By: Pascal Michel
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Miami Divorce Lawyer
Miami Divorce Lawyer: Regular vs. Simplified Divorce
Depending on your situation, your Miami divorce lawyer might advise you that your dissolution of marriage can be assessed as “simplified dissolution” instead of a “regular dissolution”. Either term references the same underlying concept; a “dissolution of marriage”, which is the legal term for a divorce. However, the paths to finalizing a divorce are quite different – with the simplified version essentially expediting the process… This is one of the many things which makes Florida’s laws unique, but not everyone will qualify for a simplified dissolution. We’ll cover the basics of each one below.
Traditional Dissolution of Marriage
Most people will go through the regular dissolution process which can be used by anyone. The base requirements state that at least one party has resided in Florida for at least the last six months and at least one party believes the marriage is “irretrievably broken”..” Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you don’t have to prove your spouse did something wrong; you only need to believe that your marriage cannot be saved. Both parties will be required to provide a financial affidavit to the other party as well as the courts.
Proceedings continue as one would expect. Ideally, both parties will agree on as much as possible on their own. Issues that cannot be agreed upon may be resolved through the mediation process, negotiation between attorneys, or decided by the courts. Since transparency is a large part of regular dissolutions, both parties have the right to request financial documents pertaining to the other and those must be supplied, so long as they relate to income, assets, expenses, or debts. Both parties may be cross-examined as well. The duration of a regular dissolution varies depending on how many of the issues both parties can agree on, but most take about a year, with some lasting several years.
Specific criteria need to be met in order for an individual to file for and be granted a simplified dissolution. With this process, the dissolution may be concluded in as little as a few months. The parties are not required to exchange financial information and little to no litigation occurs; the parties are expected to be in full agreement on everything and the judge signs off on what the parties have agreed to.
Qualifications for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
- Both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken
- Both parties agree to a simplified dissolution
- At least one of the parties involved has resided in Florida for at least six months
- The couple has no children (biological or adopted) under age 18
- Neither person is pregnant
- Both parties agree on how to split assets and debts
- Neither party wants spousal support
Retain an Experienced Miami Divorce Lawyer
If you’re filing for a simplified dissolution of marriage or have received paperwork regarding one in the mail, your attorney will help protect your rights and complete all necessary paperwork in accordance with the court’s requirements, ensuring a smooth transition for you and your former partner. If you’re looking at a regular dissolution, the road ahead may be more challenging, but your attorney will walk you through the process, make sure you’re treated fairly and will ensure you have what you need to rebuild your life following the dissolution. Pascal Michel is a Miami divorce lawyer who firmly believes that most cases can be settled with little or no time in court, which eases the strain the process can have on both parties. However, when an individual’s rights, security, or safety are at risk, he fights tenaciously for his clients, creating customized legal strategies to ensure they are protected. If you’d like to explore your legal options, call (305) 834-8432 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.