(321) 914-4710

Family Law

Divorce

You gave a lot of thought to ending your marriage, and finally decided it was the right thing to do.  Now, you want to go ahead and file for divorce that will make it official in the eyes of the law. But before you do, make sure that you accomplish a few key tasks to make the process go more smoothly, and to preclude negative consequences when dissolving your union.  The following list is a good place to start:

 

When filing for divorce in Florida, it is important to know your legal rights as they pertain to Florida Divorce Laws.  If you wish, we can explain these rights to you so you fully understand what and how divorce works.  After, we can assist in crafting a divorce agreement, which speeds up the process of divorcing in Florida.  Finally, if you are undergoing a contested divorce, legal representation and advice is absolutely essential in order to advocate on your behalf in court.

 

Protect your assets.  Until your divorce is final, assets accumulated during the marriage are often considered shared by both spouses.  The flip side is that you may also be responsible for debts incurred by your spouse.  You can begin protecting yourself as soon as the Melbourne divorce process begins.

 

File for divorce. Once you’ve determined that reconciliation and legal separation is not an option, review with your attorney to discuss the different types of divorces.  Use your judgement when deciding between a contested and an uncontested divorce.

Do you need a contested or uncontested divorce?

The word uncontested means that neither you nor your spouse plans to argue about the terms of your divorce.  This type of divorce proceeds quickly through the courts, and family judges prefer it to any other kind.  That is because multiple hearings, testimonies, and arguments over assets and debts are not usually required. But even when pursuing an uncontested divorce, you still want to get the best terms possible.  That is why, when crafting a divorce agreement with your spouse, you need experienced divorce attorneys to guide you.  We will work with you to determine what terms are fair and reasonable.  At this point, all that is left to do is to craft a divorce agreement and present it to the court with the request to dissolve the union.

Divorce Terms

Alimony -

Payment of support (not child support) from one spouse to another so that the spouse receiving the payment can maintain the lifestyle that he/she was accustomed to during the marriage. Also called spousal support or maintenance.

 

Annulment -

The legal ending of an ‘Invalid Marriage’. To the law neither party was ever married, but all the children born of the annulled marriage remain legitimate.

 

Arrearages -

The difference between the amount of alimony or child support paid, if any, and the amount required under court order.

 

Child Support -

The amount of money that the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to help pay for the every day needs of the child(ren) such as housing, food and clothing.

 

Child Support Guidelines -

The amount of child support to be paid, under normal circumstances, according to a schedule established by the state, based upon income. It is federally mandated that all states establish guidelines for child support.

 

Common Law Marriage -

A judicially-recognized marriage in some states, usually based on cohabitation.

 

Community Property -

A rule of property division which divides equally all property acquired during the term of the marriage, without regard to whose name it is held. Inheritances and gifts are excluded in some jurisdictions.

 

Contested Divorce -

The party sued/Respondent opposes the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage they were served with because she/he does not agree with the suing party/Petitioner's terms of the divorce i.e. property, child custody, child support, alimony, assumption of marital debts, etc.

 

Court Order -

A written instruction from the court carrying the weight of law. Orders must be in writing. Anyone who knowingly violates a court order can be held in contempt of court.

 

Emancipation -

An act by which a parent relinquishes their right to custody and are relieved of their duty to support the child. The child is then no longer bound to the stipulations set forth in the divorce decree. Emancipation can occur when the child marries, is inducted into military service, by court order based upon the child’s best interest or by when the child reaches an appropriate age.

 

Equitable Distribution -

The division of the property (marital assets and debts) acquired during the marriage. Marital debts can also be part of the equitable distribution. Grounds:  The reason(s) under state statute for granting a divorce. Interrogatory:  Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath.

 

Marital Assets -

All property acquired during the course of the marriage regardless of who owns or has title to it. It includes but is not limited to the following: house(s), other real estate, cash, stocks, bonds, motor vehicles, pensions, profit sharing plans and insurance.

 

Motion -

 A request for some type of action or decision to be made by the court.

 

Nuptial -

Pertaining to marriage.

 

Pendente Lite Support -

A temporary order of the Court which provides support until the divorce is finalized.

