Florida Family Law FAQs
At Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates, P.A., we provide strong, compassionate legal representation through a divorce and all its accompanying issues, including child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. Our West Palm Beach family law attorneys also assist clients in obtaining court order modifications, pursuing enforcement, and relocation matters. Florida laws affecting family relationships are not always straightforward and may not always seem fair, but the guidance of an experienced family law attorney can help you understand and protect your legal rights. Read on for some answers to frequently asked family law questions, and contact our West Palm Beach office to discuss your specific concerns.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Florida?
How long it takes to get divorced in Florida primarily depends on the nature of your divorce. For an uncontested divorce, where the divorcing spouses have reached an agreement on child custody, child support, alimony, and property division, the divorce may be finalized in a matter of weeks. Likewise, if you qualify for a simplified divorce—no children, no alimony—you have a 20-day waiting period between filing the divorce petition and a hearing where the court will officially dissolve the marriage. When a divorce is contested, the process takes longer because it will be up to the court to decide issues like child custody, alimony, and property division. Also, the court may require mediation and/or parenting courses before finalizing the divorce. So, a contested divorce generally takes anywhere from a few months to more than a year.
Can I Relocate If I Share Custody of My Children with My Ex?
Moving can create issues for an existing child custody arrangement and must be handled appropriately under Florida law to avoid violating court orders related to your parenting plan. Florida law defines a relocation as a parent moving 50 miles or more from the current residence, for 60 days or more. When one parent is going to make such a move, the parents may enter into a written relocation agreement that provides the terms of the move and new child custody arrangements. The agreement must show that both parents agree to the relocation, set forth a time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent, and state how the parents will handle transportation of the child for the visitation periods.
When parents haven’t agreed on a relocation, the parent wanting to move must file a petition to relocate with the court and serve it on the other parent. After the non-relocating parent is served with this notice, he or she has 20 days to file a response. If the non-relocating parent does not respond, the court may grant the relocation request without a hearing. If a parent moves without getting court approval, a judge may find that parent in contempt of court and order the parent to return the child, pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees, and/or modify the custody arrangement in favor of the other parent. With all these possible scenarios and potential outcomes on the table, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced Florida family law attorney if you desire to move and share custody with your child’s other parent.