What to know about starting the divorce process in Florida

divorce mediator

Divorce can be a grueling process, but with the aid of a skilled attorney, it doesn’t have to be. With so much on the line, including child custody, property division, and more, choosing the right lawyer is essential. Read on and choose a Pensacola divorce lawyer for your needs.

Can you get a divorce if your spouse won’t sign the divorce papers?

Choosing to pursue a divorce is difficult enough as is, and not knowing whether or not you can rely on your spouse to sign the divorce papers is sure to add a great deal of stress. If you find yourself in this situation, contact a Pensacola family law attorney so that they can help you navigate this troubling situation.

Fortunately, in Florida, you can get a divorce without your spouse’s consent. Simply inform the judge of your spouse’s refusal to sign and ask them if you may proceed as if the divorce is uncontested. This will give your spouse roughly 30 days to answer your petition, and failure to do so may result in the court awarding a default divorce.

Can you keep your pension through the divorce?

Generally speaking, a pension is considered a marital asset that is to be divided amongst both parties. However, these rules may vary so long as you can find an alternative solution. For instance, not every marital asset is divided up, so you can substitute your pension for another marital asset to retain your pension.

Can your child choose custody?

Many parents immediately worry about which parent will gain custody of their child once a divorce is on the table. While some states may consider the child’s preference when assigning custody, Florida is not one of those states. However, this is not to say that the child’s best interest is not kept in mind. To assess how well a parent is meeting their child’s needs, judges in Florida will consider:

  • The willingness of the parent to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs
  • The parent’s morals
  • The parent’s mental and physical health
  • The parent’s ability to prove a safe and stable environment
  • Evidence of domestic violence
  • The child’s ability to adjust to the environment
  • The travel required to uphold the time-sharing schedule
  • The parent’s ability to provide routine
  • The child’s developmental age


The Law Office of James M. Burns helps people through various legal issues, including those involving criminal law, family law, personal injury law, and will & probate law. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.