Family Law Attorney Dedicated to Serving Individuals in Plantation

The filing of an action for dissolution of marriage marks the end of one period in a person’s life and the beginning of a new period. That change understandably may bring about some level of emotion. In divorce proceedings, however, emotion may interfere with the proper presentation of a claim. With potentially so much at stake, such as parental responsibility, property division, and future support obligations, a party is best served by hiring an attorney to represent his or her interests fully. Family law lawyer Lynnette A. Ensign has tirelessly worked to protect the rights of Plantation residents for over two decades. She can provide you with the dedicated legal representation you deserve.

Petitioning for Dissolution of Marriage

A person seeking a divorce, or a “dissolution of marriage” as it is referred to in Florida, must generally allege in the petition that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that a dissolution is justified due to the other party’s mental incapacity. In all dissolutions granted on the ground of mental incapacity, the court can require the petitioner to pay alimony. Alimony may be awarded in any divorce case on a temporary or permanent basis to be paid in a lump sum, periodic payments, or both. The court must consider economic factors like each party’s financial resources, the duration of the marriage, the physical condition and age of each party, the contribution of each party to the marriage, and any other factor relevant to setting a fair amount of alimony.

When parties have a minor child together, or the person who is being sued for divorce denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may require one or both parties to undergo counseling prior to the entry of a final judgment. The court must deny the petition for dissolution of marriage upon a finding that the marriage is not irretrievably broken.

Before marrying, parties may execute an agreement that governs their rights with respect to the disposition of property, spousal support, and ownership of life insurance policy benefits, among other things. Sometimes parties can talk and resolve all issues of the marriage after a dissolution petition has been filed. When a divorce is not contested, parties generally receive a final judgment faster than they would in a contested case. Additionally, an uncontested divorce may be less costly than a time-consuming proceeding where the parties agree on very little.

Courts will equitably divide marital property and debts if the parties do not have a premarital agreement or a Marital Settlement Agreement. An equitable division means what is fair, not necessarily equal. The Court considers a variety of factors in deciding how to divide assets and liabilities. Those factors include the economic circumstances of the parties, the length of the marriage, the contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse, and a spouse’s intentional depletion or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the dissolution petition or within the preceding two years.

If divorcing parents cannot settle all matters relating to child custody and visitation, the court will determine those matters in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court’s analysis begins with the premise that it is in a child’s best interests to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the dissolution of the parents’ marriage. However, it is presumed that shared parental responsibility would be a detriment to the child if one parent has been convicted of an offense involving domestic violence. The convicted parent may present evidence to rebut the presumption of detriment.

Florida law sets forth child support guidelines that are applied to the combined monthly net income of the parents to determine the minimum amount of support needed for a child. Several statutory factors may support a deviation from the minimum amount.

Protect Your Rights During Divorce by Enlisting a Sunrise Lawyer

The emotional toll of a dissolution proceeding should not be compounded by an inability to assert your claims effectively. Retaining a Sunrise attorney who is experienced in child support and other important matters related to dissolution can make the process less stressful. Contact the Law Office of Lynnette A. Ensign at (954) 760-7659 or via our online form for a free consultation. Many of our clients have come from Hollywood, Davie, and West Palm Beach, among other cities in Broward and Dade Counties.