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Divorce Lawyers in Orlando, Florida

Compassionate and Experienced Attorneys for Your Divorce in Orlando, FL

Divorce can be an emotional and complicated process during which you will have to make many decisions. Understanding all of the ramifications of those decisions is vital as they can have long-term consequences. You will need a trusted advocate who can give you the guidance you need while helping you navigate the many phases of the Florida divorce process.

Two gold rings on a table symbolizing divorce lawyer in Orlando

At The Law Office of Paulette Hamilton, P.A., our divorce lawyers in Orlando, Florida have been a proven resource for divorce representation since 2011. When you need practical counsel and rigorous protection of your best interests, you can turn to us – whether they involve:

  • Financial Matters
  • Children
  • Marital Property
  • Any other divorce issues

Filing for divorce in Orlando? Contact the divorce lawyers in Orlando, Florida, at The Law Office of Paulette Hamilton, P.A. to discuss your case today. You can reach us online or by calling our firm at (407) 624-5344 now!

"Absolutely the best lawyer. And great staff too. Very intelligent and experienced. Explained my options and made a difficult divorce easier. I appreciate their hard work and highly recommend them to you." 
- Brenda R.

Common Issues in Florida Divorce Cases

In any divorce, certain issues will need to be addressed and settled between you and your spouse before the divorce can be finalized.

These issues may include:

Contested vs Uncontested Divorce in Orlando, Florida

Uncontested Divorce

If you and your spouse have come to an agreement concerning these issues, the process can proceed much more quickly and cost-effectively as an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce in Florida occurs when both spouses are in agreement about all aspects of the divorce, including division of assets and debts, child custody and support, and alimony (if applicable). Here's what's involved:

  • Mutual Agreement: Both spouses must agree on all terms of their Florida divorce. This includes property division, child custody and visitation, child support, and alimony. If there are disagreements on any of these issues, the divorce cannot proceed as uncontested.
  • Simplified Process: Uncontested divorces typically proceed more smoothly and quickly than contested divorces. In Florida, if the divorce is uncontested, the process is usually streamlined, requiring less time and expense.
  • Filing Forms: The spouses must file a Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage with the court. This form outlines the terms of the agreement and confirms that both parties are in agreement. Additionally, they must complete and file financial affidavits and a marital settlement agreement.
  • Court Appearance: In most cases, there's no need for a court appearance in uncontested divorces. However, a judge may review the documents submitted and finalize the divorce without the need for a hearing.
  • Final Judgment: Once all required documents are filed and reviewed by the court, a final judgment of dissolution of marriage is issued, officially ending the marriage.

Contested Divorce:

If you and your spouse cannot agree on divorce issues, however, the divorce becomes contested. Your issues may be able to be resolved through further negotiation or through the collaborative law process. Should these methods fail, we can resort to litigation.

  • Disagreements: Disagreements may arise regarding various aspects of the divorce, such as property division, child custody and visitation, child support, and alimony. When spouses cannot come to an agreement through negotiation or mediation, the divorce becomes contested.
  • Court Proceedings: In a Florida contested divorce, the case typically proceeds to court, where a judge will make decisions on unresolved issues. Both parties present their arguments and evidence, and the judge may issue orders based on Florida's laws and guidelines.
  • Discovery Process: Discovery is the process where each spouse gathers information and evidence relevant to the case, such as financial records, witness testimony, and expert opinions. This phase can be time-consuming and may involve subpoenas and depositions.
  • Mediation: In many cases, the court may require spouses to attempt mediation before proceeding to trial. During mediation, a neutral third party helps facilitate negotiations and encourages compromise to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
  • Trial: If mediation is unsuccessful, the case goes to trial, where each party presents their case to the judge. The judge considers all evidence and testimony before making decisions on unresolved issues.
  • Final Judgment: Once all issues are resolved, either through agreement or court order, the judge issues a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, officially ending the marriage.

What Are Grounds for Divorce in Florida?

As a no-fault divorce state, Florida does not require that either spouse prove marital misconduct as “grounds” for the dissolution of the marriage.

  1. Either spouse can file a petition for divorce due to “irreconcilable differences."
  2. The couple can claim that these differences have broken the marriage to the point where there is no hope for restoration. This is considered a “no-fault” divorce because it does not require either spouse to blame the other spouse with a particular fault to justify the divorce.
  3. Another reason that spouses can use in Florida to file for divorce is mental illness. However, these divorces are rare as a no-fault divorce is a much simpler and faster route to take.

Understanding Equitable Distribution in Florida

Equitable distribution is the process of dividing marital assets and liabilities fairly and reasonably in a divorce. In Florida, the courts follow the principle of equitable distribution, which does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split, but rather a division that is deemed fair and just based on the specific circumstances of the marriage.

