February 28, 2020

FAQ About Divorce in Florida

We all know what divorce is, but most people don’t actually know the facts about divorce and the process of divorce itself until they go through the process themselves. For example, did you know that in the state of Florida all that is necessary for a divorce is to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken? It’s true.

As a Jacksonville divorce attorney, with more than 50 years of experience in the state of Florida, our team at Dorsey Law Firm wanted to share a few frequently asked questions (FAQ) about divorce in the state of Florida. If you’re considering divorce, it’s never a bad idea to educate yourself on some divorce information before entering the process.

Q. On average, how long does a divorce take in Florida?
A: It depends. An uncontested divorce, which is when both spouses agree on everything, may take less than a month or two. A contested divorce, which is when the court needs to decide on things (alimony, child support, custody, debts, etc.) can take six or more months. If the courts are busy, the divorce process can take up to a year or more.

Q: Do I need to prove my spouse is at fault?
A: No; however, when it comes to things like alimony or distribution of assets, the amount may change or disappear for the person who was supposed to receive support if they committed faults such as wasting assets or income.

Q: How do I start the divorce process?
A: You file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which will include claims of yours regarding assets and liability alimony, child support, custody, debts, etc. A process server will deliver the papers to your spouse.

Q: Can the same lawyer represent both spouses?
A: No, it is not possible for both spouses to have the same lawyer. That is a conflict of interest.

Q: What if I need a lawyer but cannot afford one?
A: If you have a low income, you can potentially qualify for free representation from Legal Aid. If your spouse has the financial ability, he/she may be court-ordered to pay your attorney’s fees.

Q: How do I get child custody/time-sharing?
A: In Florida, the court does not show a preference for the father or mother for a time-sharing schedule and the state’s policy is that the child can maintain contact with both parents after the divorce. You will create a parenting plan with your spouse, and it must be approved by the judge. If you both cannot agree on a plan, the judge will create a parenting plan for you.

Q: What does child support cover in Florida?
A: In Florida, child support covers basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, school supplies, entertainment for the child), daycare costs, and health insurance.

Looking for a Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL?

Divorce can get complicated, and there’s a lot to know beyond the few FAQs above. Our team would be happy to help you learn more about the divorce process in Florida.

As divorce attorneys, it’s our job to help people save time, lessen stress, and increase their odds at a favorable outcome. We know the law and keep a clear head during this emotional time for the couple.

Although some people choose to do a DIY divorce, hiring a divorce attorney can help a client make better decisions for his/her future. By hiring a divorce attorney, you’re laying the groundwork for a better result, especially if your divorce is complicated.

William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried hundreds of trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts. Dorsey and his team take time to work with clients every step of the divorce process.

To request your in-person consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office, call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Divorce Attorney page for more information.


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P: 904-394-2865 | F: 904-358-8060 | Email: Dorsey Law Firm

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COVID-19 Update


As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will remain open until further notice. As always, the well-being of our clients and staff remains our highest priority, therefore we have taken precautions recommended by global and local public health authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


— We have encouraged our staff to practice social distancing by reducing physical contact with others to ensure we can continue to work for our clients.
— Requiring all client meetings and consultations to be conducted virtually.
— We are happy to have meetings with you via phone, online conferencing, as well as through email.
— Our team will continue to fulfill court obligations with the new methods required by the courts as they remain open telephonically.


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