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FAB Says: Contested Divorce in Orlando


We frequently answer questions about the differences between contested and uncontested divorce in Florida.

The legal term for divorce in Florida is "dissolution of marriage."

Florida is among many states that have abolished divorce on fault grounds. A couple either reaches consensus and files for a simplified dissolution (uncontested) or one party files for a regular dissolution of marriage (contested).

Either spouse can file for dissolution of marriage, providing at least one party has been a resident of Florida for at least six months immediately prior to filing and the marriage is "irretrievably broken."

Once a petition of dissolution of marriage is filed by a spouse in county circuit court, the other spouse must answer within 20 days of being served. Divorce lawyers in Orlando are called to help clients at all stages of the process. But these contested divorce cases require experienced and careful legal representation at each stage of the process.

Contested Divorce Help in Orlando

The term "no-fault" is misleading, as the reasons a marriage is irretrievably broken can impact many aspects of a divorce, including division of assets, alimony, custody and development of parenting plans. Any one of more of these issues could be reason for contesting the dissolution.

Even in such contested cases the court's goal will be to find resolution to all outstanding issues without need of a trial. The court will order financial disclosures before a case heads to mediation and settlement. While any remaining issued may be resolved at a final contested hearing, the ultimate goal of the process is to reach agreement, even on contested issues.

Commonly Contested Issues in Florida Divorce
  • Division of Assets and Debts: Florida statute recognizes non marital and marital assets and provides for "equitable distribution" of marital assets and debts.
  • Alimony: Short-term, bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and durational and permanent alimony may be sought or awarded.
  • Child Custody and Child Support: Are often primary areas of contention in a Florida divorce.

FAB Law Firm is a fierce advocate for our clients. Contested divorce cases require us to know our clients. Know what is important to them. Know what to fight for!

Getting to know the client is critical. Securing a client's financial future or relationship with their children is an obligation we take very seriously. Each client will have strong skills in some areas, and weaknesses in other areas. Whether it's job skills and earning capacity or a functional plan for pending retirement, we know when agreement can't be reached it's because the issues are of critical importance to a client. An experienced family law attorney can even help you spot potential hurdles or roadblocks you hadn't considered, which can help you avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with divorce.

The FAB Law Firm offers a free consultation, with offices in central Florida area, including Downtown Orlando, Downtown Lakeland and Lake Mary. Call 800-322-9467.

Additional Resources

Consumer Pamphlet: Divorce in Florida – The Florida Bar

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