Some important points to understand about equitable distribution in Florida include:

  • Marital vs. Non-Marital Assets: Only marital assets and debts are subject to equitable distribution, while non-marital assets (acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift) are typically not included in the division.
  • Factors Considered: The court considers various factors when determining equitable distribution, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial contributions, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and any other relevant factors.
  • Complex Assets: High-value assets, business interests, investments, and retirement accounts can complicate the equitable distribution process, requiring skilled legal representation to ensure a fair division.

At The Law Office of Paulette Hamilton, P.A., our experienced divorce attorneys can provide guidance and advocacy to help you navigate the equitable distribution process and protect your financial interests during divorce proceedings.

Contact us online or call (407) 624-5344 to get started with an Orlando divorce lawyer near you. 

Florida Divorce FAQs

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be overwhelming, but having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make all the difference. Attorney Hamilton is here to help you through this difficult time by answering some frequently asked questions about divorce in Florida.

What are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Florida?

Like most states, Florida has a residency requirement for a couple to be able to file for divorce in a Florida court’s jurisdiction. At least one of the spouses must be a state resident for six months or more before the couple can file for divorce in Florida.

Is There a Waiting Period for Divorce in Florida?

Yes, there is a 20-day waiting period between when the divorce petition is filed and when the judge can finalize the divorce decree. The purpose of the waiting period is to allow the couple time to cool down and ensure a divorce is what they want. Of course, divorces often take much longer than 20 days, but that is the minimum time a divorce can take.

Can I Receive Alimony in Florida, or will I Have to Provide Spousal Support to My Ex?

Florida's divorce law considers numerous factors when determining spousal support, such as entitlement, type of support, and the amount awarded. It's essential to consult an experienced family lawyer to discuss your specific circumstances regarding spousal support.

How is Child Support Calculated in Florida?

Child support in Florida follows state guidelines, but the court ultimately decides the amount on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered include the monthly net income of both parents, the number of children, parenting time, insurance costs, and the child(ren)'s standard needs. Child support orders are often designed to change if a parent's income changes.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Florida?

The length of a divorce in Florida depends on the type of divorce and the couple's agreement on terms. A simplified divorce requires a 20-day waiting period after signing a petition, while an uncontested divorce can take four to five weeks or even a few months. Contested divorces, where couples disagree on issues, can take anywhere from four months to over a year.

What is Equitable Distribution?

Equitable distribution refers to the fair division of marital assets and liabilities during a divorce. While "equitable" generally means "equal," there are instances when one party may receive a larger share if deemed fair. This process results in each party having a post-divorce estate of similar value, rather than joint ownership of assets.

How Should I Prepare for My Divorce?

To prepare for a Florida divorce, gather documentation about your assets, liabilities, and income. This includes bank statements, tax returns, retirement accounts, real estate documents, and any other relevant financial information. It's also important to create a list of marital assets and debts and any separate property acquired before the marriage or through inheritance. Next, consider hiring an experienced divorce attorney to protect your rights and interests. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of Florida divorce law and ensure a more favorable outcome.

When Should I Consult With a Divorce Attorney?

It's especially important to consult with a divorce attorney if your situation involves children, real estate, a significant disparity in income, substantial assets, disability or health issues, considerable debt, or a marriage that lasted more than a few years. In these cases, the guidance of a skilled attorney can be invaluable in protecting your rights and assets.

Can I File for Divorce in Florida If I Recently Moved Out of State?

Yes, you can still file for divorce in Florida even if you recently left the state, provided that certain residency requirements are met. If one spouse has been a resident of Florida for at least six months prior to filing the petition and maintains their legal residence in the state, they can proceed with the divorce process in the appropriate county court. However, it is important to note that jurisdictional issues may arise depending on the specifics of your situation. It is advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in Florida family law to ensure all necessary steps are properly followed, and your interests are protected throughout the process.

How Does Florida Handle Custody and Parenting Plans During a Divorce?

In Florida, child custody is referred to as "time-sharing," and it's determined based on the best interests of the child(ren). The court considers factors such as each parent's ability to care for the child, the child's preferences (if they are of suitable age), and the stability of each parent's home environment. During a divorce, parents are encouraged to create a parenting plan that outlines how they will share time and responsibilities with their child(ren). This plan should include details about education, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and visitation schedules. If the parents cannot agree on a plan, the court will create one for them, keeping the child(ren)'s best interests in mind.

Contact Our Skillful Divorce Lawyers in Orlando Today

Making decisions while under the stress of a breakup can be overwhelming. That is why we highly recommend that you seek the caring and sound legal counsel of our Orlando divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Paulette Hamilton, P.A..

We are here to listen, advise, and educate you and to be upfront about the likelihood of success in pursuing various strategies. Whether your case is simple or extremely complex, we will be with you every step of the way providing the support you need.

