Cheaper & Quicker than Litigation
You can have an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse agree on ALL issues. You should consider hiring an uncontested divorce lawyer in Jacksonville to help you obtain a dissolution of your marriage if your and your spouse are in agreement on ALL issues.
For a divorce to be considered uncontested, you and your spouse must agree on all issues. If you and your spouse agree on all the answers in my Client Questionnaire, then you very likely qualify for an uncontested divorce. You should consider talking to a Jacksonville divorce mediator if you do not agree on all issues (see Mediation link in Practice Areas menu). The most common issues include:
- child support & time sharing / visitation (if you have children)
- asset & debt division
- alimony (if any)
What Questions need Answers to get an Uncontested Divorce?
Many potential clients ask, “What do I get for my money?” or “Why should I hire a lawyer if we already have an agreement?” Both are good questions. Simply, by hiring an uncontested divorce lawyer in Jacksonville, you can be confident that your Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage has been prepared correctly. Also, your case will be over much quicker than if you try to handle the case yourself.
In most cases, the divorce papers take 1-2 days to prepare after the initial consultation. When you have signed, notarized and returned the papers, they will be filed with the Clerk of Court. The Florida Statutes require that your final hearing cannot be held until 20 days after the filing date of your case. Ordinarily, you can expect to have your hearing between 4 & 6 weeks (depending on the county and the court’s schedule) after the case has been filed. If you and your spouse have children, you both will have to take a divorce class before the final hearing. The statutory waiting period is the perfect time to take this class.
While the speed with which your case can be finalized is important, the value of a properly drafted final judgment should not be ignored. With over 17 years of family law experience, I will properly prepare your final judgment. It goes without saying that almost all clients have never even seen such an order. With a properly drafted final judgment both spouses can avoid the inconvenience of going back to court because of incomplete or vague language.
Retaining a lawyer in these cases is almost always handled on a flat rate basis since the time expended is relatively fixed. Normally, the entire cost of the case is between $1,000.00 to $1,500.00 (plus the filing fee for the Clerk of Court). The cost of a contested divorce has no limit and usually starts around $5,000.00 for each spouse.
Florida Child Support Guidelines
It is important that you understand the Child Support Guidelines if there are children involved in your case. Your compliance with the Child Support Guidelines will be required by the Court. The guidelines contain a specific formula that is used for the child support calculation. As strange as it sounds, the child support guidelines prohibit you and your souse from simply agreeing on a child support amount. However, exceptions to this rule exist. An uncontested divorce lawyer in Jacksonville can explain these rules to you.
Residency in Florida
The residency requirement is another commonly overlooked law. The Florida Statutes require that at least one spouse reside in Florida for the 6 month period immediately before your case is filed with the Clerk of Court. As you might expect, there are a couple of exceptions to the residency requirement. The primary exception has to do with military service members that may be Florida residents even though they reside outside Florida due to their military service.
If you meet all the requirements for an uncontested divorce, please complete the Client Questionnaire. After you submit the form, you will be contacted by my office as soon as possible. Typically a meeting is scheduled for my office, but that is not necessary if you are out of town or can’t get off from work.
After the initial meeting or phone consultation, it takes 1-2 days to prepare all the documents needed for your uncontested divorce. I will create a Client Portal for your documents on this website. After you receive your login credentials, you can review your documents (in PDF form) online. If you need the documents changed in any way, just let me know.
After you approve each of the documents, you and your spouse will need to have them signed and notarized. The next step is to return all of the documents to my office. After I receive the documents, I will file your case with the Clerk of Court.
About 4-6 weeks after I file your case, you and I will attend a final hearing before a judge at the Courthouse. In limited circumstances, you may be able to appear at the final hearing by phone (with a notary present on your end). At the uncontested divorce final hearing, I will ask you a few simple questions (that we will go over in advance) and the judge will sign your divorce order.
What is the Process for getting an Uncontested Divorce?