Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer

Jacksonville Divorce Attorney

Studies show that a divorce can be one of the most emotionally difficult times in a person’s life.  While the process may be emotionally difficult, many of the best family law lawyers will tell you that the legal process can be straightforward.  There is no guarantee that your spouse will not want to fight over petty items, but a Jacksonville divorce attorney should be able to help limit this type of interaction.

Jacksonville and the rest of Florida are a no-fault divorce state, which means in some cases the legal process can be simpler while also avoiding the “blame game.”   The Florida legislature decided many years ago that the purpose of divorce should be to terminate dead marriages. A Florida court can terminate a marriage under two circumstances: i) when the marriage is irretrievably broken, or ii) when a court has adjudicated a spouse incompetent for at least three years preceding the filing. 

The Divorce Process in Jacksonville

You Jacksonville divorce attorney will tell you that the divorce process starts when one spouse files a “petition for dissolution of marriage,” with the circuit court of the county he or she lives in.  If you live in Jacksonville, the court is located downtown in the main Jacksonville courthouse.  If you live in St. Johns County or Ponte Vedra Beach, then the divorce lawyer will file the petition in St. Johns County. The petitioner of the dissolution of marriage in Florida, or the person that wants to get divorced, must state in the petition that the marriage is irretrievably broken unless competence is an issue.  The other spouse must file an answer to this petition within 20 days after he or she is served that answers the allegations in the petition.  The other spouse may also answer with a counter petition for dissolution of marriage if there are additional issues the court needs to consider. 

What Does the Petitioning Spouse Need In a Jacksonville Divorce?

Florida law requires each spouse to provide certain financial documents along with a completed financial affidavit to the other spouse within 45 days of the petition for divorce in Jacksonville, FL.  The court can dismiss the case if either party fails to provide this information.  The court does allow either spouse to modify many divorce proceedings if they agree, but neither spouse may modify the financial filing requirement.  The parties must also file a child support guideline worksheet if the spouses had children together.

Jacksonville Divorce Attorney and and Divorce Mediation

Many divorce courts in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, and Clay County like for spouses to go through the mediation process before going through with a divorce proceeding.  Mediation is a process where a third party, sometimes a Jacksonville divorce lawyer, helps the spouses to reach an agreement before the trial starts.  The purpose of the mediation is not to save the marriage, but rather to help the spouses comes to an agreement for the break-up of the marriage.  This includes how the former spouses would divide their property, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, and parental responsibility.

Counseling by Divorce Professionals in Jacksonville

A court can also order the spouses go to counseling before the divorce proceedings proceeds.  In Jacksonville divorce cases, the court is more likely to call for the couple to go through counseling when the spouses have children together.  The court may temporarily halt the proceedings up to three months to allow both spouses to attempt reconciliation. 

Final Hearing in a Divorce in Jacksonville

The final hearing can either be a long contested trial or a relatively short process where the court approves a settlement agreement prepared by a divorce attorney, divorce mediator, or counselor in some cases.  If the spouses who are divorcing have a reached a final agreement on all of the divorce issues, then the spouses can present the agreement to the judge for the divorce case.  If the divorce judge agrees, then the dissolution of the marriage is complete.  If the parties have only reached an agreement on certain issues, then a court can accept this as well. 

If the parties have not reached a full and final agreement, then a divorce trial can take place.  Each party is allowed to present evidence and testimony to the court during the final hearing.  The divorce judge will carefully consider each spouse’s position and will make a final decision on the issues.

Jacksonville Divorce Attorney and roles in Family Law

Jacksonville Family Law includes Florida divorces, child custody law, child support law, adoption, paternity, visitation, spousal support, grandparent rights, alimony, separation agreements, collecting back child support and many other topics.  It is a complex area of law that can have effects on your family’s life for many years.

Our Jacksonville Florida Divorce and Family law attorneys recognize that a divorce or child custody issues can create stress and cause individuals to take unrealistic positions on various topics.  We strive to open lines of communication and help families work through this difficult process while creating an environment that allows children to have a normal healthy lifestyle.  Whether you need an uncontested divorce or just enforcement of a previous agreement we can help preserve and enforce your rights in Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns County.

While some divorce law firms only handle divorces, the lawyers at the Law Firm of David M. Goldman work in many other related areas of law including estate planning and asset protection. Every divorce includes a comprehensive Florida Estate Planning and Asset protection review with recommendations to changes that will help you with your current circumstances and protect you into the future against future losses.

Call us at 904-685-1200 or Contact us by email.

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