Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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Valentine's Day Divorce: Is your Marriage Headed for Dessert or Disaster?

Valentine's Day is a time for couples to show their affection for one other. It is a day that should be filled with romantic gestures and gifts, but for many, it is instead filled with unreasonable expectations, mounting pressure, and utter disappointment. This Hallmark holiday creates the perfect opportunity for couples to evaluate their relationships- am I happy?, do I see myself with this person in the future?, should I stay in this relationship With its close proximity to New Years, it often prompts change for couples whose relationships are on the rocks, for better or for worse. For some such couples, exchanging a thoughtful token of love, or sharing a memory of happier times shared together, is just what is needed to rekindle their lost love and encourage them to make a fresh start. More frequently, however, Valentine's Day stirs up a cocktail of hopeless thoughts and bitter emotions, which proves lethal to the marriage treading in troubled waters. In fact, studies indicate that Valentine's Day marks the start of the Divorce Season each year, which has come to be termed the "Valentine's Effect". One such study by Avvo, Inc., the largest online legal forum and lawyer directory, reports that in the weeks leading up to, and following February 14, there is a 40% spike in the number of people seeking legal information, advice, and representation regarding divorce, as compared to the 6 months prior.

Did your Valentine's Day end with dessert or disaster? If you answered the latter and are considering getting a divorce, now is the time to consult an attorney, learn your rights, explore your options, set realistic goals, and make a plan. The decision to get a divorce should be made from a place of informed reason, rather than of raw emotion, and should be chosen only after a comprehensive evaluation of your particular circumstances. Once you have determined that divorce is your best option, you are ready to make a plan as to the type of divorce you will seek, the preferred time to initiate the proceeding, as well as the time and method you will use to inform your spouse of your decision. It is not wise to threaten your spouse with a divorce without having made an informed decision to end your marriage and a realistic plan for survival once you make that decision known.

Florida is a "no fault" divorce state, which generally means that the Courts will not attribute blame to one spouse or the other for the failure of the marriage, despite one spouse's infidelity, or the other spouse's inability to adequately provide for the wants and needs of the other. So if your plan of attack was to hire a private investigator to document your spouse's cheating ways and gain the favor of the Judge, your money would be better spent on your therapist and lawyer. In addition, it only takes one spouse to consent to a divorce in Florida; however, if you are asking the Court to make certain decisions regarding rights to property or children, your spouse's participation, or proof of failure to participate, may be necessary. This is just one reason why it is important to be well informed of your rights and responsibilities under Florida law, and the methods available to you to dissolve your marriage.

Divorce proceedings are either contested or uncontested in nature, which means they are litigated in Court with a Judge deciding the ultimate fate of the parties, or they are settled outside of Court with the parties determining their own fates. Couples who are able to reach a mutually agreeable settlement almost always have a more positive outcome to their case than so those who place their lives in the hands of a Judge who is not privy to all the particular needs of the family, and who is bound by the constraints of the law as opposed to the infinite bounds of the parties' own creative solutions. Having said that, some cases have to be litigated, typically due to the unreasonableness of either or both spouses, or either or both of their attorneys, or less frequently due to the severity and complexity of the issues at hand. The type of divorce proceeding you choose to initiate, as well as your conduct and your attorney's conduct throughout the case, will greatly impact the outcome of your case; therefore, your decisions and actions should be made in the spirit of settlement. It should be noted, however, that sometimes, through no fault of your own, the type of divorce proceeding you elected to pursue, will change form entirely. This is yet another important reason why your decision to divorce must be an informed one, with realistic expectations and goals set from the start in order to prevent the legal and emotional roadblocks from derailing your case.

It is only when you know your rights that you have actual choices. If you, or your spouse, are contemplating divorce, contact a family law attorney at Solaris Law Group, P.A., to learn more about your rights and options so you can make an informed decision that is best for you. Check back with our Law Blog on a weekly basis if you would like additional information about planning for divorce, the alternative divorce resolution methods to litigation, and how to tell your spouse you want a divorce, among others.

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Family Matters Law Group P.A.
6950 Cypress Rd.
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Plantation, FL 33317

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