Ultimately, the decision on whether you should hire an attorney for your uncontested divorce is entirely up to you. That said, we do not recommend proceeding, even uncontested, without an experienced divorce attorney by your side.
Even if both parties to a divorce agree on everything, the necessary paperwork – including the marital settlement agreement and final judgment of dissolution of marriage – need to be drafted correctly.
This is where the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney can be so important.
Florida divorce law is complicated. One mistake in your paperwork can cost you thousands of dollars to correct the second time around.
A skilled divorce lawyer can also make sure that whatever agreement you and your spouse have reached is enforceable so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not your spouse is going to follow through on his or her end of the agreement.
One of the most common questions we get from new clients is about the division of jointly owned property during a divorce. Who gets the house? Who is required to pay the mortgage?
Florida courts are required by both statute and case law to identify the marital assets and liabilities in a divorce and to equitably distribute them between the parties.
Put simply, that means the court has to determine which assets are subject to division and then to divide them fairly.
It’s important to note that, in the absence of a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, any property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses regardless of who acquired it or whose name is on the title.
It’s also important to note that a fair division of marital property doesn’t necessarily mean that the property should be divided evenly. In certain situations, the court can make what’s called an unequal distribution, giving one spouse a greater share of a particular asset.
Equitable distribution, or property division, can be an extremely complicated area of law. And unlike some areas, the division of property is not generally subject to modification after the divorce. That makes it particularly important to get it right the first time around.
Every case is unique and the amount of time it takes to complete a divorce depends on how many issues need to be resolved along the way. That said, we are able to finalize most uncontested divorce cases in as little as 30 days.
Uncontested divorces offer several real advantages over contested divorces. For one thing, they tend to cost a lot less. Depending on the number of issues involved and how long they take to resolve, a contested case can cost thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, our office can process an uncontested divorce, from start to finish, for a fraction of what it would cost otherwise.
Uncontested divorces are almost always finalized much faster than contested cases. Whereas contested divorces frequently take months to resolve, we can usually process an uncontested divorce in as little as ten days.
One other major advantage of an uncontested divorce is the peace-of-mind they provide in contrast to contested divorce cases. And uncontested divorces provide much greater stability going forward because people are usually less likely to jeopardize an agreement where both parties benefit.
There are many legitimate reasons why spouses may be unable to come to an agreement about the major issues related to divorce – such as alimony, division of property, etc. But, if they can, the parties should work together to reach a fair settlement with each other because of the many benefits of an uncontested divorce.
Florida is a no-fault state. That means you do not have to prove wrongdoing on the part of your spouse in order to be eligible for a divorce. And, unlike in some states, there is no minimum separation period.
In Florida, if you want a divorce, and you can satisfy a few basic requirements, you’ll be able to get one.
The fact is there are only two requirements for a divorce in Florida. At least one spouse must be a Florida resident for a minimum of six months, and the marriage must be irretrievably broken.
That’s it. That’s all you have to prove. If you can do that, the court will grant your divorce.
You do not actually need your spouse to agree to a divorce in Florida. The fact is that there are very few conditions that must be satisfied in order to qualify for a divorce in Florida.
At least one spouse must be a Florida resident for a minimum of six months, and the marriage must be irretrievably broken. That’s it.
If you can prove these two things, you are entitled to a divorce in Florida whether your spouse wants one or not.
That said, a husband or wife who does not agree with the divorce, or who refuses to cooperate in the process, can be difficult and can complicate the process unnecessarily.
This makes it doubly important to see to it that your paperwork is correctly drafted, that you haven’t missed any filing deadlines, and that you have complied with the many procedural rules in dissolution of marriage cases.
That’s because a spouse who doesn’t want a divorce anyway can potentially use any mistakes you make to delay the proceedings and to drag things out.
Put simply, dissolution of marriage is a divorce. Dissolution of marriage is the official terminology in Florida. But, it means the same thing as a divorce. The two terms can be used interchangeably, and they very often are.
In Florida, when a divorce is made final, it is done so a vinculo matrimonii.
This is a Latin expression that is commonly used by Florida divorce courts. It simply means that the divorce is complete and total, and that the marriage is terminated in its entirety.
An uncontested divorce is one where the spouses agree on the dissolution of their marriage, and also agree on how to resolve major issues related to the dissolution – such as spousal support or alimony, the division of their property and debts, and timesharing in cases involving young children.
Often, the parties in an uncontested divorce case will sign a document called a marital settlement agreement that lays out in detail the terms of their agreement for the court.
In a contested case, the parties either cannot or have not yet been able to resolve the major issues. There could be any number of reasons for this. But, if the parties are unable to agree, a judge will make the final decisions.
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