Practice Areas

Divorce

Florida is a "no-fault" state so you do not need to prove that your spouse did anything wrong to get a divorce or dissolution of marriage. In fact, courts are authorized to grant a divorce even if one spouse does not want or consent to the divorce.

All that's required to obtain a divorce in Florida is that one of the parties to the marriage must reside in Florida for six months prior to filing and the marriage must be irretrievably broken.

Uncontested Divorce

There are two kinds of divorce cases in Florida: contested and uncontested. If you and your spouse agree on all major issues, you may qualify for an uncontested divorce that is much less expensive than a contested divorce and, in many cases, can be finalized in a matter of days.

Child Support

Child support is one of the most important determinations that a court will make in a divorce or dissolution case. In addition, the court may also modify an existing court-ordered child support order if there has been a substantial change in either parent's financial situation.

Contrary to popular belief, both parents have an obligation to provide support to children of divorce or other family law cases, not just the non-custodial parent. The amount of the obligation each parent has is based upon statutory factors that take into consideration the respective incomes of each parent as well as the time each parent spends with the children.

Child Custody & Visitation

Florida courts have a strong and distinct interest in making sure that children of divorce and separation have frequent and meaningful contact with both parents. So the parents are both encouraged to continue sharing in the responsibilities and joys that come with raising a child.

There are a number of tools that modern courts use to achieve their goals. Those tools include: Shared Parental Responsibility, Sole Parental Responsibility and Rotating Custody.

Alimony

Alimony in a divorce or dissolution of marriage case is based primarily on two important factors: need and an ability to pay. But what does that mean? Florida courts have the authority to grant alimony (spousal support) to either party in a divorce. Alimony can be permanent or rehabilitative (temporary).

But before that happens, the spouse who is requesting alimony has to prove that he or she really needs to be supported AND that the other spouse has the financial ability to pay that support.

Prenuptial Agreements

The decision to dissolve a marriage is often a very challenging one. Even when the decision is clear, divorce still brings with it a sense of anxiety about the future that many people find troubling. Our goal at The Foster Firm is to help you through this difficult time as quickly and with as little stress as possible.

One way to limit the amount of uncertainty you may feel in the process is to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement before you get married.

Name Change

Florida law allows both adults and children to legally change their names under certain specific circumstances. Sometimes a name change happens as part of a dissolution of marriage where a spouse, usually the wife, wants to restore a maiden or former name to what it was before marriage. Our office is happy to include this service as part of our divorce packages at no additional cost to our clients.

The second way to change your name in Florida is to file what's called a petition for name change. This process is a bit more complex, but the upside is that the petitioner, within reason, can generally change his or her name to anything that he or she wants. The process is also relatively fast. After a quick background check, the hearing on a petition for change of name can be held immediately.

Division of Property

Who gets the house? What happens to your retirement account? Chances are you and your spouse accumulated a few assets during your marriage. Those assets are considered marital. The same is true for any debts incurred during the same period of time.

The court in a divorce case has the power and the responsibility to divide your property in a way that is fair and equitable. It’s important to make sure that both parties are open and thorough in disclosing what they own and whom they owe.

Mediation

The purpose of mediation is to settle your divorce case without the need for a full-blown trial. Trials can be long, costly, and contentious. Mediation is a way to save both parties time and money in the long run while empowering them to make their own decisions outside of court.

Mediation is a requirement in almost all Florida divorce cases. The key is to have a divorce lawyer who understands the mediation process and can give you reliable advice about the advantages and disadvantages of settling your case. Knowing when not to make a deal is just as important as knowing how.