Divorce, now termed dissolution of marriage, is a word that generates a number of painful thoughts and emotions. Few couples on their wedding day anticipate their marriage could ever be over and they would once again go their separate ways. Sadly, however, time often changes people, situations, and circumstances, and a couple finds, for a variety of reasons, they can no longer live together as husband and wife.
In most cases the legal dissolution of their marriage will mean obtaining a lawyer. If there are no children, no real estate, and both parties agree on all areas of marital asset distribution, a couple with the help of an attorney can file a petition for an uncontested, simple divorce at their county courthouse and follow the directions in the packet, including each filling out a financial affidavit. They will go briefly before a judge who will ask if they both agree with the dissolution of their marriage, and upon their answering yes, will end their legal union. Having an experienced attorney assist would be highly beneficial since pleading requirements vary depending on the issues in the specific case.
Couples who need help in determining what happens to their children, how each spouse will continue to meet expenses on their own, what are their marital verses non marital assets and how to divide those marital assets equitably, including real estate and retirement plans, and sometimes a variety of personal issues? Each case is different and each party in the marriage needs help. Here is where an experienced divorce attorney, someone who knows family law as it presents itself in their particular state and county, and has many recommendations from both former clients and peers in the legal field is essential. And, for those living in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange County, Florida Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo, PA is the perfect choice.
Attorney Gisondo is noted for his sincere caring and interest in each person who steps through his office door. Right from the beginning, during the initial, free in-office consultation, Attorney Gisondo focuses on the person with whom he is speaking and continues that focus should the person become a client. In his own words, he states “I will always keep an open ear and open mind and will fight your fight as if it was my own.” As an example of just how committed Attorney Gisondo is, he gives his clients not only the office phone number but also his own personal cell phone number so he can be reached when the client needs him. He does not farm his clients out to paralegals or have another attorney represent him in the courtroom. If there is a reason he is unable to make a certain court date he will have the hearing postponed until he can be there in person for YOU. This is not to say the expertise of other attorneys is never called upon as Attorney Gisondo knows and uses experts whenever needed. He also has well qualified and very personable paralegals to assist him in many areas including gathering facts, preparing documents, helping clients find answers to their questions, to name a few areas of assistance.
First he will let you know he is truly there for YOU. He will ask about the particulars of your reasons for seeking divorce and encourage you to be absolutely sure you and your spouse have tried all avenues to try to make your marriage work. He will even suggest counseling if that has not been tried. When you are both sure there is no other course than to dissolve your marriage, Attorney Gisondo will begin to work on your case. First there will need to be a petition for Dissolution of Marriage filed in the county where you are a resident. This petition will be served to your spouse who would then have twenty days to file his or her answer to your petition.
During the time you are waiting for an answer from your spouse, you will need to be collecting personal information regarding your situation and the proof needed to document your concerns. This will be used by Attorney Gisondo to structure your case. He then can provide you with details of any additional information or proof he needs to proceed in your best interests. You will also be working on documents for mandatory disclosure, with proof of your financial circumstances, including checking and savings, credit cards, debts, and retirement accounts. This is called your financial affidavit and your spouse will be required to fill one out as well. If you have children from your marriage this is a good time to take a Florida Parenting Class that will meet the requirements of the Florida Parent Education and Family Stabilization course necessary to obtain a divorce in the state of Florida. You can find this class locally or on-line. Your spouse will also need to take such a class.
Following the gathering of information and filling out required documents Attorney Gisondo will prepare your case based on the response from your spouse, and your needs such as spousal support, identifying and handling equitable distribution of marital assets including real estate, business ventures, and retirement plans, and if there are children involved, parental timesharing and child support. Special needs unique to your case will also be addressed.
In the state of Florida mediation is required before a dissolution of marriage case can be heard by a judge. This is actually a good thing, Attorney Gisondo points out, as with the help of a third party you have a say in what the final decisions will be where as in the courtroom a judge will make all the final decisions whether you like them or not. Of course it often happens the two parties and their lawyers, who are also present, simply cannot agree and the case will then be scheduled for court. More discovery and additional depositions will likely take place while waiting for a court date. Sometimes a Temporary Relief Hearing before a judge will be held to address immediate concerns during the waiting period such as parental timesharing including over nights, child support, equitable distribution, spousal support and who gets to stay in the family dwelling. Typically, each party has 15 minutes before the judge, the hearing is set for a total of 30 minutes.
The judge assigned to your case may require a second mediation before agreeing to actually hear what you and your spouse have to say and viewing documented proof of allegations and need. But you are entitled to your day in court where you and your attorney will be able to explain your case in detail and present required evidence. After listening to both sides and considering the evidence the judge will make a final determination of outcomes and you will be given your dissolution of marriage as part of the final judgment.