Miami-Dade Divorce Lawyers
Protecting Your Interests with Experience, Compassion & Discretion
Regardless of how you came to this point, many issues must be resolved in a divorce. The Miami-Dade divorce lawyers at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa protect your best interests while guiding you through the oftentimes difficult process.
For every decision, we extend advice and support. For every dispute, we stand behind you as strong legal advocates. We represent men, women, and children throughout the South Florida area from our divorce firm in Coral Gables.
Exploring Your Options Under Florida Law
Our divorce lawyers in Miami-Dade, FL take the time to get to know our clients. Once we understand what is most important to you, we can devise strategies and pursue a course of action to achieve your goals and protect your interests.
Perhaps decisions about custody and visitation or child support are your chief concern. If your children are adults or you did not have any children together, the focus of your divorce may be on division of assets or spousal support / alimony.
The Top 5 Reasons for Divorce
Life can be unpredictable and no one can see the future. To take someone for ‘better or worse’ can look and feel different in one situation than it may in another, but these five common issues end in divorce for many couples:
- Lack of Intimacy
About Divorce: “Dissolution of Marriage” in Miami-Dade
Before a dissolution of marriage in Miami-Dade (i.e. divorce) is granted by the court, all issues of property division, child custody, financial support and related matters must be resolved, either by agreement of the parties or through a trial before the Court.
Every family situation and dissolution of marriage is different and requires individual analysis and attention to the particular circumstances of the parties and their children. Our Miami-Dade divorce attorneys can help you settle a case through an agreement through mediation and negotiation, or vigorously present your case in divorce court litigation.
Divorce is nothing if not difficult. The legal complexities involved are more than enough for anyone, but even these are often overshadowed by the personal emotional impact of ending a marriage. Lawyers cannot make divorce easier, but good ones will help conclude a dissolution of marriage as painlessly as possible.
Metro Miami & all Southern Florida residents can rely on Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa to provide the legal expertise necessary through all phases of divorce in Miami Dade.
Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce
Whether you file for a contested or uncontested divorce will have a significant impact on your divorce and its outcome.
Filing for Uncontested Divorce
In most uncontested divorces, the parties draft and sign a divorce agreement detailing the terms of the divorce they've agreed on.
When the petitioner files for divorce, they typically include these terms in their petition. As a result, the respondent can waive their right to respond since both parties have already agreed on what they want from the divorce.
This enables the court to move forward with finalizing the divorce shortly after one party files, shortening the total length of the divorce process to potentially 20 days or fewer.
To file for a uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree on terms for the divorce and all divorce-related processes, including:
Filing for Contested Divorce
If you have any disagreements with your spouse when it comes to handling the divorce, you need to file for a contested divorce. A contested divorce can transition into an uncontested divorce if the parties can negotiate terms for the divorce using a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation, collaborative law, etc.
In a contested divorce, the respondent typically files a response with the court detailing their disagreements with the petitioner. The court may then have to issue temporary orders to decide how the parties should handle issues such as custody while the divorce is ongoing. Finally, the court will hold a trial and, after hearing from both parties, issue a final divorce decree with terms the judge considers "equitable" for both parties.
Depending on how significantly the parties disagree with each other, finalizing a contested divorce can easily take a year or longer, and often costs significantly more than an uncontested divorce.
Taking the First Steps in Getting a Divorce
In many ways, initiating a divorce is the most difficult part of the process.
When filing for a dissolution of marriage in Miami-Dade, or when served with divorce papers by your spouse, many people feel vulnerable, depressed, and overwhelmed. The prospect of a legal dispute with one’s own spouse can be difficult to face. The goal of the legal team at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa is to help make every stage of the legal process as comprehensible and approachable as possible.
In the early stages of a divorce, the lawyers will require copies of financial paperwork detailing the household’s shared assets and debts, as well as its member’s tax histories, investments, and incomes. It may also be helpful for the team to have copies of receipts or other documentation detailing each spouse’s individual expenditures that may have impacted the family’s financial status.
The more information that is available to your divorce lawyers in Miami-Dade, the better the analysis of your situation and outcome of the divorce or dissolution of marriage is likely to be.
Staying on Course
One of the most important things to remember is that divorce is commonly a lengthy process.
