Fort Myers Divorce
Some married couples can easily reach an agreement on the major issues that come up during divorce, but in most cases, there is at least one point of serious disagreement. Conflicts may arise over how marital property should be distributed, who should have responsibility for children, or whether and how much alimony should be paid. In most cases, retaining an experienced family law attorney can make a significant difference to the outcome of your divorce. At the Martin Law Firm, our Fort Myers divorce lawyers treat our clients like family, showing the diligence and care needed to make sure that your interests are protected.Protecting Your Interests in Divorce Proceedings
In Florida, you can obtain a divorce without proving fault if you can show either that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one spouse has suffered a mental incapacity for three years. However, fault, such as domestic violence or infidelity, may be considered with regard to certain issues within the divorce, such as alimony or child custody.
In order to file for a Florida divorce, you need to have been a resident of a Florida county for a minimum of six months prior to filing. The divorce petition must be filed in the correct circuit. For example, Fort Myers residents must file in the circuit court for Lee County. The person who files for divorce is called the petitioner, and the other spouse is called the respondent. The petitioner must properly serve the respondent with a copy of the filed petition for divorce. If you are the petitioner, you will need to make sure that any issues you want the court to address—such as a parenting time arrangement or who lives in the marital home—are listed in the petition.
Florida law requires each spouse to make financial disclosures to the other within 45 days of the date of service of the petition for divorce. You would need to provide information under oath about your income, assets, debts, bank statements, and tax returns, among other things.
However, if your spouse and you do not have minor children, neither spouse is requesting alimony, and you agree on how the property should be distributed, you might be able to obtain a simplified dissolution of marriage. This is appropriate, for example, if attorneys for both spouses are able to help them reach a settlement covering property distribution and the division of debts.
Marital settlements should be formalized as written contracts. These are highly favored by Florida courts and are difficult for one spouse to challenge, although the parties can agree to negotiate a new settlement. Some grounds for challenging a marital settlement agreement include mutual mistake, fraud, and coercion. One spouse cannot unilaterally void the marital settlement agreement on the basis that he or she misunderstood it.Discuss Your Needs and Goals with a Divorce Lawyer in Fort Myers
Fort Myers is a major tourist destination in the state of Florida, and it is the county seat of Lee County. The county’s population has expanded in recent years to over 660,000 residents. If you are planning to dissolve your marriage, the Fort Myers divorce attorneys at the Martin Law Firm are available to assist you. Call us toll-free at 844-465-4357 or contact us online if you are seeking a child custody attorney or guidance with any other family law matter.