Lake County Divorce Attorney
Experienced Divorce Attorney Serving Winter Garden, FL
Filing for divorce is a serious legal matter. Adjusting to your new life while in the midst of a family law case is difficult. Seeking legal representation with the right Lake County divorce lawyer can be the best decision that you make.
The Law Offices of Jason G. Smith law firm specializes in divorce cases of Lake County & Orange County. We provide straightforward and honest legal assessments. We value the attorney-client relationship and offer the best legal solution according to the specific circumstances of your case.
When you work with Jason G. Smith, Esq., you can feel secure discussing any legal issue. Our law firm understands the emotional and financial concerns of a divorce, and we work to find the best possible solution for you and your family.
The Divorce Process in Florida
Divorce in Florida is governed by the Florida Statutes Chapter 61. The first step of the divorce process is to file the papers at your local courthouse. It can be facilitated with the help of a local attorney. You must also serve a copy of the papers to your spouse. This is called service of process. They will get a chance to respond to the papers and may also bring a counterclaim.
You will subsequently get a chance to respond to that. The divorce is then set in motion. If your spouse does not agree to the terms of the settlement of the divorce, then the court will order a court hearing.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
In Florida, divorce, legally termed "dissolution of marriage," can be granted based on two primary grounds: no-fault and fault-based.
- No-fault divorce is the most common, requiring only the assertion that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." This means that the marriage cannot be saved, and there is no requirement to prove fault.
- Alternatively, fault-based divorce grounds encompass factors such as mental incapacity, long-term separation, and the marriage being entered into under duress or fraud. Adultery, cruelty, and substance abuse are additional fault-based grounds.
While no-fault divorces generally streamline the process by focusing on the breakdown of the marriage rather than assigning blame, understanding the available grounds and their implications is crucial for those navigating divorce proceedings in Florida. With any questions about this, reach out to our experienced Lake County divorce attorney today.
Will I Go to Mediation or Trial?
Florida courts require all couples going through a divorce to first try to resolve their issue through mediation. Mediation is a process where both parties go before a neutral 3rd party (the mediator) and attempt to resolve any disputes, such as property division, child custody, or child support. If the spouses reach an agreement, it will be put into writing and be legally binding. If the parties fail to reach an agreement, the divorce case will move on to trial. It is always best if couples can resolve their issues on their own terms. However, sometimes one person is being difficult, and the case must proceed to trial. Reach out to our divorce lawyers today to schedule a free consultation regarding divorce mediation.
Divorce and the Division of Property
The separation of assets is one of the most common concerns in a Lake County & Orange County divorce. Marital property is defined as any assets or property that was acquired during the time of the marriage. Non-marital property remains separate property and does not get divided in a divorce. Non-marital property includes assets that were acquired before the parties joined in marriage. Pre-marital property remains separate unless one party puts their spouse’s name on the deed or legally gives ownership to their spouse at some time during the marriage.
Is There Common Law Marriage in Florida?
No, Florida does not recognize common-law marriages.
Florida does not recognize couples as having entered into a marriage relationship or agreement after seven years—or any other length of time—of living together, even if the couple has otherwise developed the habits of and reputation as a married couple.
“Equitable division” refers to Florida’s legal separation of marital assets. In equitable division, the court will equitably divide the assets. The family law judge will use many factors in determining this division.
If you have assets and are going through a divorce, contact our Lake County divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Jason G. Smith. We offer a free consultation regarding divorce proceedings. Give us a call at (407) 634-2784.
Florida Spousal Support or Alimony
In a Dissolution of Marriage, it may be possible that one spouse is ordered to pay alimony, or spousal support, to the other spouse. The purpose of spousal support is to bridge the gap financially between the spouses or offer temporary payment until one person can get back on their feet. The ex who is the higher wage earner is the “payor'', and the lower income earner of the marriage will be the recipient or the “payee.” Alimony is more common in long-term marriages (10-plus years) or when there is a big discrepancy in the earning capacity of the individuals. Additionally, spousal support is more common in circumstances where one spouse is disabled or otherwise relied heavily on the other spouse for economic support during the duration of their marriage.
Spousal support is a common concern for couples who are going through a divorce. It is always best to have an experienced divorce attorney representing your best interests. To find out more information regarding spousal support, reach out to our family law firm today. We can help determine if you would be entitled to receive alimony or have to pay alimony.
Do I Need a Lake County FL Divorce Lawyer?
A divorce lawyer is not required in the state of Florida. Anyone can file for divorce and can do it without a lawyer if they wish. When a person represents themself, it is called Pro Se. If someone goes pro se, they will file all court documents and attend all court cases by themself. Although this is certainly allowed, it is not recommended. Everyone can benefit from a knowledgeable Lake County divorce lawyer.
Our Lake County Divorce Attorney Can Help
Florida divorce can be complex, and you can become lost in the court system if you are not familiar with it. It is best to be represented by a family law attorney when going through your divorce. There is simply too much at stake to try to wing it. You have your children and family members that can be negatively impacted if you make the wrong decision or miss a deadline.
Our experienced Lake County divorce attorney at The Law Offices of Jason G. Smith is ready to serve your case. Our law firm serving Eustis, Mt. Dora, Leesburg, Tavares, Ocoee, Clermont, Windermere and surrounding areas offers family law, business litigation, and civil litigation services. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about family law representation.