Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer

The Jacksonville divorce lawyers at MCGRATH GIBSON have been the choice for many individuals faced divorce over the years. Divorce is never easy and it is most often a complex matter to sort through especially at such an emotional time. Our experience with divorce allows us to help clients better manage the end of their marriage at home and with other family members, while we provide a clear path to a better future. There is life after divorce, and our goal is to get you there under the best possible circumstances.


What to do and what not to do before you speak to a divorce lawyer.

If you are facing divorce and need a Jacksonville divorce lawyer, schedule a consultation with a reputable Jacksonville divorce lawyer as soon as possible. There are a number of things you need to know to assure your happiness and well being after your divorce is finalized. In the mean time, follow these points:

  • Try to remain calm and step back from the situation. You will be thinking of many things and will more than likely be emotional. Do not make emotional decisions. Call a divorce lawyer and take comfort in knowing they will help you through this.
  • Use your divorce lawyer as your buffer. Once you have retained your divorce lawyer, there is no need to have potentially heated or emotionally charged discussions. Simply differ all questions or problems to your lawyer.
  • Do not voluntarily leave your home if children are involved unless your personal safety is at risk. If you feel you should leave your home without your children, get to a safe location and let your divorce lawyer know immediately. It is not necessary for you to stay in a physically dangerous situation.
  • Begin to organize and prepare for court. Your lawyer will need copies of your tax returns, all financial and banking records, and documents pertaining to any other financial assets.
  • Learn to be skeptical of your spouse, bet keep your opinions between you and your lawyer. Understand that your spouse will most likely resent your divorce lawyer and attempt to undermine the advice you are being given.
  • It is best not to discuss the details of your divorce with others. Be very general when asked how things are going by friends and family.
  • Do not post anything about yourself, your spouse our your divorce online! And remember that any electronic communications such as email, instant messaging, voice mail can come back to haunt you. Never say, record or post anything that you would not say in court.
  • Do not sign anything or make any agreements without speaking to your lawyer first.


Understanding Divorce in Jacksonville, Florida

There are any number of reasons and circumstances that might lead a couple to ending their marriage. But once the decision is made, there are two legal options available for bringing about an end to a marriage in Florida; A Marriage Annulment, or a Dissolution of Marriage.


A Marriage Annulment:

Annulment is a process by which a judgment is sought to determine a marriage invalid. There must be grounds for annulment, which must exist at the time of entry into the marriage or when you were married. These grounds are as follows:

  • Lack of consent – essential requirement for the validity of marriage is mutual consent. A finding of lack of mutual assent, duress, or fraud that goes to the essentials of marriage is grounds for annulment.
  • Lack of capacity – marriage maybe ratified (validated) by continuing the relationship once capacity has returned.
  • No intent to be bound.
  • Purpose of obtaining citizenship.
  • Bigamy of polygamy – if there is sufficient proof of a prior undissolved marriage, any subsequent marriage is void.
  • Incestuous marriages – marriages in which the parties are too closely related are prohibited, whether the relationship is by whole blood or half blood. It is a felony to knowingly violate this law.
  • Blood relatives.
  • Adoptive relatives – may marry as long as they are not related.
  • Nonage – The period during which one is legally underage.
  • Incurable physical impotence.

In Florida your divorce lawyer can defend an annulment procedure by arguing laches and ratification. “Laches” is based on the legal maxim “Equity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights.” Laches recognizes that a party to an action can lose evidence, witnesses, and a fair chance to defend himself or herself after the passage of time from the date the wrong was committed. If the defendant’s divorce lawyer can show disadvantages because for a long time he or she relied on the fact that no lawsuit would be started, then the case should be dismissed in the interests of justice. The laches defense, like most of equity law, is a general concept containing many variations on the maxim. Phrases used to describe laches include “delay that works to the disadvantage of another,” “inexcusable delay coupled with prejudice to the party raising the defense,” “failure to assert rights,” “lack of diligence,” and “neglect or omission to assert a right.”which are more commonly raised. Or that the alleged impediment to the marriage does not exist.

Alimony generally cannot be granted after a marriage is annulled, however temporary alimony is available during the pendency of proceedings.


A Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage:

Florida has a “no fault divorce” system, it liberalizes the grounds required for a dissolution, and provides for the possibility of alimony for either party.

Divorce in an equity action in Florida and takes place in the Circuit Courts. One of the parties to the marriage must be a resident of FL for 6 months prior to filing the dissolution petition. Courts look at the intent to be a Florida resident and residency must be corroborated, typically with a Florida drivers license. Divorce proceedings may be brought against out-of-state residents. A dissolution petition should be filed in the circuit court in the county where the breach occurred, where the marriage last existed intact, or where the spouse lives. Remember venue and jurisdiction are two different concepts and must be discussed with a licensed Florida attorney.

Florida Courts require certain grounds or reasons to grant dissolution petition. Objective proof must exist that one of the following statutory grounds for dissolution is present: whether the marriage is irretrievably broken, or that there has been mental incompetency for three years. There are two general types of dissolution proceedings uncontested and contested. Uncontested is when the parties agree on the issues and file a Consent Final Judgment of Dissolution with the Court, the court will then review it and grant it thereby dissolving the marriage. A contested dissolution is a divorce case where the parties cannot agree and the court will takes evidence from both sides and makes a decision on the issues in the divorce, very similar to civil litigation.


Other Important Aspects of Divorce in Jacksonville, Florida

There are a number of aspects that are often a part of divorce. And the divorce lawyers at MCGRATH GIBSON are very experienced with each of them. Rest assured, that our experienced legal team possesses the knowledge to effectively handle and guide your through the divorce process, regardless of its complexities.

Learn more about Child Custody. >>

Learn more about Child Support. >>

Learn more about Child Visitation and Time Sharing – A “Parenting Plan”. >>

Learn more about Alimony Laws in Florida. >>

Learn More about Property Distribution. >>

Learn more about Injunctions and Restraining Orders. >>


When You Need A Divorce Lawyer

The attorneys at McGRATH GIBSON understand and recognize that a family law and a divorce lawyers duties encompass many roles, from counseling to litigation, and that their approach to resolving problems is crucial to the future health of your family. When handling all family law matters, including divorces, adoptions, post-divorce modifications (e.g., custody, visitation, time-sharing, child support or alimony) and paternity actions, our attorneys act as a counselor, advisor, and as an advocate for our client.

If you are in need of a divorce lawyer in Jacksonville, Call the divorce lawyers of McGRATH GIBSON to schedule a consultation at (904) 358-3300. We will help you understand all of your options and take every step possible to protect your rights.

Jacksonville Florida Personal Injury Lawyer and Jacksonville Family Law Attorney Disclaimer:

The lawyers of McGRATH GIBSON are licensed to practice in the states of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Additionally, we represent the injured throughout the United States pro hoc vice, and with the help of local counsel. While we strive to personally handle all types of personal injury and wrongful death claims there are occasions where cases may be referred to another lawyer. We proudly offer representation to Military Veterans and the Men and Women who currently served our armed forces at the Mayport Naval Station, Naval Air Station of Jacksonville, Camp Blanding, United States Army, Army Reserve, United States Marines, Florida National Guard, Air National Guard, United States Coast Guard, Air Force, and Air Force Reserve. McGRATH GIBSON family law attorneys offer representation in the areas of Family Law, Divorce, Alimony, Child Custody and Child Support throughout Florida. Representation for Military Divorce handled throughout the United States and U.S. Territories independently or with local counsel where required.

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