Filing for Divorce in Florida?
Representing Uncontested Divorce Cases in Florida
Divorce is a difficult process, but one that can ultimately lead to a more positive future if handled correctly. A long, drawn-out divorce can quickly become expensive and be immensely draining. At Daniels Law, P.A., Attorney Theresa Daniels provides solutions that resolve divorce cases as smoothly as possible. Call today to learn more about what to do next.
Why Choose Attorney Theresa Daniels?
While divorce can seem simple at the outset, the truth is it leaves room for dangerous errors that only surface later on. It is important to have a North Fort Myers family law attorney on your side who has a wide array of life experience to offer insight into your divorce matter.
Attorney Theresa Daniels has devoted her practice to serving the people of Lee County since the start of her career. With attention to detail, she has a background advocating for people from all walks of life who face real struggles. She can address all types of cases related to ending a marriage, including alimony and child support.
With an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, our experienced and compassionate attorney can help ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Florida
A divorce in Florida can be considered as either simplified or a regular dissolution of marriage. During a simplified divorce, there must not be any children, and the couple should have an understanding of how property can be divided. Should you choose a simplified divorce, a divorce lawyer can ensure that all forms are correct and this option supports your best interests.
A regular dissolution of marriage can be contested or uncontested:
- Contested divorce: Spouses do not agree on the division of property, debt, or child custody concerns. The parties follow the court’s litigation process.
- Uncontested divorce: Spouses work out all of the issues related to the divorce in a divorce settlement and there is no need to attend a divorce hearing.
Uncontested divorces are possible but generally less common than a contested divorce. During a contested divorce, an experienced Fort Meyers lawyer and litigator on your side helps to represent your needs throughout the case.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse has to prove fault in the other in order to file for divorce. One or both spouses must simply claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and that there is no hope for restoration.
An additional ground for divorce in Florida is mental illness. In short, if one spouse is mentally incapacitated, then the other spouse can use this as a reason for divorce. However, because the burden of proof is high for this type of divorce, no-fault divorces are much more common.
There is also a residency requirement for divorce in Florida. At least one of the spouses must be a resident in Florida for six months or more before the couple can file for divorce in the state.
Divorce Process in Florida
While divorce can often be a complicated process, the basic steps for the divorce process in Florida are as follows:
- Petition – The “Petitioner”, or the spouse who initiated the divorce, will file the divorce petition in the circuit court where either spouse lives.
- Answer – The “Respondent”, or the spouse who is served the divorce papers, will need to file an answer within 20 days. The answer can include the respondent’s side of things and may also include a counter-petition.
Other paperwork to file –
- Financial affidavit
- Child-support guidelines worksheet if applicable
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit if applicable
- Discovery – This process will find out information about each spouse that is relevant to the divorce, such as tax returns, income, debt, etc.
- Mediation – Often, mediation will be required to see if the divorce can be settled peacefully.
- Parenting plan – The court will need to approve the parenting plan that the couple has created or set forth its own plan if the couple could not agree on one.
- Trial – If mediation was unsuccessful, then the divorce will be brought before a judge who will make the final determinations for the divorce.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Florida?
Depending on the complexity of the case, an uncontested divorce may take as little as four to six weeks. If the courts are extremely busy during that time, your divorce may be pushed back further until they are able to finalize the paperwork.
Representation from a Lawyer That Cares
The North Fort Myers divorce attorney at Daniels Law, P.A. has extensive experience protecting her clients' rights in court. Whether you agree with all elements of your divorce or need an advocate to fight on your behalf, Attorney Daniels has the skills and resources to protect your future.
Call (239) 217-9007 to discuss your case. Attorney Daniels strives to make herself available to all clients from the beginning of the case through resolution.