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Some initial considerations for those mulling divorce

While it's relatively difficult to pin down an exact figure, most academicians and family experts would likely agree that the divorce rate here in the U.S. probably sits between 40-50 percent. What this means is that at any given time, there are men and women actively considering whether to move ahead with what could simultaneously prove to be one of the most difficult and the most liberating decisions of their life.

There are, of course, a few things that anyone who finds themselves in this position should perhaps keep in mind before proceeding, including some of basic threshold requirements for divorce as dictated by Florida law.

First and foremost, it's important to understand that Florida, like most other states, has what is known as a residency requirement for divorce. What this essentially means is that people cannot file for divorce unless they or their spouse has lived in the Sunshine State for at least six months.     

In addition, a person should also be aware that Florida law dictates that no court can enter a final divorce decree until a minimum of 20 days have passed from the date on which the divorce petition was originally filed.

While this requirement may seem a bit more puzzling than the residency requirement -- particularly considering that the odds of wrapping up a divorce in 20 days seem slim especially where property and children are involved -- the courts nevertheless want to give couples time to let their emotions subside and decide if this is really how they want to proceed.

A final sort of quasi divorce requirement of which all parties should be aware is the likely need to file for a no-fault divorce.

In general, spouses do have the option of pursuing either a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce. However, the former can be exceedingly difficult to prove and, even then, not provide the legal punch that many people anticipate, while the latter is far simpler, requiring nothing more than the claim that there has been an "irretrievable breakdown" in the marriage.

What the foregoing discussion has demonstrated more than anything is that the divorce process can be considerably more complex than people anticipate. As such, they should give serious consideration to speaking with an experienced legal professional who can explain the law, answer their questions and guide them through the process.   

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Frank Family Law Practice
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