Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Florida
At The Law Office of Hollis E. Mandell, P.A., in Fort Lauderdale, we often get calls from potential clients who want to know a little more about what happens during the divorce process. We are going to answer a few of those questions here, but invite you to call us at 954-546-7438 or send us an email to set up a time to talk about your specific situation. We can help you review your options and determine the right plan of action to take in your case.
What do I need to know to be ready for my divorce?
First, it’s not the end of the world. As hard as it is, as bleak as things may seem, you will be ok. It can be hard to process all these feelings and experiences right now, and that isn’t something you should feel bad about. We know that this takes a toll on people, and we do everything we can to help you get to a better place after the divorce has resolved.
Is there anything I should do to better prepare for what’s happening?
There are a few things you can do to help make your divorce move more smoothly. Try to gather as much information as you can about any accounts you may have together with your spouse. If you have tax returns, try to get copies of them as well. It might come in useful if the other side tries to conceal assets.
Next, think about the way that you will discuss the divorce with your family and friends. You should take a break from social media because the other side will be using anything you say to try to paint you in a negative light going forward.
Finally, take care of yourself during this process. It can be easy to slip into a negative pattern and want to fight about everything. You need to determine what’s most important to you, and leave the legal heavy lifting to us. We’re here for you, and we will get you through this.
How will our assets and debts be divided?
Marital property is subject to “equitable” division in Florida. This means that the property accumulated during a marriage (with limited exceptions) will be divided in a way that the court considers to be fair. You and your spouse can discuss various proposals and submit them to the court to finalize if you are able to agree upon these matters.
It’s important to note that equitable doesn’t mean a 50-50 right down the line split of everything. It may end up that way, but, in many cases, that is not what happens. We can take over these discussions for you and help you try to keep the things that matter to you.
We have kids – and I am concerned about the custody agreement my ex is proposing. What can I do?
There are a few different options. One is to let us work with the other side to find a comprehensive custody and parenting time agreement that keeps you an active part in your child’s life. If we cannot find that common ground, we can take the matter to trial and let the courts decide based upon the best interests of the child.
Our attorney will work tirelessly to find an agreement outside of the courts, as trial can be unpredictable. We believe strongly that creating an agreement with the other side puts something in place that has a much better chance of reducing potential problems going forward. It leaves all parties feeling like they have had an opportunity to have their concerns addressed.
How long is it going to take for my divorce to finalize?
This really will depend upon how your case is going. In divorces where both parties are cooperating and working toward a resolution, a divorce can be over fairly soon. But, if the other parties are insisting upon fighting over every single issue, things can take a lot longer to resolve.
The important thing is not to try to get through the divorce as quickly as possible, but rather take the time necessary to get things right the first time. We will work with you to find an efficient plan forward that keeps your interests protected.
Do I really need an attorney if my spouse and I agree on all points?
Yes. It’s a good idea to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer before you sign anything because you just do not know exactly what rights you might be giving up. Once you enter into one of these agreements regarding property division, child custody or any type of support, it can be extremely hard, and in some cases, impossible to make any changes. Get the facts before you decide your next move. It can save you time, money and frustration in the long run.