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Dissolution of Marriage

            Making the decision to get a Dissolution of Marriage a/k/a divorce can be difficult and the process can be very stressful and full of uncertainties.  If, however, you have made the decision to pursue a divorce then review my site to learn more about your rights and feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have. 

            In order to get divorced, you must first be married.  Seems obvious but many people are still confused about the issue of common law marriage.  Common law marriages entered into in Florida after January 1, 1968 are NOT valid.  Florida, however, will recognize a common law marriage validly entered into in another state.  To be married in Florida after January 1, 1968, you must obtain a marriage license and have the marriage solemnized by an ordained minister, elder, or other ordained clergy, a judicial officer, clerk of the circuit court, or a notary public of the State of Florida.  Marriages between two people of the same sex entered into in Florida have been recognized as valid since January, 2015.  Unmarried couples may enter into an enforceable agreement (Cohabitation Agreements) for support and other matters. 

            Florida is a no fault divorce state.  What does that mean?  That means that you do not need to prove fault on the part of your spouse such as adultery, abandonment, imprisonment or cruel and inhuman treatment.  In Florida, you may get divorce if the marriage is irretrievably broken or one of the spouses is mentally incapacitated.  A marriage is irretrievably broken when the parties are having difficulties whereby they can no longer live together in a normal marital relationship.  Although fault is not required to obtain a divorce, it may be considered by the court when awarding alimony and when determining an equitable distribution of the assets and debts. 

            Many people want to know how long it will take to get a divorce in Florida.  Initially, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Florida for at least six months before filing a petition for dissolution of marriage.  Thereafter, the court must wait at least 20 days from the date of filing of the petition of dissolution of marriage to enter a final judgment of divorce.  In practice, however, it will ultimately depend upon the issues in your particular case and whether a settlement can be worked out or if a final trial is necessary.  Your particular case may also require hearings prior to the final trial to obtain temporary relief or to resolve other motions.

            During the course of the divorce proceedings, the parties will either need to agree upon or the court will rule upon several issues.  Those issues include, but are not limited to:

  1. Parental Responsibilities and timesharing;
  2. Equitable Distribution of the assets and debts;
  3. Alimony;
  4. Child Support;
  5. Attorneys' fees and all other issues related to the above.

             Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have.  I have significant experience handling uncontested cases and contested cases.  I have vast experience handling cases with few assets to significant assets including, but not limited to, business interests, royalties, retirement accounts, trusts, various types of stock options and cases involving contested custody and timesharing issues. 

Daniel M. Genet, P.A.

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