Divorce (Uncontested or Complex Contested Divorce) or Dissolution of Marriage
Regular Dissolution of Marriage/Divorce
Beginning the Court Process
You may file for divorce in Florida if you have resided in Florida for the 6 months prior to filing.
A party initiates a divorce by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. Either spouse may file the petition for dissolution of marriage. Typically the petition is filed in the county where the parties last lived together or where one of the parties resides. The petition must be served on the opposing party or the opposing party may waive service.
The petitioner must allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This is enough to prove the allegation as only one party needs to believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage sets out all of the wishes of the petitioner with regard to 1. alimony, 2. personal property, 3. cash, 4. stocks, bonds, 5. retirement 6. cars, trucks other vehicles, boats, etc. 7. business interests 8. real property/land/homestead 9. child custody 10. child support and all other petitioner wishes.
Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
The non-petitioning spouse must file his/her answer within 20 days of being served with the petition and must address-either admitting or denying (which is essentially agreeing or disagreeing) each allegation in the petition. The admissions and denials must be numbered for identification purposes.
The answering spouse may wish to file a Counter-petition as well as answer the petition if he/she wishes to counter the allegations if certain issues have not been raised at all, or if the answering spouse feels that an answer would not adequately protect his or her position at trial and he or she would like to put on his or her own case to that effect.
The Court will require that both spouses provide certain financial documents to the opposing party and that they file a financial affidavit with the court. The financial affidavit is mandatory and must be filed with the court. A child-support guidelines worksheet also must be filed with the court at or before any hearing on child support. This requirement may not be waived by the parties or the court.
The Courts in the First Circuit will immediately refer the case to mediation to assist the parties in working out some sort of agreement, or partial agreement in order to save time, money and resources of the parties. This also saves time, money, and resources of the court if the parties can resolve some or all of the issues.
If you and your spouse are unable to reach a settlement then you will likely end up in court in one or more contested hearings and/or trial.
You will likely need an attorney to represent your interests in this regard.
Stanford Law Firm, LLC. is here to assist you with every step in your Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage.