Divorce Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, FL
When a marriage starts to have serious problems, it may be best for the couple to end their union and move on with their lives. However, a marriage is a legally binding contract between two people. This means that just as starting a marriage requires a ceremony and a wedding certificate, ending a marriage also requires a formal legal process. There are Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyers who dedicate their efforts to helping people in this situation and trying to get the best result possible after the marriage is over. The Law Office of Verna Popo, P.A. is a family law practice that provides these services.
Reviewing some basic points about divorce and the legal process to end a marriage can be helpful for anyone who is considering a divorce, or for someone who has already been served papers to dissolve the marriage by their spouse.
Why do divorces happen?
While people enter into a marriage with the expectation of staying together forever, the reality of the situation is that two individuals can start to change over time. This is actually a fairly common occurrence, and a significant number of marriages in Florida and throughout the United States end in divorce each year. American couples are actually some of the most likely to divorce globally.
Some common reasons why people decide to end their marriages are long term financial issues, changing life goals and priorities, differences in parenting styles, trust and infidelity issues with the other person, or simply losing interest in being married and being around the same person over time. Because it is now common knowledge that a marriage may not last forever, premarital and prenuptial agreements have become a way for property interests and other aspects of a potential divorce to be decided beforehand. Trying to avoid some of the risk associated with a failed marriage and a divorce is a good idea for any couple who may want to draft a prenuptial agreement.
Meeting with a divorce lawyer
Anyone who feels that their marriage is about to end or wants to serve their spouse with divorce papers can speak with a divorce attorney in Fort Lauderdale. When a divorce is about to happen, it is imperative that each spouse gets their own legal representation to prepare as soon as possible. An attorney can outline the entire process and advise the client on which issues will need the most time and attention based on their situation.
The divorce process is the way that the state family courts formally end a marriage and allow the spouses to go their separate ways and remarry if they choose. Divorces also have consequences for the property, taxes, and custody rights of each spouse, so it is important that any concerns about ending the marriage and related consequences are discussed thoroughly with legal counsel.
How a divorce works
In Florida, the spouses must meet basic residency requirements in the state. If they are considered Florida residents, the process for a no fault divorce can begin by starting the administrative process in the local county courts. A no fault divorce is helpful because one or both members of the couple can say that the marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown, and that alone is sufficient to dissolve the marriage. There does not need to be a finding of adultery, abandonment, mental incapacity, domestic violence, or any other fault-based grounds for divorce. A Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer can draft and file all of the relevant paperwork in the proper venue to get the process started. Once the papers are filed in the local court, the defendant spouse is also served with a copy of the divorce. After this notice is given, the couple will need to spend time sorting out issues related to several issues that may be applicable to the divorce such as property division, child support, child custody, and alimony. This may take months or years depending on the length of the marriage and the amount of issues that the couple needs to sort out. Once all of these matters have been taken care of through litigation or other agreements, the judge can issue the final order which has the legal effect of dissolving the marriage.
Protecting the client’s interests
A divorce attorney in Fort Lauderdale is helpful throughout this process because a person can lose a lot during their divorce. Issues related to child custody, property division, support payments, and alimony can all affect a person financially for years afterward. For example, alimony payments can be a large burden if the spouse with higher earning capacity ends up supporting their former partner for a long time until the order terminates or the person remarries.
Getting adequate representation from a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer is important because it is possible that one spouse can end up on the losing side of a very bad outcome if they are not careful. For example, losing assets and having to make child support and alimony payments can affect someone’s financial situation to the point where they have difficulty affording all of their obligations and supporting themselves. This kind of financial trouble makes it troublesome to move on with a normal life.
An important option that can be discussed with a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer is ending the marriage with a settlement agreement. A settlement is by far the most efficient way for the couple to dissolve the marriage. This will actually take much of the cost and time commitment out of the divorce equation, but the couple must agree on most aspects of their separation for this to work. The agreement is made with the help of experienced family professionals who are also skilled negotiators. If a settlement is completed at these mediation sessions, a judge merely has to approve the final document and the marriage can be dissolved without further litigation. For these reasons, divorce mediation is an area that is growing in popularity among both family law practitioners and their clients.
Contacting a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer
The Law Office of Verna Popo, P.A. is a firm that can help local clients in South Florida with all of their divorce needs. Those who need more information can schedule a meeting to get specific advice about ending their marriage and the process to protect their assets.