Your Rights During Divorce
Individuals have a number of specific rights when going through the divorce process. Being aware of and understanding these rights can only benefit those who are involved in divorce proceedings, so if you live in Florida and recently decided to end your marriage, you should speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney who can ensure that you are treated fairly by your spouse and the courts during this process.
What Your Spouse is Filing with the Court
In Florida, both parties to a divorce proceeding have the right to know what the other individual is filing with the court. This is made possible by Florida’s service of process requirements, which mandate that spouses who file an initial petition for divorce, serve a copy of that petition on the other party. A proper service usually involves giving a physical copy of the initial petition to the respondent, at which point, he or she will be given the opportunity to respond to the petitioner’s claims. Notice of future filings, however, will usually be done electronically or through the mail.
In Florida, parents don’t lose their parental rights just because they are no longer in a relationship with the child’s other parent. When it comes to divorce, this means that parents have the right to visitation with their children. For this reason, courts will not finalize a Florida couple’s divorce if they share children, until they have created a child custody arrangement that spells out:
- How parenting time will be divided between the parents; and
- How parental responsibility for the children will be shared.
While divorces are pending, courts also prohibit one parent from relocating with their child or even changing the child’s school or daycare without the written agreement of the other parent or a court order. These rules provide parents with the security that comes with knowing that major childcare-related decisions cannot be made without their input.
Right to Marital Funds
Many divorcing parties fear that they will not have access to marital funds while their divorce is pending. Fortunately, Florida law is extremely protective when it comes to monetary support during the divorce process. For instance, under state law, parties to a divorce are prohibited from selling, removing, or assigning any marital property. This includes vehicles, homes, real estate, investments, and personal possessions. Furthermore, both parties are barred from concealing or wasting jointly owned funds or incurring unreasonable debts. These rules ensure that both parties will have access to their marital funds to cover insurance costs, household expenses, and legal fees during the divorce.
Right to Safety
One of the most important rights that an individual has is the right to safety. This is especially true during divorce, when arguments could result in conflict. In these cases, Florida residents have the right to protect their family by filing an order of protection against a former partner. These orders prohibit the violent party from having contact with the petitioner, can give the petitioner exclusive access to the couple’s residence, and can restrict visitation rights.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Office Today
Contact experienced divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today to discuss your rights and begin divorce proceedings.