General information on dissolution of marriage

The Consequences of Financial Infidelity

An interesting clip from Tantao News on a poll concerning financial dishonesty in marriage:

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Under certain circumstances, spouses may jointly file for divorce and schedule their case for a final hearing within thirty days or less.  Pursuant to Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.105, this is known as a simplified dissolution of marriage.

Eligibility for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

To be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, the following must be true:

  • The parties have no minor or dependent children;
  • The wife is not pregnant;

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Section 61.538, Florida Statutes

Role of state attorney.—

(1)In a case arising under this part or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the state attorney may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under ss. 61.524-61.540 or any other available civil proceeding, to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child custody determination, if there is:

(a)An existing child custody determination;

(b)A request to do so from a court in a pending child custody proceeding;

(c)A reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated; or

(d)A reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(2)A state attorney acting under this section acts on behalf of the court and may not represent any party.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Downward Modification of Alimony: What is a “Supportive Relationship?”

Section 61.14, Florida Statutes, contains a provision that allows a court to modify or terminate an order for alimony if the obligee (the person receiving alimony) is in a “supportive relationship.” So what is a supportive relationship?

Downward Modification of Alimony

What is a "supportive relationship?"

Fortunately, the statute provides guidelines to identify such a relationship.  Considerations include the following:

  • Whether and the extent to which the obligee and other person have acted as husband and wife, such as by referring to one another as spouses;
  • Whether the obligee and other person have used the same last name;

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Do I Need to Purchase Life Insurance to Secure My Child Support Obligation?

Under section 61.13(1)(c), Florida Statutes, a judge may require a party to purchase life insurance to cover his or her child support obligation in the event of a tragedy.  However, an order to purchase life insurance is discretionary and will depend on the specific facts in your case.

To help you determine whether you will likely be required to purchase life insurance to secure your obligation, you should consult with a family law attorney.

Anger in Harmony: Do Not Interrupt A Judge

As I wrote in a previous post, it is important that parties in a family law matter (or any matter) act in a civil manner while in a courtroom.  Please do not follow the example of the wife in this Divorce Court clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpBD97Cq_tk

You should never interrupt an opposing party–and you should especially not interrupt a presiding judge–even if that interruption comes in the form of song.

Enforcement: Support Awards From Different Florida Counties

If a circuit court in Miami-Dade county ordered a parent to pay child support, that order may be enforced in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Hernando, Manatee, or any other county in Florida (so long as one party lives in that county). Along the same lines, alimony awards entered in one Florida county may be enforced in another Florida county.

Section 61.17, Florida Statutes, provides the basis for such enforcement.

Divorce: Is there a Residency Requirement?

Unless one or both parties resided in Florida for at least six months prior to the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage, a Florida judge will not grant the divorce.  This residency requirement is governed by section 61.021, Florida Statutes.

However, there is an exception to the residency requirement for members of the United States Armed Forces.  A member of the military (or his or her spouse) who is not currently in Florida may petition for divorce in Florida if he or she (i) was a Florida resident prior to entering the military and (ii) never established a permanent residence elsewhere.  Even if the military member had not lived in Florida prior to entering the service, he or she may still be able to file for divorce in Florida if he or she is deployed but has an intent to remain a permanent Florida resident.  Such intent may be evidenced by the following: (i) Florida voter registration; (ii) ownership of a Florida home; or (iii) registration of a vehicle in Florida.

 

Am I Required to Disclose My Finances in My Family Law Case?

Rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, requires each party to a family law matter to disclose certain financial information to the other party.  Disclosure is strictly enforced in cases with money at issue, including child support, alimony, and equitable distribution or property division. Parties are required to follow Rule 12.285’s disclosure requirements in two ways: (i) providing a financial affidavit; and (ii) exchanging certain documents (also known as mandatory disclosure).

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How Does Divorce Affect A Child’s Future Relationships?

I just came across an article that discusses a study from Florida State University researchers about how divorce affects a child’s future relationships.  The researchers conclude that children of divorced parents are more likely to become divorced themselves for a myriad of reasons, including the fact that children learn relationship skills from their parents.  The article states the following:

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