses returning to our office later in order to cover what should have been addressed during the original proceeding.
Getting a divorce in Collier County or Lee County is not a race to the finish line. It should always start with effective planning and analysis with your counsel and a road map for where you are headed.
Because of this, we think the best answer to the question "How long will my divorce take?" is "as long as necessary to get a just result."
How Long Do I Have to Be a Florida Resident Before I Can File for Divorce?
In Florida, new residents of the state can’t file for divorce right away. “How long do I have to be a Florida resident before I can file for divorce?” you might ask. The answer is six months. You have to be an official resident of Florida for half a year in order for the court to allow your divorce filing.
What If My Spouse Doesn’t Live in Florida?
There are a few ways things can get complicated and quickly when it comes to meeting this six-month prerequisite. For example, what if you have been living in Florida but never took the steps to become officially recognized residents there? That is to say, what if your mailing address is still in another state, and your driver’s license says another state on it? Or, what happens if you or your spouse moved out of Florida during a separation, but the other one of you stayed?
When there are complexities with any divorce filing in Florida, it raises the need of a personal jurisdiction, also called in personam jurisdiction. Basically, the matter will come down to a judge’s discretion, rather than the strict letter of Florida family laws.
Can You Get Divorced in Florida Without Going To Court?
Whether a court appearance is required during the divorce (or dissolution of marriage) depends on the type of dissolution being pursued:
- If the divorce is contested, both spouses will be required to appear in court for a trial and a final hearing that will decide all of the contested issues in the divorce.
- If it is a simplified dissolution procedure, both spouses are required to appear in court for the final hearing.
- If it is a standard uncontested dissolution of marriage, only one spouse is required to appear at the final hearing.
Divorce Mediation in Florida
"Do I still need an attorney for divorce mediation?" We are asked this question frequently, and the answer is, yes, you do need an attorney with you at mediation. However, this largely depends on how you define need.
- If you define need as a requirement where you are going to go to jail if you don't have an attorney with you at mediation, or a requirement of the Court, then no, you do not need an attorney with you at mediation.
- If you want to have a productive experience at mediation and you want to know what you don't know, then it may be best to have one. This would be a situation where you would need an attorney at mediation.
Mediators are duty bound they their code of ethics NOT to give legal advice. You will have no one advising you if you go to mediation without an attorney. Mediating issues as important as, "where are my kids going to grow up?" and "How am I going to live the rest of my life without my spouse?" really do require advice.
We meet with dozens of prospective clients each year who attended mediation on their own, in their original case, and are now realizing it was a mistake. There are errors and omissions in their agreements, or they felt bullied during the process. If you have more questions about mediation or how an attorney can help with your divorce, please do not hesitate to contact us at Family First Legal Group. We serve clients in Collier County and Lee County.
Filing for Divorce in Florida? Contact Us!
Our Naples lawyers can help you with all aspects of the divorce process, from property division and determining spousal maintenance and child support, to post-divorce modifications. We handle both uncontested and contested divorce cases. You can have the peace of mind that our team of family law attorneys and legal assistants will always be available to provide you with knowledgeable counsel and strong advocacy.
We are ready to work toward a resolution so you can be at peace again. Call Family First Legal Group at (239) 319-4441. We serve clients in Naples and Cape Coral.