What is a divorce going to cost me? Can I afford it?
The cost of a divorce can vary, and depends upon the complexity of the divorce and the number of issues in the case. The more cooperative the parties are, the less expensive the divorce. Once the issues in a divorce are identified and there is a determination of whether there will be cooperation from the other side, the attorney then will be able to give the client a better range of fees and costs.
How long do I have to live in Florida in order to get a divorce?
In order to obtain a divorce in Florida, a party is required to reside in Florida at least 6 months prior to the Filing of Petition for Divorce and have an intent to continue to reside in Florida. There are other proceedings that a person can file in Court in order to obtain financial relief if they have not lived in Florida for 6 months.
How long does a divorce take?
The divorce can take as little as two months if a divorce is not contested and the parties initially agree on all issues. If the divorce is contested and the parties disagree on various issues it can take up to an average of a year to 1 ½ years. Each case is different depending upon the facts of the case, and it can be determined with greater specificity at the initial consultation as to the approximate time for the divorce to be finalized.
My spouse had an affair, can that be used against him or her?
In Florida we are a "no fault" state. Although, there are some circumstances in which an affair will be considered by the Courts.
What is the first step towards getting divorced in Florida?
The first step is to seek a consultation with a divorce lawyer to determine, based upon your facts and circumstances, what your rights are under the law.
If I cannot find my spouse, can I still get a divorce?
If you are not able to locate your spouse, you can still obtain a divorce in Florida. You will need to follow various steps to obtain a divorce, however.
What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
Although not recommended, you can represent yourself in the divorce proceeding.
Can I use my former name after the divorce?
Yes, as long as you request that your former name be restored prior to the entry of the Final Judgement of Divorce.
Do both parties need to attend a final divorce hearing?
If the divorce is not contested and there is a settlement agreement that is signed by both parties, then only one party will need to attend the Final Divorce Hearing. If the parties have gone to the Self-Help Center at the Courthouse and have gone together to get a divorce, then both parties will be required to attend the Final Divorce Hearing.
Do I still need to attend the Final Hearing if my spouse and I went to mediation and signed an agreement that resolved all of our issues?
Only one of the parties will need to attend the final hearing.
When is my divorce final?
A divorce is final upon the Judge signing the Final Judgement of Divorce.
What do I do if I am served with divorce papers?
Immediately consult with an attorney. You have twenty days from being served with divorce papers to file a response in the court.
Can I force my spouse to sign an Agreement?
No, you cannot.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An Uncontested Divorce is when both parties agree on all issuse. With an Uncontested Divorce the pleadings are simplified.
Can I attend mediation instead of filing for a divorce?
Yes, parties can agree to hire a mediator prior to filing a divorce to attempt to work out all of their issues.
Am I required to go to mediation once a divorce proceeding has been filed?
Yes, you are required to attend mediation prior to obtaining a hearing before the judge for temporary issues, and you are required to attend mediation a second time before the final trial in your case.