North Miami Beach Divorce Attorney
North Miami Beach divorce lawyer Michael Lechtman has over 39 years of experience in family law. At every stage of divorce proceedings, he relies upon decades of successful client representation to help you achieve the results you deserve. Mr. Lechtman is committed to providing efficient, cost-effective legal services to Florida residents in communities including Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Dade County.
Dissolution of Marriage
Divorce proceedings are generally governed by state law. In Florida, the requirements to dissolve a marriage are set forth in Chapter 61of the Code of Civil Practice and Procedure. Under Section 1, divorce may be granted based on one party’s “incapacity” or an “irretrievably broken” marriage. At every step of the process, disputes may arise. Contested issues often involve:
- Military benefits
- Support payments
- Custody, visitation
- Stepparent adoption
- Community property
- Pre-marital agreements
- Division of assets, debts
The process of resolving these disputes may require extensive negotiation, mediation, and even court proceedings. In a divorce hearing, a family law judge considers the evidence to determine whether the marriage is beyond repair and may order counseling, therapy, or consultation with a third party if appropriate. An experienced family law attorney can help you to navigate these issues with minimal expenditure of time and money.
No-Contest, 30-Day, and Pro Se Divorce
Florida law provides for an uncontested divorce if both parties agree to all the relevant legal issues. Known as a “simplified dissolution” of marriage, the spouses must file documents, including financial affidavits and a marital settlement agreement, Form 12901(f)(3). The petitioners give up their right to seek alimony and waive both trial and appeal.
A divorce may be completed in 30 days without filing a marital settlement agreement if the parties agree and cooperate on all divorce-related issues. Unlike a no- contest divorce, one party files the divorce petition and the other signs a response. Only petitioners that do not require a marital settlement agreement qualify for this “quick” procedure.
In a pro se divorce, the parties represent themselves, paying a fraction of the legal fees generally required in a more complex divorce proceeding. Each side agrees to work with a mediator to try and reach a settlement in three sessions. If circumstances permit, these are all ways to terminate a marriage while saving time and money.
Disagreement over custody and the division of assets can make divorce proceedings difficult to resolve in 30 days or three mediations. Dissolution often proves complex and adversarial, requiring experienced legal counsel. Contested divorces involve important legal issues with significant future consequences. These may include:
- Separate property
- Governing state law
- Real estate ownership
- Custody and visitation
- Alimony, child support
- Corporate stocks, bonds
- Pension, retirement plans
Dividing assets and liabilities, including a shared business or ownership of the house, requires determining what is “separate” versus community property. In order to achieve “equitable” distribution, the court must consider the rights and obligations of each party during the marriage. Reaching a settlement or viable custody plan in a contested divorce requires the assistance of skilled family law counsel.
Protecting Your Rights
If you contemplating a divorce, call South Florida divorce attorney Michael Lechtman for help. For over 39 years, he has found cost-effective solutions for couples seeking dissolution. Whether your case involves a property, custody, or paternity dispute, Mr. Lechtman has helped hundreds of clients reach favorable settlements. In addition to serving local clients, he provides affordable service to South Florida residents around the world who are in the military or who are the spouses of military personnel. Call (305) 652-9500 today for a free telephone consultation or contact us online.