Florida Legal Information - Steven deLaroche
Frequently Asked Questions - Divorce in Florida

Criminal Defense, Business Law, and Family Law from an experienced attorney in Daytona Beach, contact Steven deLaroche, Attorney at Law at 386-947-0909.

New Florida Alimony Laws Passed in 2023

Florida Divorce laws changed in July 2023. One of the biggest changes is that permanent alimony has been eliminated. The new law only applies to divorces filed on or after July 1, 2023. It cannot be used for divorces that were already filed before that date.

There are now only four types of alimony in Florida which are:

  • Temporary alimony – A judge can award temporary alimony when a couple has separated, but has not yet divorced. The judge can also award temporary alimony if the divorce is not yet finalized through the court system. You can appeal the award of temporary alimony while the divorce is pending.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony – This type of alimony can be awarded for a set time period not to exceed 2 years. Once awarded the amount and time can not be modified.
  • Rehabilitative alimony – The length of this type of alimony cannot exceed 5 years. But, it can be modified or terminated based on certain circumstances.
  • Durational alimony – This type of alimony allows for economic assistance for a set period based on the circumstances of the marriage. But, it cannot be awarded for marriages of less than 3 years.
Many circumstances affect the amount and length of alimony that can be awarded. You should seek out a competent family law attorney who has knowledge of Florida divorce laws to protect your rights.

Wrongful Accusations in a Divorce

Allegations of domestic abuse or violence during divorce proceedings can seriously impact your case, as well as your emotions, and even your job. Wrongful accusations can affect your divorce proceedings and may even be a cause for criminal defense. The most important factors are to check your emotions. You don't want to be prevented from seeing your children. And, you don't want it affecting your job.

Let your attorney handle any potential conflict with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Keep careful notes of every interaction. As soon as they raise any potential accusation remove yourself from the situation and call your attorney. We want to avoid any order of protection including no-contact orders. Even asking a friend or relative to talk with your spouse about the divorce could land you in jail.

If you have been accused of domestic violence or abuse in conjunction with a divorce or child custody proceeding, you need the skill of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can protect your rights.

Choosing Steven deLaroche as your Daytona Beach Divorce Attorney

There are lots of Daytona Beach Divorce Attorneys. Steven deLaroche has been practicing Family Law for over 30 years. It's an emotional time in your life and you will get through it. Steven and his staff has handled issues including child custody agreements, alimony payments, and division of property. 

For example, will you need alimony while your divorce is in progress? How about where your spouse will live during the divorce? And, are you worried about custody and visitation rights with the children?

Let us take on your concerns and worries. We've done this hundreds of times for other Daytona residents going through the same thing you are. Call our office at 386-947-0909 and schedule an appointment.

What are the divorce laws in Florida?

The state of Florida will only grant a divorce if one of two conditions are met:

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken, or
  • One of the parties is mentally incapacitated
The court will hold a hearing to determine there are no minor children from the marriage and that your spouse does not deny the marriage is irretrievably broken. If so, then the court will place a petition for dissolution of the marriage.

If there are minor children or your spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then there are other steps that need to be taken.

If there are minor children involved then Florida divorce laws require you and your spouse to complete a 4-hour Parent Education and Family Stabilization Class. The class is available on-line.

Do I really need a Florida divorce lawyer?

Whether you need a lawyer to handle your divorce depends on a lot of factors. If you have minor children, how will they be provided for, now and in the future? Is there a significant difference in your income? But, the biggest factor is how well you can advocate for yourself without being 'the bad guy'.

Hiring a divorce attorney can take a lot of emotion out of the process. Rather than having heated arguments with your future ex-spouse, I deal with their lawyer. I become your advocate. I fight for your rights and your financial future.

If you have complete agreement with your future ex-spouse on division of your assets, child support, and spousal support, then you may not need an attorney. But, if there are any differences of opinion on these issues, a good divorce attorney can help keep the process civil and protect your rights.

Do I need a lawyer for a divorce?

You are not required to have an attorney to get a divorce in Florida. In fact, Florida has what is known as a 'Simplified Dissolution of Marriage'. It can be completed in as little as 30 days, but, it does have conditions and there are different forms you'll need depending on your situation, such as:

  • You have children under 18
  • The wife is pregnant
  • Anyone is going to pay alimony
  • You own property together
  • If there is any disagreement on the terms of the divorce 

Plus, at least one of the parties has to have lived in Florida for the past six months. If you meet the necessary conditions you can get the forms for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage at the Florida State Court website. However, if there are any special circumstances such as your spouse being in the military or living out of state, this process can get significantly more complicated.

There are a couple of important things you need to understand if you go this route.

  • You are waiving your rights to a trial and to any appeals in the future
  • The judge and clerk can not give you any legal advice on completing the paperwork
  • Once you submit the forms they can not be changed, so be accurate.
  • You have to complete and file the paperwork, including notices to your spouse, affidavits, and disclosure forms

Who gets the house in a divorce?

Because Florida is a "no-fault divorce" state, you can't punish your spouse for their bad behavior by asking the Court to award more of the assets to you. But, splitting up your assets in a divorce involves important decisions in which a good Florida divorce attorney can help protect your future.

In Florida, all property acquired during the marriage through the money that you share are the "marital assets", and can be divided between you and your spouse. It usually doesn't matter whose name is on the title. Even if they are retirement accounts, cars, motorcycles, or a house, 'owned" by one of you, it is a marital asset if your jointly-shared funds were used to obtain some or all of the item.

But, there is also non-marital property which is almost always not split as part of a divorce agreement. This includes assets that you had before you were married, income you receive from property you obtained before the marriage, or a gift or an inheritance you received individually. But, even if it is your gift or inheritance, it is absolutely critical that you don't co-mingle it with your shared funds. And you need to be able to prove such.

Other factors that affect the division of marital property include how easily the property can be separated. In the case of a house, you can't sell half a house. In Florida, the division of property is also not always "equal". It's important to present your personal situation about income, expenses, career assistance, and length of the marriage. All of these can dramatically impact the "fair" division of property in a divorce.

Choosing a divorce attorney is important to protect your financial future. Choose an attorney who understands the divorce laws and can best present your situation.

Alimony Laws in Florida

Alimony is always an important question when considering divorce. Alimony in Florida is not always automatic and it does not necessarily go on forever. The amount, length of time, and who pays who, depends on many factors.

Florida law actually provides for five different types of alimony:

  • Temporary Alimony - paid only during the divorce process
  • Bridge-the-gap Alimony - paid after the divorce is final but for a fixed-term of 2 years of less
  • Rehabilitative Alimony - paid for an ex spouse's education or job training
  • Durational Alimony - paid for a fixed time of the number of years of marriage or less.
  • Permanent Alimony - paid if no other form of alimony is fair or reasonable.

The type and amount of alimony determined by the judge depends on both need and ability to pay. When preparing a request for alimony it's critical to document all the income sources of your spouse, all investments you have jointly or individually, expenses that you will have after the divorce, property that may have been owned before the marriage, education plans, tax consequences, any children and who is paying the expenses of those children.

Florida alimony law also depends on the length of the marriage. The rules of alimony and the payments will change if the marriage was less than 7 years, or more than 17 years.

Choosing a divorce attorney is important to protect your financial future. Choose an attorney who understands the divorce laws in Florida.