Contested Divorce in Florida
When a couple is seeking to end their marriage but there are still unresolved issues that must be sorted out, they generally file for a contested divorce. In this blog, we explain what you need to know about contested divorce in the state of Florida.
How Do I Start a Contested Divorce?
To start your contested divorce, you will need to file a petition with the circuit court. After you file the petition the court clerk will issue a summons that will allow the sheriff or a private process server to deliver your divorce petition to your spouse. Once your spouse has been served with the petition, they have 20 days to respond.
What Is Mandatory Disclosure?
If you are going through a contested divorce, you will be required to complete a financial affidavit. You must list an accurate description of your budget, income, assets, and debts on the financial affidavit. If you have children, you will need to include similar information on the mandatory child support worksheet. Both the financial affidavit and child support worksheet must be filed with the court. You also have to exchange copies of these documents with your spouse within 45 days.
Temporary Relief Motions
When it comes to divorce, there are often issues between spouses that need to be resolved before the divorce is finalized. If you need child support and alimony, you can file a request for temporary relief. This request asks a Florida judge to review your issue and give an order as soon as possible. The judge’s order will be in effect until your divorce is over.
The Discovery Process
In order to reach a fair settlement, you must first go through the discovery process. The discovery process involves subpoenas to financial institutions for important documents. The process can also involve interrogatories and depositions, both of which require spouses to provide answers under oath.
Some counties in Florida require couples seeking divorce to attend mediation before a ruling can be made in their case. During mediation, a third party professional will facilitate negotiations between you and your spouse in an attempt to reach a fair settlement.
If mediation doesn’t resolve your disputes, your case will be taken to court. Although dissolution trials are usually held in the judge’s chambers and not the actual courtroom, you will still need to provide testimony and evidence to support your case.
St. Augustine Divorce Lawyers
Our legal professionals at Albaugh Law Firm are here to assist you with all of your divorce matters. We can review your case and determine a legal strategy that will ensure your rights and interests are fully protected. Let us use our skills to help you obtain a fair settlement.