An uncontested Florida divorce means that all issues pertaining to your matter are agreed to and that there is nothing left for the judge to decide. Those issues may include alimony, child support, visitation (now known as time sharing), division of property, division of debt and who is going to pay attorney’s fees. It is certainly less expensive, less time consuming and less aggravating to come to an agreement on all issues than it is to have a contested divorce where the judge must decide the issues. And note that it is possible to agree on some issues with your spouse and have the judge decide the rest.
Make sure that your lawyer is experienced and that you are comfortable with him or her. Your lawyer may have a lot of experience but if you are not comfortable working with them there can be problems. Do not hesitate to ask your lawyer if they have a significant amount of experience with your particular type of case.
Of course you need to make sure that the pricing is competitive and not too high or too low. Too low a price may indicate that the lawyer is not busy or experienced, and too high a price may suggest that they are over qualified for your type of matter. You do not necessarily need a superstar attorney if your matter is uncomplicated and you have agreed on everything. If there are significant assets or tax implications to your matter, you may indeed need a higher priced or more experienced attorney to handle an uncontested Florida divorce.
Firstly, the lawyer will confirm if you are eligible for a divorce in Florida by asking about your residency and your spouses’ length of residency. The lawyer should conduct a thorough interview regarding the parties’ assets and liabilities and with regard to issues pertaining to alimony, time sharing, child support and other child related issues. The lawyer should be willing to answer all of your questions and make sure that you are getting a fair deal. The lawyer should further advise you of what your rights and responsibilities are.
Unless there are absolutely no financial issues that need to be addressed, each party will fill out a financial affidavit which will list income, monthly expenses, assets and liabilities. If children are involved, a Child Support worksheet will be used to calculate child support pursuant to the Florida Child Support formula. And each party will be required to attend a Children and Divorce seminar which is online. Further, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act statement must be filed with the court when children are involved.
That affidavit indicates as to each child where they have lived, and who they have lived with in the last number of years. More importantly, a parenting plan must be filed with the court that the parties sign after agreeing upon a timesharing schedule and other matters related to the minor children. It is a lengthy document which will define not only time sharing, but other matters pertaining to the children such as: other interaction with each parent.
Once the parties have agreed upon all of the issues involved, the lawyer on a Florida uncontested divorce will draw up a Florida marital settlement agreement which will indicate the terms of the Florida dissolution of marriage. The document will pertain to property, child related issues and the like. Additionally, the attorney may prepare an income withholding order so that child support will be taken out of the paycheck of the paying party.
Once both parties execute the agreement and all of the court required documents, a hearing will be scheduled before the judge. The judge will hold a very brief hearing to make sure everything is in order, and in particular to make sure that the parenting plan and settlement agreement provide what is in the best interest of the minor children.
If everything is in order, the court will sign a final judgment of dissolution of marriage which will be the formal document resulting in the divorce of the parties. It will approve and incorporate the settlement agreement and parenting plan. The final judgment is effective immediately and it should be noted that no court appearance is necessary if Attorney Gruskin represents a party on an Florida uncontested dissolution of marriage. In that case the final judgment can be rendered approximately thirty days after the filing of all court required documents with the clerk of the court.