Typically, people enter a marriage with the anticipation that it will endure for the rest of their lives. Most people are aware, however, that many marriages fail, and divorce is the end result for a large number of married couples. Regardless of whether a couple whose marriage is ending has an amicable or contentious relationship, it is prudent for each party to be represented by a lawyer adept at handling divorces. If you are facing the end of your marital relationship, the seasoned Cape Coral divorce lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can advise you of your rights and help you pursue a favorable and efficient dissolution of your marriage. We routinely represent parties in divorce actions in Cape Coral and in other cities throughout the Florida.Seeking a Divorce Under Florida Law
In order to obtain a divorce under Florida law, either the party commencing the action or the party’s spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months before the divorce petition is filed. The petition, which is the legal pleading asking for the dissolution of the marriage, must set forth the grounds for seeking the divorce. In other words, it must state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or one spouse has been deemed mentally incapacitated, and the incapacitation has endured for a minimum of three years. The petition must be served on the responding spouse as well, who must file a response within twenty days, addressing the allegations in the petition and setting forth any additional issues it would like the court to address. Speak to divorce attorneys serving Cape Coral to learn more about filing a divorce petition.
If the parties disagree as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may order the couple to submit to counseling. Additionally, if the parties disagree on one or more issues, such as how property should be divided, child custody rights, or whether spousal or child support should be granted, they will be compelled to disclose their financial information and other evidence, after which the court may eventually conduct a trial to resolve disputed issues. If a couple does not have any minor children, and the responding spouse does not deny that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may enter a judgment dissolving the marriage.
Some couples may be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage. This can only be obtained in cases in which a couple has no minor children and are not anticipating the birth of a child. The parties must also agree regarding how property should be divided, that neither party wishes to obtain alimony, and that the marriage cannot be saved. Divorce lawyers serving Cape Coral can help you determine if you qualify for such an option. Similar to a couple seeking a regular dissolution of their marriage, a couple seeking a simplified dissolution of marriage must meet the residency requirements.Dividing Assets and Liabilities in Florida Divorces
Under Florida law, any property that a married person acquires throughout the duration of the marriage is considered marital property. This includes income and real estate but does not include property owned by either spouse separately before the marriage, property that is deemed separate by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement between the parties, or property that either spouse obtained through a gift or inheritance. Some personal injury settlements are considered separate as well.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that when a married couple divorces, all marital property and debt is subject to division in a manner that the court deems fair. This does not necessarily mean that such assets or liabilities will be divided equally, however. Instead, the court will determine what distribution between the parties is fair based on an assessment of several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s economic situation, and what each party contributed to the marriage or to the other party’s education or career. A court may also weigh whether it is better for either party to retain an asset independently, whether either spouse purposely diminished marital property after the divorce action was filed, and any other factor it deems relevant.Speak With an Experienced Attorney in Cape Coral
The end of a marriage not only impacts people emotionally, but it can also greatly affect their financial and legal rights. If you or your spouse intend to seek a divorce it is critical to speak to a lawyer to discuss what measures you can take to protect your interests. The experienced Cape Coral divorce attorneys of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. are adept at helping people seek legal dissolutions of their marriages. If we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a successful result. We frequently represent people in divorce cases in Cape Coral and in Fort Myers and Naples and we have offices in all three cities. You can reach us to schedule a consultation through our online form or by calling us at 800-283-7442.