 

Petition -

The formal document filed with the Court which states that the plaintiff wants a divorce and why.

 

Plaintiff -

The person (husband or wife) who files the divorce complaint and sues the person for divorce.

 

Pro Se -

  To represent yourself in court proceedings without an attorney.

 

QDRO -

Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A ruling by the court stating what portion of one spouse’s pension is to be awarded to the other spouse.

 

Quid Pro Quo -

The giving of one valuable thing for another.

 

Restraining Order -

A court order prohibiting a party from certain activities. Issued in response to a motion. Restraining orders often are issued to protect marital assets and to protect against domestic violence. In many states, violating a “domestic restraining order” is a criminal offense

 

Shared Parental Responsibility -

Both parents have an equal say in major decisions affecting the children; Decisions relating to education, medical and religion.

 

Sole Parental Responsibility -

 Where a parent has the power to make all decisions, including day-to-day decisions as well as major decisions, concerning the child/ren’s health, education and religion without notice to and consent from the other parent.

 

Subpoena -

A court order to attend a legal proceeding such as a trial or deposition. If documents are also requested, the subpoena is called a subpoena duces tecum, Latin for “bring with you.” Sometimes a subpoena duces tecum states that you must produce certain documents by a specific date without having to appear.

Paternity

Parents are obligated to support their children financially according to Florida state law.

 

We can help you collect past due child support and make sure future child support is paid to you in a timely fashion. Additionally, if there is a substantial change in your income, we can help you decrease child support accordingly. We also assist those who are involved in child support litigation with the Department of Revenue.

 

Establishing that you are a child’s Father through the Court System is extremely important and needs to be done sooner rather than later. When Filing a Petition for Paternity, you will need to ask for Shared Parental Responsibility (shared decision making) or Sole Parental Responsibility (sole decision making) along with a specified time-sharing schedule.

Modifications

Modifications refer to the post-divorce process. If you are seeking modifications of financial orders, you need to illustrate to the court that there have been substantial changes in either party’s financial circumstances. Child support, alimony, and custody are also modifiable with the burden of proving a substantial change in circumstances. We can assist you in determining if your issues are modifiable now or in the future.

Domestic Violence

If you have been a victim of domestic violence or you believe that you are in imminent fear or danger, you need to act quickly and go to your local courthouse to seek an injunction for protection against domestic violence. We are caring, understanding and passionate about assisting both the victims and the accused in all domestic violence situations.

Violence Against Women

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Florida Council Against Violence

The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline

The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year at-1-800-500-1119.  In addition to a 24-hour emergency hotlines, certified centers provide an array of services such as: shelters, safety planning, counseling, referral, case management, child assessment, children’s services, food, clothing, outreach services, community education, and a host of other community specific services.

 

Florida Statutes define domestic violence as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another.

 

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors that individuals use against their intimate partners or former partners to establish power and control. It may include physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, or economic abuse, as well as the use of threats, isolation, pet abuse, using children as pawns, and a variety of other behaviors to maintain power over one’s partner through violence, fear and intimidation. It is important to note that many acts of domestic violence are also crimes. Florida Statutes[1] define domestic violence as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another.

 

Domestic violence is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects millions of individuals across the United States regardless of age, economic status, race, religion or education.

 

Child Support

Parents are obligated to support their children financially according to Florida state law.

 

We can help you collect past due child support and make sure future child support is paid to you in a timely fashion.  Additionally, if there is a substantial change in your income, we can help you decrease child support accordingly.

 

We also assist those who are involved in child support litigation with the Department of Revenue.

Step-Parent Adoption

At Huddleston, Robbins & Riddle, P.A. we exercise great care with your step-parent adoption case. We understand this is an emotional experience for all parties involved and your child(ren). We are familiar with all the legal requirements and will ensure that the process goes smoothly. There are two types of step-parent adoptions, contested and uncontested. Please set up a free consultation, so we can discuss with you your options and explain how your case will be handled.

We invite you to contact our office.

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HUDDLESTON, ROBBINS & RIDDLE, P.A.

4740 Dairy Road, Suite 104

Melbourne, Florida 32904

(321) 914-4710

mriddle@lawofficemelbourne.com

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