The Timeline Of A Florida Divorce
Perhaps you have been thinking about divorcing your spouse for some time. Or, maybe being served with divorce papers came as a total shock. Regardless of how you arrived at the dissolution of your marriage, it is important that you are prepared and know what to expect. Below, our Brandon family lawyer explains the timeline of a Florida divorce.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither spouse has to prove the other party was to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. The divorce process officially begins when one spouse files the petition for the dissolution of marriage with the appropriate court. In the petition, the spouse filing for divorce must only state there has been a breakdown of the marital relationship and that there is no chance of reconciliation.
Once the petition is filed, the paperwork is then served to the other spouse. The other party then has 20 days to file an answer with the court. Even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state, the petition may still make certain accusations. In their answer, the spouse that did not file can answer those accusations, either approving them or disagreeing with them. A spouse can also raise other issues within their answer.
Financial and Child Custody Affidavits
The divorce process involves a great deal of paperwork. One of the most important documents is the financial affidavit, in which the assets and liabilities involved in the divorce are outlined. The financial affidavit must be filed within 45 days of the original petition being filed. If minor children are involved in the divorce, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) affidavit must also be filed.
The discovery phase is an important one, as it allows both sides to request information from the other. Usually this involves financial documents such as proof of income, tax returns, bank accounts, statements regarding debt, and more.
Mediation is required in most Florida divorces. Mediation involves both parties meeting with a neutral third party mediator, who tries to foster compromise and communication between the two sides to help them reach an agreement on all terms of the divorce. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will submit it to the court for approval.
The vast majority of divorce cases in Florida settle outside of the courtroom. However, when couples cannot reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, either on their own or during mediation, the case will go to court. There, a judge will make all decisions and those decisions are final and legally binding.
Our Divorce Lawyer in Brandon Can Help You Through the Process
If you are going through a divorce, do not go through it alone. Our Brandon divorce lawyer at Koether Law, P.A. will prepare you for the process and be by your side every step of the way. Call us today at 813-347-8193 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help you obtain the fair settlement you deserve.