Although a divorce can be finalized shortly after a settlement is reached, it generally takes a number of months for the parties to reach a resolution. Attorneys must negotiate and, before they can effectively do so, all relevant financial and other information must be compiled and catalogued.
If a settlement cannot be achieved, then the court must determine the issues at trial. If the case goes to court, it will likely take longer still.
It is also during this process that financial and custody issues will be settled. During this phase, each party’s behavior, assets, and personal history will be closely examined. Because the law allows room for interpretation, custody, asset distribution, and financial support issues are often subjective judgments.
It is in this phase that the advice of divorce attorneys proves most valuable. Throughout the discovery process and negotiations, the guidance of the experienced Miami-Dade divorce attorneys at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa will be an important part of protecting your individual interests and ensuring an equitable settlement.
Making the Transition
Once the divorce is finalized by entering into a settlement agreement or by a determination by the court, we will present you with a certified Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, which is the legal document formalizing your divorce. At this point, the divorce will be legally recognized, and all terms of the agreement or court order will take effect.
Finalizing the divorce means that assets will be distributed as outlined in either a judge’s ruling or in the settlement agreement. If the settlement or judgment requires it, houses, properties, and other assets may be sold to make distribution possible. In addition, custody and child support guidelines will become active.
Is Florida a No-Fault Divorce State?
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that there does not have to be any particular reason that exists to enable you to obtain a divorce from your spouse. Either party can file to end the marriage and the only ground required is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
It is not required that your spouse agree to a divorce. If one spouse wants a divorce, then the court will dissolve the marriage.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Miami?
The fastest you can get a divorce in Florida is about 30 days; however, most divorces take longer. It's not possible to say exactly how long your divorce will take, since each divorce case is different and has its own unique challenges.
That being said, uncontested divorces can be finalized in as little as a few months, while contested divorces usually take longer, often a year or more.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in FL?
In Miami-Dade County, it costs $409 to file for divorce. The cost of your divorce will depend on filing fees, court fees, and attorney fees if you retain a lawyer. Because of this, it's not possible to gauge exactly how much your divorce will cost.
That being said, an uncontested divorce could potentially be finalized for several hundred dollars, while a highly litigated divorce could cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Your best course of action is to consult an attorney to explain your situation and find out what your divorce will involve.
How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to Get a Divorce in Florida?
You do not have to be separated before getting a divorce in Florida. The only requirements are that one or both of the parties in the divorce has resided in Florida for at least 6 months. Also, once you file for divorce, there is a 20-day waiting period before you can go to court to have it finalized. Essentially, this means you could get a divorce in as little as one month.
Can You Get Divorced in Florida Without Going to Court?
In Florida, it is possible to get a divorce without court, but only if your divorce is uncontested. This means that you and your spouse must be able to come to an amicable agreement about each aspect of your divorce, from how your property and assets will be divided to parenting arrangements. If you are unable to reach an agreement, then you will need to go to court and have a judge decide for you.
Choose a Miami-Dade Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust
We understand that you may not want your spouse or family members to know you have consulted an attorney. Our discussion is kept in strictest confidence.
Our divorce lawyers in Miami-Dade County take the time to listen to your needs and goals and we explain the process step-by-step. We explore alternatives to litigation (mediation or collaborative divorce), but our dedicated lawyers will aggressively protect your interests if your case goes to court. We have the knowledge to handle all issues related to divorce in Miami-Dade, including premarital (antenuptial) agreements, paternity, and domestic violence.
We Treat You Like Family
We strive to provide quality, thoughtful, timely service to each of our clients. We provide timely, detailed updates on your case and make ourselves available to answer and follow up on any questions you may have.
Personalized Attention to Your Case
Every individual and family has a unique set of circumstances requiring a tailored approach. We treat each client as if they were our only client. Each case is treated with the utmost care and attention.
Thoughtful Preparation & Planning
We will get you through every step and be fully transparent of the process and what you can expect. We take a collaborative approach with our clients - we want to know what you think.
Quality, High-Caliber Representation
Our team is well-respected and recognized throughout the Miami-Dade area. We're known for our precise, in-depth knowledge of the law and versatile, strategic approach to each client's case.