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Hal Roen, P.A.
159 Lookout Place Suite 202
Maitland, Florida 32751
Tel: 407-628-1199
Fax: 407-628-8638

How long will my divorce take?

That depends on many variables including your spouse's desire to work out resolutions to issues and both parties desire to avoid protracted litigation. Most divorces can be finalized within 6 months however some may take longer and others can be wrapped up in 6-8 weeks.

When can I date?

Once you have separated from your spouse, you may legally date. However, there may be other issues that may impact your ultimate decision including the best interest of your children to associate you immediately with another partner other than their parent and religious issues.

Do I have to share an inheritance with my spouse?

If you have commingled the funds of an inheritance with your spouse, the court may consider this a gift to your spouse. If you have kept monies in a separate account and do not commingle it with other monies you are more likely to not have to share it.

What is shared parental responsibility?

This is the Florida principle that both parents should have equal responsibility and input into their children's lives even after a divorce. Shared parenting does not mean necessarily that both parties will have equal amount of time with the child. (that is often referred to as joint parental responsibility)

This dissolution is my spouse's idea or fault. Will my spouse be required to pay my fees?

Unfortunately the answer is very likely "no." Florida is a "no-fault" state, as are most these days, so the reality is that your spouse is not going to be punished by an obligation of paying your attorney's fees. The Court does have the power to order one party to pay all or a part of the other's fees in dissolution cases - if that is necessary for one party to be able to afford to be adequately represented. The test in that instance is usually relative incomes or consideration of the overall amount of assets to be divided in the case. The Court does have the power to award "conduct-based fees" when one party is found to have unreasonably extended the length or expense of the proceedings.

Do we have to split every stock and IRA that we have acquired together ?

No, although the value of all marital property should be divided equally in most cases, it is not always necessary and in many times it is not feasible to split each marital asset.

If I paid for a boat that is titled in my name with my own separate earnings that will be mine, right ?

Anything that is acquired during the marriage by the parties is joint marital property regardless of how it is titled and who pays for it. The only exceptions are those items acquired through an inheritance or a gift and that are not commingled or gifted to the other spouse.

Can I get alimony before the final judgment?

Yes, both alimony and child support can be awarded on a temporary basis prior to the final judgment if the court finds that a spouse has the need for such award and the other spouse has the ability to pay.

Can we mediate this?

Yes, mediation is an excellent way to resolve differences. Mediation is a process in which a neutral party sits down with you and your spouse and helps you create the terms for your divorce. The neutral party does not have the authority to make decisions for you. The process typically saves the parties money, time and grief and can be designed to meet specific needs of each party.

Can I sue my spouse for abandonment?

In Florida it is no longer necessary to recite grounds for divorce. All that is necessary is that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Can I relocate with my child to another state?

Unless there is a specific geographical restriction in your settlement agreement or it provides that you must get court approval or approval from the nonresidential parent. If it is left up to the court, you will probably be able to move if you can show that it improves the quality of life for your child and that other satisfactory times and ways of contact with the nonresidential parent can be provided.

Can we just separate without getting a divorce?

You can separate without getting a divorce but Florida does not have a legal separation. In Florida, you are either married or you are not. However, parties may file a petition for separate maintenance to provide for temporary means of support during the separation.

Disclaimer: This is not provided as a legal opinion upon which you may rely. Please note that there are exceptions to every situation and advice cannot be given unless there is an understanding of the specific facts of your case. Please talk with an experienced family law attorney before taking any action.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.