How To Have An Uncontested Divorce In Florida

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In Florida, the popularity of uncontested divorce is on the rise. If you and your spouse are splitting up, and you have heard – either from friends who had uncontested divorces or other sources – that this could be the most efficient way to do it, this blog can help you understand why and how!

What Is An Uncontested Divorce?

In basic terms, an uncontested divorce is a divorce that is settled outside of court with a written, legally enforceable agreement signed by both spouses. Rather than going to court to battle everything out and have the court set the terms of the divorce, in order to have an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse would settle everything (maybe through mediation if there are certain points you cannot agree on, or with the help of an attorney to aid in drafting the agreement) on your own.

What Are The Advantages?

If everything in an uncontested divorce goes well, you may not need to go to court at all, and your marriage can be dissolved out of the court and public record. That is the key difference between a contested and uncontested divorce, and it offers numerous advantages for all parties involved.

First, you can save time and money (a lot of money!). Going to court is expensive—there are many fees involved—and the process can take months or even years to finalize depending on how complicated the divorce is. You could pay significantly less when you have an uncontested divorce.

Keeping your divorce out of court also helps you maintain your privacy. Matters of family court are matters of public record in the state of Florida, which may be accessible to future partners, future prospective employers, or anyone else who wants to look. This divorce method also gives you the most control over the outcome (when you go before a judge who doesn’t completely know you or your circumstances, anything can happen).

Perhaps most importantly, though, an uncontested divorce is simply less stressful and less combative. Divorce is rarely easy, but having an uncontested divorce makes it easier on you, easier on your spouse, and easier on your children (if you have any).

So How Do You Have An Uncontested Divorce In Florida?

As long as you and your spouse meet the residency requirements for a Florida uncontested divorce, and agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, you can pursue this divorce method. It could be THAT EASY! The first step you and your spouse need to take to have an uncontested divorce in Florida should be to consult with attorneys, but we will discuss that in more detail below.

The first practical step is to assemble complete financial disclosures (both parties should have these in order to start the process). Professionals can help you with this, but essentially you need records of assets that were accumulated during the marriage (as well as debts), what the current financial situation looks like, what assets and debts were brought into the marriage by both parties, what financial needs the children have (if applicable), and more. This lays the groundwork for starting conversations about how finances are to be divided, as well as child support, alimony/spousal support, and more.

The next step will be to find a way to have productive, collaborative conversations about how issues in your divorce (including parental responsibility, timesharing – what Florida family court calls custody – the distribution of assets, and all of the other financial issues mentioned above) will be settled. It is more likely that you and your spouse need a guide in some way to avoid unnecessary conflict or pettiness. Mediation, where a neutral third party can help you resolve these issues with mutual satisfaction, is highly recommended for uncontested divorces! You can also negotiate the terms of your uncontested divorce with the help of attorneys.

Once the issues are all resolved and laid out in a legally enforceable agreement, and once that agreement is finalized and signed by all parties, you can file it with the petition for divorce.

At a minimum, it will take 20 days after filing before the divorce is considered official, but 30 days is a more realistic timeline. The court can mail the paperwork to you if you choose not to attend your hearing.

A Warning – Things Might Not Go The Way You Think

divorce blog | Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law FirmSometimes, couples intend to have an uncontested divorce but do not realize that they are completely at odds about the future and are not able to agree on anything.

Sometimes, one spouse may be dishonest and attempt to mislead the other about their financial situation.

Sometimes, hurt and resentment can derail the process during mediation or negotiation.

Even if you and your spouse seem to be on relatively good terms, nothing is off the table in divorce, and as divorce attorneys, we have seen some nasty situations that began amicably. The bottom line is that you need to be prepared! It is in your best interest to work with a Florida uncontested divorce attorney you trust to protect your rights. Getting legal representation does not mean that an uncontested divorce no longer possible; it just means that you have protection in the event that things go sideways and someone will be looking out for your interests!

At Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm, our experienced uncontested divorce attorneys and mediators settle where we can and fight when we must. This means that we will not compromise on what matters most to you, and we will do everything in our power to keep the peace (and keep costs down for you!). Mediation is in our name – we believe it can work, and even if you and your spouse are not on good terms, an uncontested divorce may still be a viable option for you. However, if ending your marriage turns into a fight, we will not hesitate to aggressively defend you and do everything in our power to resolve the divorce with your best interests at the center of our focus.

Have Questions? We Have Answers. Call Today. 

You may still be exploring how to handle your divorce or whether to have an uncontested divorce, but it never hurts to speak with a legal professional who can listen to your story and give you specific and tailored legal advice, no matter how simple or complex your situation may be! Call our firm today at (954) 371-2983 to request your Free 15-Minute Case Evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright © 2024. Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm. All rights reserved. 

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
18503 Pines Blvd, Suite 301
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
(954) 447-2580
https://cabanaslawfirm.com

Sergio Cabanas, Esq. | Family Law Attorney | Cabanas Law Firm
Author

Sergio Cabanas, Esq. founded the Cabanas Law Firm in 2006 and provides Divorce and Family legal services, as well as Estate Planning, to ensure his clients have planned for their newly single life and are protected after their divorce. He began his career in law in 1992 as a prosecuting attorney at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, then continued his litigation track as an insurance defense attorney defending medical professionals against medical malpractice claims and expanded into disability and life insurance claims. Sergio is a Certified Mediator registered in the Supreme Court of Florida and a frequent speaker in the community about the importance of Estate Planning to keep families out of probate court and to prepare essential instructions in the event of disability or incapacity.