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The Basics of a Jacksonville Divorce

Depending on the couple, a divorce can be easy or rough. Divorce is the permanent end to a marriage. It allows the couple to go their separate ways and be free to start their lives again and date other people.

Types of Divorces in Jacksonville

Although there is only one way to divorce a spouse, there are two ways to accomplish the goal: contested and uncontested divorce. A contested divorce is more complicated and takes longer to obtain. One spouse may not want the divorce or both spouses may want the divorce, but cannot agree on distributing property, child custody/timesharing, or debt division.

A contested divorce does require a final hearing on the unsettled issues. The hearing does not involve a jury. The judge listens to testimony from both sides and any witnesses and the final ruling is then made by the judge.

An uncontested divorce is the fastest and easiest divorce to obtain. Both spouses agree on all divorce-related issues and the judge signs off on the agreement. The spouses do not usually have to go to court to obtain the divorce, if there is a full agreement on all the issues.

Basics of Getting Divorced in Jacksonville

Every state has specific rules to follow before an individual can file a petition for a divorce. One rule is that at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state six months prior to filing for divorce. Another rule is that the marriage must be irretrievably broken. This means that the marriage cannot be repaired.

Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means either party may seek a divorce simply because one spouse or both do not want to be married anymore. Neither spouse is required to assert or prove that the other spouse has done something wrong to be granted a divorce.

Understanding Divorce Terminology in a Jacksonville Divorce

Beginning the divorce process involves more than just filing the paper work. A divorce, called a dissolution of marriage, is filed at the local circuit court. Within the divorce, many issues must be settled by the couple. If they are not settled by the couple, a judge will settle them for the couple. These issues include:

  • Marital Assets: Any money made, property acquired, or assets obtained during the marriage are called marital assets. They are equitably distributed among the spouses. Any assets, property, or money acquired or made prior to marriage will not be distributed to the other spouse, unless comingling occurred.
  • Marital Liabilities: Debts acquired during the course marriage. Marital debts are equitably distributed. If there is a mortgage on property, the judge may order the couple to split the debt. Any debt that occurred prior to marriage is the sole responsibility of that spouse who acquired that debt.
  • Alimony: Alimony is the amount of money paid by one ex-spouse to another. It is determined by whether either party has an actual need for alimony and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony. The court shall consider factors such as the standard of living established during the marriage, physical condition, age, length of marriage, and others. Alimony is not guaranteed.

A Spouse can Appeal a Divorce Ruling in Jacksonville

After the judge determines who gets what, the divorce is finalized. However, if a spouse does not like the outcome, he or she can appeal the ruling. The appeal goes to the District Court of Appeals. To this, the spouse must file the appeal by the deadline. The appeals court will determine if the trial court made an error or errors regarding its decision.

Contact Judy Ann Smith Law Firm About Your Jacksonville Divorce

Whether you are ready to file divorce or what to understand more about the process, contact us at 904-562-1369.