No matter the reasons for your divorce or the amount of assets and debts, most people want an uncontested divorce. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars and over a years to get divorced. Most people want an uncontested divorce.
You and your spouse must agree on ALL issues if you want to get an uncontested divorce. Failing to get an agreement on all but one issue will still put you on a track to litigation and a trial before a judge.
The following are the issues that need to be agreed on to get an uncontested divorce:
- will the other spouse agree to sign papers if they agree to the terms?
- assets division
- bank accounts
- retirement accounts
- real property (house, condo,…)
- personal property
- debt division
- car payments
- credit card balances
- loan repayments
- amount, if any
- duration (months, years, life?)
- child issues
- child support (based on guidelines)
- time sharing
- parental responsibility
- attorney fees and court costs
- who pays?
- repayment schedule
If you and your spouse can agree on how these issues will be resolved, then you can get an uncontested divorce. The lone exception to the requirement that you have an agreement on all issue is child support.
You cannot choose your own child support amount. Not even when both parents agree on that amount. The child support amount must be set according to the Florida Child Support Guidelines. What you can (and must) agree on are the factors that are used to calculate child support: incomes, medical insurance costs, and child care costs.
I’m often asked the question: “Why do I need a lawyer for my divorce if we already have an agreement?” or “What do I get for what I have to pay an uncontested divorce attorney?” The answer to these questions is that (1) you get a written divorce agreement prepared by an Orlando Divorce Lawyer that you can be confident reflects your agreement with your spouse and (2) you get divorced much quicker than if you did not hire an uncontested divorce lawyer. You benefit from a property written settlement agreement by not having to come back to court to argue about a vague or incomplete agreement that you drafted yourself.
Hopefully, you have never been involved in a divorce before. As a result, you have probably never seen a final judgment. I have over 17 years of experience negotiating and drafting these types of agreements.
The Process for an Orlando Uncontested Divorce
I ask that potential clients submit my Client Questionnaire. At our initial consultation, we discuss your responses so that I have a complete understanding about the agreement that you have reached with your spouse. After than consultation, it only takes 1-2 days to prepare all the document that you and your spouse need for the uncontested divorce. I will send you a link to a secure Portal on my website that allows you to view each of the required documents.
After those documents are returned – signed and notarized – your case can be filed with the Clerk of Court.
In most cases, a final hearing can be held about 4 to 6 weeks from the date the papers were filed with the Clerk. Florida law requires that you wait 20 days from the date of filing until the date of your final hearing. The remainder of any delay is due to scheduling conflicts with the judge’s calendar.
If you have children, you are required to take a parenting class. This can usually be completed between the time you case is filed and the date of your final hearing.
Your attendance at the final hearing is required so that I can ask you a few simple questions in front of the judge. These questions have to do with your residency, the existence of children, and the reasons your marriage is irretrievably broken.
The Cost of an Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorce cases are almost always handled on a flat fee basis since the work involved in these cases is relatively constant from case to case. You can expect the entire cost of your case to be between $1,000.00 and $1,500.00 (not including the Clerk’s filing fee).
Florida Residency Requirement for Uncontested Divorce
The last requirement for an uncontested divorce is that one of the spouses needs to have been a Florida resident for the six (6) month before the divorce case was filed with the Clerk. Additionally, that spouse must appear in Court to prove their Florida residency. Commonly, residency is proven by your valid Florida driver’s license of an affidavit signed by a friend or family member.