Every state has their own divorce laws and procedures that couples must abide by and follow if they want to successfully end their marriage. Unfortunately, many couples are unaware of this at the time they decide it is time to file for divorce which often results in it taking longer to get settled. However, because our firm focuses on aiding individuals who are looking to file for divorce in Broward County, we are sharing with you a few questions along with their corresponding answers to help you become more informed on the process and understand it more clearly.
- How to do I file for a regular dissolution of marriage in Florida?
The first thing we want to pay attention to is the term the courts use when referring to divorce. In the state of Florida, you will hear the courts refer to divorce as a dissolution of marriage and the terms may be used interchangeably. Now, in order to start the divorce proceedings, one party files a petition for a dissolution of marriage with the circuit court in the county where either they or their spouse last resided or where either party resides [Source: The Florida Bar]. The individual who files the petition must “allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken.”
Aside from that, the person filing the petition will outline what they want from the court and the other spouse is then given 20 days following being served to file a response that “addresses the matters listed in the initial petition.” When filing their response, the spouse has the liberty of including “a counter-petition for dissolution of marriage raising any additional issues [they want] the court to address.”
- What happens after a petition for a dissolution of marriage is filed with the circuit court?
You will be required to provide the court with “certain financial documents and a completed financial affidavit to the other party within 45 days of the service of the petition or several days before any temporary hearing.” At this stage, if you have been notified that your spouse is seeking a dissolution of marriage, you should have already contacted a FL divorce lawyer for help. However, if you haven’t done so yet you can find a divorce attorney on our site that will help you today.
Now, if you fail to provide the financial documents that are required of you, it could result in the court “dismissing the case or not considering [your] requests.” In the event children are involved, you must also file a child support guidelines worksheet at a child support hearing or before attending one.
- What happens if my spouse and I can’t agree on some of the matters involved in the divorce?
Divorces can sometimes be messy as there are many matters that must be addressed and agreed upon but often aren’t because one party isn’t willing to compromise or work with the other party to reach an agreement. For example, couples who have children together must decide on how their time is going to be split with their kids and who is going to get what in terms of assets. While there are some couples who can come to terms regarding these matters, there are plenty who don’t which can make the divorce process that much more difficult to get through. That is why there is mediation. Mediation is a way for you and your spouse to work through your differences regarding one or all of the matters associated with filing for divorce so that the court doesn’t have to step in and make the decision for you. However, if mediation doesn’t work, and you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse, a judge will step in and help you both make these decisions.
If it comes to a point where your issues are still not settled even after having gone through mediation, the court will schedule a final hearing where “each party will present evidence and testimony to the judge during the final hearing.” The judge will then make the final decision regarding any issues the couple was unable to resolve on their own.
Aside from these questions, you probably have plenty of others you would like answered. Therefore, in order to get the most accurate response that is tailored to your circumstances, contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I would be more than happy to discuss any concerns or uncertainties you might have and help you begin the divorce process in the event you are ready to file.