Family Law Attorneys in Jacksonville
Edwards & Edwards, P.A., we assist clients with a wide range of family law matters. With
more than 50 years of combined experience, we have what it takes to help you accomplish your legal, financial, and
personal goals. From divorce to child custody, family law can involve
highly stressful and emotionally charged events, which is why we provide
compassionate, sensitive support along with tenacious representation.
We work hard to address all our clients’ concerns, including:
Your children – child support and time-sharing plans that will place your children’s
welfare at the forefront of your divorce
Your finances – support and asset division plans that recognize the many contributions
you made to your marriage
Your future – legal and financial arrangements that protect the long-term independence,
security, and wellbeing of you and your loved ones
No matter what type of family law issue you are experiencing, it is critical
to be prepared and informed from the start. Our attorneys are ready to
answer all your questions, help you understand your rights and options,
and guide you through the complex legal processes you may need to undertake.
Edwards & Edwards P.A. is the firm you can trust to balance your personal
concerns with the high-stakes demands of the legal system. Call
(904) 478-9255 or
contact us online to begin.
Fault vs. No Fault Divorce
Whether your proceeding is a fault divorce or no-fault divorce will dictate
how challenging the process may be—and how long it could take.
A fault divorce requires one spouse to show that the divorce is the other
spouse’s fault. One of the most common examples of fault is adultery.
However, this type of divorce has largely been abandoned, and all states
have now adopted the “no fault divorce” option. In other words,
every state allows for the filing and granting of a divorce without requiring
one spouse to demonstrate that the other spouse is responsible for the
demise of the marriage.
As a no-fault state, Florida allows courts to grant divorce decrees based
on evidence that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning
the marriage is beyond repair, and divorce is the only option. Courts
also allow parties to divorce if one spouse was declared mentally incompetent
at least three years prior to the filing of divorce. The basis that the
marriage is irretrievably broken, however, is the much more common reason
why divorces are filed and granted.
Division of Property in Florida
Florida courts will divide marital property under a principle known as
equitable distribution. This is not to be confused with equal distribution,
in which the court automatically splits all assets and liabilities down
The court will come up with an equitable (fair) distribution plan after
assessing the following factors, and more:
- Economic circumstances of each spouse
- Duration of the marriage
- Contribution of one spouse to the career or educational opportunity of
the other spouse
- The desires of each spouse to retain particular assets
Marital property includes, but is not limited to:
- Assets acquired/liabilities incurred during the marriage, either individually
- The enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets during
the marriage; and
- Inter-spousal gifts received during the marriage.
An easy rule of thumb is to consider any property or debt incurred prior
to marriage as non-martial, and any property or debts acquired after the
marriage as marital. There may be exceptions to this general rule, however,
and we can help you conduct a thorough assessment of all assets and liabilities.
Keep in mind that certain behaviors may influence the division of property.
For example, if marital funds were used or depleted to fund an extramarital
affair, the court may award the non-adulterous spouse additional property
as compensation for the lost funds. Excessive gambling is another example
in which the court may elect to give one spouse additional assets if the
gambling spouse used or depleted marital funds to support their gambling habit.