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1. If my husband/wife and I agree on all issues, can we hire one lawyer to represent both of us?
No. In the state of Florida, a lawyer cannot represent both parties in a divorce proceeding, even if both parties agree on everything. What can happen is that only one party hires the services of a lawyer. In this case, the attorney can prepare the divorce agreement on behalf of his client, and present it to the other party for review on their own or with another lawyer.
2. What should I do if I have been served with divorce papers?
Once you have been served with divorce papers, you have 20 days to answer the petition for dissolution. It is important that you hire the services of a lawyer as soon as possible, because if you do not answer the complaint within 20 days, the judge may enter a default. If this happens, your rights may be affected.
It depends. Alimony in Florida depends on two basic important factors: need and ability to pay. Florida courts have jurisdiction to grant alimony in a divorce case. It may be for a specific period of time or permanent. The requesting party has to prove that he or she has the need to be supported and that the other spouse has the ability to pay such support. There are many factors that a court will consider before deciding whether to award alimony.
4. When should we go to mediation?
Florida law states that the parties must go to mediation before going to trial. The goal of mediation is to try to reach an agreement without the court’s intervention. It is the opportunity for the parties to resolve their issues, negotiating through lawyers and with the help of a mediator.
5. How will our property be divided?
Florida law provides that the starting presumption is that each spouse generally receives half of the marital assets and half of the marital debts. However, the distribution may be adjusted. Adjustment is considered necessary after taking into account the financial situation of each spouse. In other words, equitable distribution does not always means 50-50. Each case is different and you should consult with an attorney to find out how your assets will be divided.