If you are contemplating divorce, the attorneys at Hertz • Sager, will guide you through the divorce process with their experience and understanding. The attorneys at Hertz • Sager, have represented numerous clients throughout the State of Florida in their divorce proceedings. We will consult with you about each step in your case. We will provide you with every document and letter that is created in your case so you will always know the status of your case.
Florida is a pure no fault state; you do not need consent from your spouse to get divorced. You do need to state a legal reason to get divorced. Under Florida law, there are two legal grounds for divorce. One reason is that the marriage is considered “irretrievably broken.” The other reason is that one party has been declared legally incapacitated for more than three consecutive years preceding the petition for dissolution of marriage. “Irretrievably broken”, the most common reason, means there are disputes that cause a complete marital breakdown has occurred and there is nothing that a court can do to reconcile the marriage between the parties.
In Florida, a divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage.” In order to initiate a divorce proceeding, a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed with the circuit court in the county where you and your spouse last lived together as a married couple, or in the county where either party presently resides. Either spouse can file the petition for dissolution of marriage. The petition contains the filing party’s allegations, as well as other requirements establishing the existence of the marriage and the residence of the parties. So long as one party has resided in the State of Florida for at least six (6) months prior to the filing of the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken, you can obtain a divorce in Florida.
Bear in mind that your divorce may be either uncontested or contested. Uncontested divorce means you and your spouse agree upon all of the settlement terms of your divorce. Contested divorce means you and your spouse are in disagreement and unable to settle without litigation. If your divorce is contested, your spouse must file an answer to your petition within 20 days of being served, addressing the allegations set forth in the initial petition. Your spouse may also include in the answer, a counter-petition for dissolution of marriage to raise any additional issues for the court to address, and you must then file your answer to the counter-petition within 20 days of receipt. In a contested divorce, litigation may become necessary for the court to address all issues raised in the petition and counter-petition. Alternatives such as mediation and/or negotiating a marital settlement agreement through counsel can help resolve these issues outside of court and help reduce costs. If you cannot agree on all issues, a final hearing or trial is required. Each party will present evidence and testimony to the judge during the final hearing, and then the judge will make the final decision on the contested issues.
If you have been served with a petition for dissolution of marriage or are contemplating filing for divorce, contact the experienced attorneys at Hertz • Sager to handle all issues relating to your divorce. Please contact us either online or by telephone at 305.444.3323 to schedule a consultation.
During this period of prolonged and forced social isolation, married couples are likely to have little to no time apart from each other. With several factors at play, including forced isolation with your spouse, the situation may feel like a pressure cooker ready to go off. It is important to be aware of the emotions and feelings you are experiencing and act in your and/or your children’s best interest. Hertz • Sager is here to advise you of your options and guide you through a possible or filed dissolution of marriage proceeding in these unprecedented times.
If this time of “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” in your home as a result of Covid-19 causes a rupture in your marriage and you decide that you want to proceed with a divorce, our team can help you best use this time to gather essential information, which can save you time and money in the long run. It is vital to protect your assets and properties during this tumultuous time. Hertz • Sager will advocate strongly for your needs, in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.