Contact us online or call (407) 624-5344 to get started today. Our Orlando divorce attorneys are prepared to help you through this complex process.

Our Clients Are an Extension of Our Family

Read the Opinions That Matter Most
    "A compassionate and thorough approach."
    Attorney Paulette Hamilton and her firm give a compassionate and thorough approach to any situation, with great insight on resolve. Highly recommend!
    - Elizabeth E.
    "She's one of the rare lawyers who really care about their clients."
    If you need a lawyer who cares about more than the 'retainer' Paulette is your go-to lawyer. She's amazing. She's one of the rare lawyers who really care about their clients and a good outcome. I saw some complaints that after the initial meeting you are connected with a paralegal. That's how it works unless you want to be billed every hour at full attorney fees. The Paralegal was so helpful. So professional and genuinely cared. Danielle is a true professional and gave me nothing but the best advice. They respond quickly and give you good advice every step of the way. I would use her again in a heartbeat.
    - Brent P.
    "They take the time to explain every situation and potential outcomes."
    Mrs. Paulette Hamilton and her Team are the BEST! They are considerate of your situation and take the time to explain every situation and potential outcomes. While Paulette is not available, her staff works diligently to resolve any issues and responds immediately to any situation. I highly recommend Mrs. Hamilton and her team for your services!
    - Clarence M.
    "I highly recommend this practice!"
    Several years ago attorney Hamilton help me with some legal matters the case was closed everything went very well. Seven years later I had an issue related to the case. She helped me out tremendously! Without her help I would not have been able to close on my house today! She wrote a excellent letter which explained the situation and clarified everything. Thank you again for all your help Paulette! I highly recommend this practice! I'm so glad you handled my case so many years ago and you are still there to stand by me and back me up when needed!
    - Denise O.
    "She provided a level of personalized attention that I was not expecting."
    Paulette and her staff (Sonia, Susan, & Tanya) were an absolute Blessing! Five-star service all the way! This was my first extensive experience dealing with a law firm and going through a legal process of any sort that required consultation. Needless to say, I was extremely anxious about the entire situation. I worried about the time, resources, and cost among other things. Paulette made me feel completely at ease and addressed all of my concerns very promptly. She provided a level of personalized attention that I was not expecting. I worked with her office for well over a year and was never disappointed by the quality of care and support they provided while handling my case. I have and would refer her to friends/family and I plan to use her services again in the future. It is already a challenge when you are dependent on the word and performance of a stranger, whether you are paying for the service or not - you are still in a vulnerable position. If that stranger is an Attorney then you are likely in a position to benefit or suffer in a significant way. Paulette gained my trust and by the end of the process, I was confident that I'd not only made an excellent choice with her firm, but I'd also made a Friend! Thank you, Paulette, Sonia, Susan, and Tanya - I will always appreciate your hard work and kind hearts!
    - Nicole I.
    "Attorney Hamilton goes the extra mile."
    It was comforting to have Attorney Paulette Hamilton represent me in my legal case. The legal process can be costly, draining, and doubtful because final decisions are left up to a third-party who is not emotionally vested in your case. Attorney Hamilton goes the extra mile to show she is passionate about your case via the time and effort she puts in preparing for the case, i.e., vigorous research, prepping and informing the client of case progress or options, developing strong arguments, fair costs, etc. The legal process can be a difficult and frustrating journey. However, I am confident that I made the right decision in choosing Attorney Hamilton to get me through it. Thank you and your team for the hard work, professionalism, and care shown during my case.
    - LaTasha M.
    "Attorney Hamilton is very rational and caring at the same time."
    Attorney Hamilton provided me with professional, personalized, caring services and was there for me throughout the complexity of my case, which resulted in agreed-upon resolutions. I had the services of 2 other attorneys prior to obtaining the services of Attorney Hamilton. One Attorney for the original dissolution of my 30-year marriage, and another attorney to assist me with the court proceeding for the breaches to the terms of the marriage settlement agreement. Needless to say after 5 years, at times, it almost felt hopeless, until, I obtained the skilled, experienced, professional services of Attorney Hamilton. She was always supportive, focused and again I want to say professional as she represented me throughout this process. Attorney Hamilton is very rational and caring at the same time. What I have learned through this experience is that when it comes complex breaches in interpersonal relationships, no matter how knowledgeable you might think you are; the LAW is the only thing that matters, when it comes to the Family Law System. Attorney Hamilton knows the laws and when she enters a court of law on your behalf; the court system recognizes her knowledge of legal protocol on multiple levels. Attorney Hamilton is the best of the best. I'm forever thankful for her service
    - Breda
    "Thank you so much for your professionalism"
    Angela worked with me and prepared smoothly everything for my divorce. She was very responsive and always ready to answer my questions. Thank you so much for your professionalism.
    - Taha E.

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