No Matter Where You Live in Florida
The more you and your spouse can agree on regarding the issues in your Florida divorce, the less your lawyer has to fight over in court, and the less money their services will cost you. This is something you may want to explain to your spouse. An uncontested divorce in Florida means that the parties agree on all issues such as division of property and debts, alimony or not, child support, visitation if applicable, and responsibility for attorney fees. There is nothing left for the judge to decide.
Uncontested Divorce in Florida
Lawyers often charge a flat, set fee for an uncontested divorce Florida because they know roughly how much time they will have to put into the matter. (This is cheap compared to a contested divorce where they don't know how long the battle will go on for, and therefore have to charge an hourly rate.)
Note that there are exceptions, but property acquired by either party during the marriage, regardless of whose name it's in, is split "50-50" in an uncontested divorce in Florida. (Assets accumulated after the filing of the case will probably be considered non marital.) Assets owned by one party before the marriage are not divided between the parties upon divorce unless they were titled in both parties names. (Regarding gifts, it could be argued that there was no intention of a gift by placing the asset in both parties' names.)
Florida Uncontested Divorce
Debt accumulated during the marriage will usually be considered marital even though acquired by one party only in that party’s name. So if the case is decided by a judge, the marital debt is split 50-50. However, keep in mind that the issue of who makes more money, and the amount of debt each party has, can make a difference. (A difference in income is not a reason however for a court to make something different than a 50-50 split of debt.) But note that in an uncontested Florida divorce, the parties' can divide the debt as they wish.
Uncontested Divorces in Florida
In FL, alimony is a complicated topic. But fundamentally, it is the need for assistance by one party, and the ability of the other party to pay alimony. (This is different than child support, which is a statutory formula/calculation.) Alimony can be an issue in uncontested divorces in Florida. Alimony involves factors such as length of marriage, the lifestyle that a party has become accustomed to, and each party’s income, earning ability, and expenses. Alimony can be granted even in a short term marriage, although not necessarily for very long.
Child support revolves around how many overnights each parent gets with the children and each party's income etc. Note that we don't use the terms "custody" or "visitation" any longer in Florida. Those concepts are addressed by the term "timesharing". If the parties cannot agree, the courts consider what is in the best interest of the children and not the parents when deciding timesharing.
Uncontested Divorce in Florida – As Painless as Possible
Bear in mind however that in a Florida uncontested divorce, the parties can agree to something different than a judge would order if the matter was decided in a contested divorce situation.
Each party must make full financial disclosure to the other. (i.e. divulge their finances such as income, expenses, assets, and debts.) Amongst other things, the parties each need to prepare a financial affidavit and file it with the Court. (There is an exception in simplified dissolutions. Simplified dissolutions cannot involve children.) If there are kids involved, a child support guideline worksheet must be prepared along with a parenting plan which outlines the visitation/timesharing arrangements and other child related matters.
Uncontested Divorce Florida for No Court Appearance
In a Florida uncontested divorce, the attorney draws up a Marital Settlement Agreement which the parties sign. And the parties then go to Court for a very short final hearing. (It is usually not necessary for both parties to attend the final hearing.) In fact, Attorney Gruskin can help you and your spouse avoid going to Court at all in an uncontested divorce. Call him at 1-800-NOW DIVORCE days, nights, or weekends. The cost of an uncontested divorce in Florida should be minimal. And the case can usually be wrapped up within thirty days of the time that the parties come to an agreement.