Going through a divorce is always a difficult experience for the parties involved. Our West Palm Beach divorce attorneys are able to assist with the complications common with divorces. The first thing to consider is whether you are actually ready to get a divorce. A divorce is emotionally draining on the parties, family members, and most importantly, the children. It is never easy, but in the end, you may decide that a divorce is the best choice to make in order to gain stability for you and your family. If you have decided to pursue a divorce, below are a few factors that you may want to consider.
To begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a complaint for divorce in the county where your spouse lives or where you live if your spouse does not reside in West Palm Beach. In order to file for divorce in West Palm Beach, you or your spouse must have been a resident of West Palm Beach for at least one year. If both of you currently reside in West Palm Beach, then you must have resided here for at least three months. Once jurisdiction is established, there are five grounds for divorce available in West Palm Beach:
- Habitual Drunkenness
- Physical Cruelty
- Continuous separation for a period of more than one year
A divorce can be awarded to both parties on any combination of these five grounds. For each of these grounds, the court will require sufficient proof and most likely, testimony of a third party witness to verify the ground(s) have actually been satisfied. If you believe any these grounds apply in your case, it is best to contact a divorce lawyer to determine if you are able to file a divorce under one or more of these particular grounds.
If a couple decides to seek a divorce, and do not meet any of the fault-based grounds, they may still pursue a no-fault divorce by remaining continuously separated for more than one year. Once the parties separate, meaning one of the parties actually vacates the marital home into another residence, the clock begins to run. No action is required to be filed during the separation. During this year, the parties often enter into a separation agreement and/or file an action for separate support and maintenance. A separation agreement is a contract between the two parties in which they agree on a variety of issues, such as child custody, visitation, property distribution, and support arrangements. These agreements are normally filed with the family court during the final action. However, parties are not always able to enter into an agreement, and as a result, a temporary hearing may be required for the family court to settle matters in dispute.
All divorce actions are different. It is important to contact a knowledgeable divorce lawyer to determine the options you have available during this process. Our West Palm Beach divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Nicole Nicolette have years of experience in handling divorce cases and can assist you with your case. In a situation like this, you need to have a close and personal relationship with your attorney. Our attorneys can provide you with such assistance. We give each and every one of our clients our personal attention to ensure that their case is resolved amicably and with as little inconvenience as possible. If you or someone you know is seeking a divorce lawyer in West Palm Beach, contact The Law Offices of Nicole Nicolette for a consultation. We practice in West Palm Beach. We offer in-office consultations, telephone conferences, and online assistance for your convenience.
Separate Support and Maintenance
Even if you are unable to obtain a divorce because you have not satisfied any of the potential grounds for divorce, you still have other options. While West Palm Beach does not recognize a legal separation, there is a similar type of action known as Separate Support and Maintenance. This action is governed by the same guidelines as divorce. It allows the family court to resolve all the issues that could be resolved in a divorce action (i.e., child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and property division). However, keep in mind that a divorce cannot be granted in a separate support and maintenance action. In order to file such an action, the parties must reside in separate residences. In other words, living in two separate bedrooms in one’s house will not meet the standard for a separation.
As previously mentioned, in West Palm Beach, a legal separation does not exist, and in a separate support and maintenance action, the parties are still married. As a result, separate support and maintenance can be beneficial because the parties are allowed to remain on each other’s health insurance policies and still receive many of the financial benefits of being married. If you are seeking a divorce or are considering filing a separate support and maintenance action, contact one of our West Palm Beach divorce lawyers for a consultation at (561) 223-6545 or contact us online.
Free Case Evaluation
If you would like to speak with someone directly