How Can I Prepare Myself To File For A Divorce In Florida?
In order to get ready for filing for divorce, the main thing you want to do is get your financial documents in order. All parties must file a Certificate of Mandatory Disclosure. That mandatory disclosure requires the parties to provide documents to one another. Those documents will include your tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements, proof of any debts, and liabilities. Other documents maybe needed, depending on the specific issues in the case unique to the parties’ situation.
Are There Advantages or Disadvantages To Filing For Divorce Prior To Your Spouse?
There really isn’t any advantage or disadvantage to filing first. If you are the one filing, you may have to pay the filing fee. Also, if it goes to trial, your case gets presented first and then the other party would be able to present their case, followed by your rebuttal. I prefer to present the case first, so that we can present our case and also have that additional time for rebuttal.
What Options Do Couples Generally Have When Deciding How To Proceed In The Divorce Process?
There is an option called an uncontested divorce. If the parties have agreed to 100 percent of everything, including the division of assets and liabilities, parental responsibly, time sharing, and other financial issues, then I can draft an uncontested divorce with all the documents necessary for filing. Once the documents are signed by the parties, the Courts will issue a Final Judgment without the parties having to go to court. If the parties cannot agree to all matters, we can still file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and the parties can enter into agreements through the proceedings without having to go to court.
Can You Walk Me Through The Divorce Process in Florida?
In the state of Florida, the parties must first file a petition for dissolution of marriage. The other party is served with the petition and supporting documentation. The other party will have 20 days to file an answer after service. Once the answer is filed, we have to file financial affidavits and mandatory disclosure. Once those documents are filed, the parties may enter partial or full agreements. If they can’t agree, we have to go to mediation. If the parties can agree at mediation, we can set a hearing in front of the judge and proceed to trial. It must be noted that during the proceeding, the parties may file motions with the court for relief. Such motions may request the Judge to determine issues related to financial relief or issues related to time sharing. If such motions are filed, the parties can enter into agreements regarding the issues or we will set the matter for a hearing for the Judge to decide. Before any court date, I meet with the client in order to assure that they know what to expect and also spend time with them preparing their testimony and their responses to questions posed by opposing counsel. If you have a court date, it’s important to be prepared to present the best case to the Judge and assure that they hear your position and review all of your evidence.
Which Party Generally Has To Pay Spousal Support Or Alimony In A Divorce? Is It Always Awarded?
Either party may be required to pay spousal support. In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court first determines whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. Thereafter, the courts consider all relevant factors such as the duration of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and physical and emotional condition of each party, the financial resources of each party, the earning capacities, educational levels, the contribution of each party to the marriage, the responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common, and any other factor the court may consider to achieve equity between the parties. Alimony is not always awarded. It is important, however, to contact me prior to filing if you believe that you may have to pay alimony or if you believe you may be awarded alimony, as we need to develop a case plan to achieve the best results at the beginning of the case.
How Is Alimony Or Spousal Support Calculated?
Child support is calculated using a specific formula, which takes into account the income of the parties, the number of overnight time sharing, health insurance, and daycare expenses. Unlike child support, the courts have discretion in calculating alimony based on the parties’ income, expenses and other contributing factors, such as the length of the marriage, contributions of the parties, and the education of the parties.
Can I Get Support During A Separation In The State Of Florida?
There is no such thing as a “legal separation” in Florida. After we file for a dissolution of marriage, if the parties cannot agree to provide for financial relief to the other party, we can file a motion for temporary relief and ask for alimony to be awarded. The Judge may order one party to pay alimony during the proceedings. That court order will stay in place and alimony will be awarded until there’s an agreement or another court order.
For more information on Preparing For A Divorce In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (239) 334-4383 today.
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