What Is Meant By Uncontested Divorce Under Florida Law?
In Florida, a simplified divorce means you have no property to divide and no children in common. An uncontested divorce means two people have reached agreement on all of the issues in their case and they just need to go to court and get the final documents finalized.
Are There Any Advantages Or Disadvantages To Being The First Person To File For Divorce?
The first person to file is called the petitioner and there is absolutely no advantage to it. Both parties have equal rights, regardless of whether they are the petitioner or the respondent.
What Options Do Couples Have When Proceeding With A Divorce In Florida?
When a client comes in, I explain to them all of their different options. In Florida, once a case is filed, you are required to go to mediation before you see the judge. Depending on the amicability of the two parties, you can get a lot of things done before you go to court. On the other hand, if they are very contentious, you’re going to go to court right away, so that you have the judge overseeing the process when conflicts arise.
What Should Someone Expect When Going Through A Divorce In Florida?
When you go through a divorce in Florida, the first step is to file a petition. In the petition, you’re going to include everything that you want to happen. Perhaps you want a divorce, you want to divide the house, and you want to share the children. You put that in the petition. Once that petition is filed with the court and served on the other party, they have 20 days to answer that petition. They will also have the opportunity to file a counter-petition. After that responsive pleading is filed, you move forward through court. There are certain deadlines for certain events, such as discovery. Discovery is simply the exchange of information. In most divorce cases, it’s the exchange of financial information.
A month and a half after the case is filed, all of the financial information needs to be exchanged. Both parties must share all of this information. If there are children involved or if there is an alimony claim, both parties are required to file financial affidavits. A financial affidavit is a snapshot of your income and expenses, as you’re going through the divorce. It also includes a list of all of the marital assets and liabilities. After all of this information is exchanged, the parties can start trying to work towards a settlement, which they can either do without court intervention or in mediation, which is court ordered. At the end of a mediation, it is possible to either settle the whole case or just settle some of the issues and reserve the issues that you couldn’t agree on for court. If the issues are not resolved, you will go to court and have a trial, where the judge will make a decision on the issues that were not resolved.
Which Party Will Generally Pay Spousal Support Or Alimony In A Divorce Case?
The higher wage earner may have an obligation to pay alimony to the lower wage earner and that is where the financial affidavits come in. Each side would look at their financial affidavit, look at the bottom line after their income and expenses, and one party has to have a need. Equally important, the other side has to have an ability to pay. There are cases where a spouse does have a need for alimony but the other party doesn’t have the ability to pay, so the people just have to move forward without alimony.
How Is Alimony Calculated In Florida?
In Florida, there is no formula for alimony. It comes back to one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay.
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