Steps for Divorce
Here are the steps and how the divorce process works in Florida
- The divorce process begins with one spouse filing a petition for the dissolution of marriage with the circuit court, stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The other party then has twenty days to answer the petition and, if desired, to file a counter petition — which, in turn, must be answered in twenty days. The counter petition can address the issues set forth in the original petition and can add additional issues.
- Once the petition and the counter petition have been filed, the discovery process begins. The length of time required for discovery depends on the type of discovery that the two spouses have served upon each other.
- The two parties must provide financials and other documents outlining assets and liabilities, and must file a financial affidavit. The faster they provide these documents, the faster the process will be. If there are children involved, this information is used as the basis for child support calculations.
- If one spouse believes that the other is not providing full disclosure of income, he or she can file additional pleadings or request a court order for this information. A spouse who does not provide information pursuant to a court order can he held in contempt of court.
- The two parties may engage in a mediation process, either voluntarily or at the request of the court. If meditation is not completely successful, the two parties can schedule a hearing before the court.
- If the two parties do not come to agreement, they are scheduled for a trial.
How to Save Money
There are several possible outcomes, depending on the ability of the divorcing parties to agree about the issues involved and to communicate about the major issues.
- When there is total agreement, the couple can file a simple petition for the dissolution of marriage and proceed fairly quickly with an uncontested divorce.
- Where there is disagreement, the two parties can pursue a cost-effective approach of working out their differences and signing a settlement agreement.
- Where there is rancor and an unwillingness to come to agreement, it may be necessary to litigate.
Florida requires most issues to be reviewed in meditation before granting the right to a trial. At Feldman & Schneiderman, P.L., we help you in every way to resolve your disputes in an effort to keep down your costs and produce more stable relationships following the divorce.