If you are contemplating divorce, you may have heard rumors about what can happen during a divorce case. You realize that divorce proceedings can quickly turn sour, especially when divorcing spouses disagree about child custody, child support, and alimony. Now, you’re wondering if these rumors are true and if you should be concerned about filing for divorce.
Before searching for a “divorce attorney near me,” learn more about the five most common divorce myths from a South Florida Divorce Attorney with Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Myth 1: My Cheating, Soon-to-Be-Ex Will Lose Everything
Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning the court will divide marital assets according to what it deems fair for each spouse. The court considers several factors in the equitable distribution of assets, including:
- Contributions to the marriage and household, such as child-rearing, household responsibilities, and decision-making
- Income, work skills, and work interruptions due to caregiver responsibilities, such as stay-at-home parenting
- Length of the marriage
- The desirability of an asset, such as an intact claim to a business owned since the marriage began
- Claim to the marital residence, especially as the primary custodial home of any minor children
The only time marital infidelity might affect the division of assets by the court is if the cheating spouse used marital money to expense their affair. Otherwise, Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning an affair will not affect the divorce proceedings. However, the court may consider the affair when awarding alimony or child custody. As of 2022, the Florida legislature is looking to pass legislation that will deny the Court the authority to consider infidelity in making any of its equitable decisions.
Myth 2: The Mother Will Receive Primary Custody of Any Minor Children
In Florida, courts refer to time spent by either parent with the child as “time-sharing.” Currently, the law has no preference for either the mother or the father in making such a determination. In practice, Courts have interpreted this to mean that there should be equal time-sharing unless other circumstances, primarily, abuse, mental health issues of the parent, or inability to actually spend the time with the child, factor into the child’s best interests.
Myth 3: My Spouse Can Deny Me a Divorce
Although commonly seen in movies and tv shows, this is a fallacy. After serving your spouse with the divorce claim, you can move ahead with the discovery process and ultimately secure a court date for the divorce trial if no agreement is reached prior to that time. If your process server cannot find your spouse to serve the documents, you can still file a petition to dissolve your marriage and serve your spouse through a process called “publication.”
Because some spouses intentionally make it difficult to initiate divorce proceedings, the legal services of an experienced divorce attorney are essential to file the correct paperwork with the court for your divorce case. An attorney’s legal advice can make the difference between a fast resolution and dissolution of your marriage or a drawn-out divorce case with little to show in the end.
Myth 4: There Must Be a Proven Cause by a Spouse to File for Divorce.
Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning any cause for divorce committed by either spouse will not be a consideration for the filing or granting of divorce. To obtain a divorce in Florida, either spouse only needs to claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” similar to having “irreconcilable differences” in other states.
The only conditions to file for divorce in Florida are:
- The parties must have been legally married as recognized by the state of Florida. Florida does not recognize domestic partnerships or common-law marriage, although it will recognize common-law marriage established in another state.
- One or both parties must have lived in Florida for at least six months before filing for a divorce.
If both spouses agree to the divorce terms, they can also submit a written agreement and dissolve their marriage in as little as a few weeks. If both parties do not agree to terms, the divorce case may go to trial for the court to determine an equitable division of assets, child time-sharing, child support, and alimony.
Myth 5: You Don’t Need a Divorce Attorney
Your divorce case can quickly become much more involved than you intended without the legal services of a divorce attorney. However, don’t just choose the first result when searching online for “divorce attorneys near me.” You want a divorce law firm that is professional and experienced that you can trust to help you protect your children and assets during your divorce proceedings.
Call Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm: Your South Florida Divorce Attorneys
At Divorce & Mediation Law Firm, we’re passionate about helping South Florida families protect their business assets, homes, and rights to see their children when going through a divorce. We have offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, and Sunny Isles Beach to serve clients throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Contact us today at (954) 447-2580 to schedule your confidential consultation with our team of divorce attorneys at our bilingual law firm. You can also fill out our online form here.