Getting a divorce in Florida with children requires the consideration of multiple factors. How to file for divorce in Florida with children requires an understanding of Florida divorce laws.
It’s vital to retain the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your interests as both a parent and spouse are protected throughout the process.
Florida Divorce Requirements
To file for divorce in Florida with kids, one of the parties must be a resident of Florida for at least six months. Additionally, the filing party must prove their residency. Proving residency requires corroboration by the following:
- A valid Florida identification card,
- A Florida voter registration card,
- A Florida driver’s license, or
- An affidavit from a third party.
If you are unable to prove residency in Florida, you may not file for divorce in Florida with children until residency may be established. In these situations, you may stay in Florida until the residency requirements are satisfied.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
For a court to grant a divorce in Florida, with or without a child, your petition must include the grounds for the divorce. There are only two grounds for divorce in Florida:
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and
- Mental incapacity of one of the parties.
Most commonly, the filing party chooses the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as the basis for the divorce in Florida with kids.
Contested v. Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce in Florida refers to a situation where the married parties do not agree to the terms of their divorce. Contested divorces require the assistance of a family law attorney. By contrast, an uncontested divorce in Florida defines a situation where both parents reach an agreement before filing their case. For an uncontested divorce, the parties must agree on all matters, including:
- Property division,
- Child support,
- Child visitation and custody, and
- The grounds for divorce.
However, despite a perceived agreement on these matters, conflicts may arise as the parties move through a divorce in Florida with kids. Therefore, it’s best to consult with a qualified family law attorney even if you plan on an uncontested divorce.
Common Issues to Consider When Divorcing in Florida with Children
Divorcing in Florida with children almost always creates the possibility of conflict between parties. Florida divorce laws with a child consider the best interests of the child.
A court in Florida will issue a parenting plan to the parties to a divorce. A parenting plan outlines how parents will share the responsibilities and decisions regarding their children. Most importantly, a parenting plan dictates how much time the children spend with each parent. A parenting plan also designates which parent makes decisions about education, health care, and other related matters.
Parties may not need the court to make a decision for them if they can agree on a custody plan for their children. For example, parties may decide to split time with their children equally between both parents. Additionally, parties may agree on decisions concerning the education, health care, and extracurricular activities of their children. However, in situations where parties may not agree, a judge considers the following factors when determining custody:
- Parent attention to needs of the children,
- Preference of the children,
- Current home and school of children,
- Parental involvement, and
- The closeness of the parent-child relationship.
Additionally, a judge considers whether there exists a history of domestic violence, as well as the special needs of any child.
When one parent has custody of a child or children, the other parent must pay child support. Florida divorce laws with a child do not permit a parent to waive their child support obligation. Child support issues often serve as a high point of conflict between parties. The amount of child support ordered is typically based on Florida guideline laws. In these situations, child support amounts depend on the number of children and the amount of money the parents make. A Florida divorce with a minor child may also consider other factors when determining child support.
The attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon built their reputation on the guiding principles of experience, effectiveness, accessibility, and integrity. We understand the high emotions and financial stresses you must feel when going through a divorce in Florida with children.
We work to solve our clients’ problems and move them forward in a positive direction. For over 100 years, we have assisted clients in family law matters ranging from divorce to spousal support, paternity, and child support. Contact our office today to discuss divorcing in Florida with children. We are here to help!