File For Divorce In Florida Without An Attorney
File For Divorce In Florida Without An Attorney

File For Divorce In Florida Without An Attorney

File For Divorce In Florida Without An Attorney – My name is Sean Smallwood and I am an Orlando divorce attorney who has been practicing family and matrimonial law for over ten years.

I understand that the information in this guide will help you in the Florida divorce filing process, whether you are a new attorney or someone who intends to represent themselves in a divorce matter.

File For Divorce In Florida Without An Attorney

This guide is for informational purposes only and you should not act on the information in this guide without consulting an experienced Orlando, FL divorce attorney about your particular facts and circumstances.

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Believe it or not, there are different types of divorce and it is important to understand which type of divorce applies to you.

The main types of divorces I encounter in the practice of family law are contested and uncontested divorces.

I will structure this guide to detail each of these types of divorce and then provide instructions on how to file.

My intake staff always have a story for me about people who call our office and say they have an indisputable case. Once my intake staff digs into the facts a little deeper, we learn that there are major custody conflicts, that one is expecting child support and the other is refusing to pay, and that a serious property dispute is brewing.

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There is absolutely nothing undisputed in a case where the parties disagree on such issues. The problem is that everyone wants their case to be uncontested, but only a few actually are.

Whenever the parties in a divorce case cannot agree on a single issue, the case will be classified as contested until they reach an agreement on that issue.

The most common areas contested in divorce cases are: custody of children, alimony, property division and child support.

It’s important to remember that when you have a contested case, your odds of having to go to court increase dramatically and if you do, you’ll need to prove you’re entitled to whatever you’re seeking.

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If you are seeking a specific child custody arrangement, then you will need to demonstrate that your proposed parenting plan is in the best interests of the minor child. If you are asking for alimony, you will need to prove that you have a need for alimony and that the other party is capable of paying it. If you’re seeking to divide retirement accounts or investment property portfolios, you’ll need to prove that these items are marital property and what the property’s value is.

What they all have in common is that they require an extra layer of disclosure to document everything properly. Your requests must be packaged for the judge in the way the judge needs to in order to exercise his authority to give you what you ask for.

This means that when you file for divorce, you will likely want to file a production request that includes the standard list of discovery documents that comes with the production request. You’ll also want to submit Florida’s standard questionnaires along with the crafting application.

Both of these forms are available on the Florida Supreme Court Family Law Forms website and will be very important to your case if you end up going to court.

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As your contested case completes the discovery process, you will be required to attend mediation. Mediation occurs when the parties have completed discovery, but before they are allowed to go to court. Mediation is simply a court-mandated settlement conference where the parties and their attorneys sit down with a Florida Supreme Court-certified mediator in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution of the case.

If the parties cannot reach a settlement, the mediator submits a form to the court informing the court that the parties have reached an impasse. An impasse is a fancy term that means the parties cannot reach an agreement.

One mistake that many attorneys and self-represented litigators make in their contested divorces is that they rush into mediation sooner than they should.

You should not schedule mediation until all discovery in the divorce case has been completed.

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The reason for this is simple. If you still cannot adequately determine which property is marital property, what is the value of that property and what is the income of the parties, then you are not ready to settle the case.

Think about it, you’re at a settlement conference and the other side wants you to accept a $10,000 settlement as your half of their 401(k). The only problem is that they refuse to give you a statement showing how much is in their 401(k). Are they lying? Are they trying to scam you? You don’t know because you never got the 401(k) statements because you were in too much of a rush to schedule mediation, and now that you’re in mediation you can’t settle the case because you didn’t disclose enough.

If the case is resolved through mediation, then a final judgment will have to be prepared and signed by the court, which will end the case. If the case is not resolved through mediation, then one of the parties will have to file a notice for trial, the case will be placed on the court’s pretrial docket, and a trial date will be scheduled.

An uncontested divorce, in contrast to the contested divorce described above, is a situation in which both parties come to the table in full agreement on all issues.

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A textbook uncontested case occurs when the parties enter into a complete divorce agreement that is filed at the outset along with the divorce petition.

Once some supporting documents are submitted to the court for final judgment as scheduled, the case is over.

Too many people let their emotions get in the way of an uncontested solution, which can create unnecessary conflict.

Another problem with an uncontested divorce is that, because everyone wants their case to be uncontested, they will go too far in what they agreed to and end up regretting the contract they signed. If they had gone a little further down the traditional divorce route, they probably could have negotiated better settlements.

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It is important to remember that before signing any divorce agreement, you must consult with a qualified Orlando, Florida divorce attorney who can quickly tell you whether or not you are entering into an unfair settlement.

Now that we have discussed the two main types of divorce, it will be important to understand what comes next.

Pursuant to the divorce statute, the paperwork required to file for divorce will include a petition for divorce, notice of social security number, official cover sheet, notice of confidential information, financial affidavit, UCCJEA affidavit in child cases, proposed the subpoena to be issued, and any specific discovery requests you plan to make, such as a request for production or interrogatories as noted above.

Once you’ve filled out all of these documents, you’ll need to pay a hefty filing fee to the Orange County Clerk of Court or your local court clerk who will then formally file the lawsuit and issue a summons that must be served on the other party.

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Once the other party is served, they will have 20 calendar days to file an answer admitting or denying the allegations in the case. Very often, in the case of divorce, the answer is accompanied by a counterclaim for divorce.

After the petition phase is over, the parties enter the discovery phase. Once the defendant is served with the petition for divorce, a 45-day period begins and within that time both parties must submit sworn financial statements and certificates of compliance with mandatory disclosures.

Mandatory discovery is the minimum required disclosure that both parties must submit in a divorce case involving property and/or children.

While most divorce cases are resolved through mediation, those that cannot be resolved through mediation will be placed on the court’s pretrial docket to receive a trial date.

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A Florida divorce trial is not exactly what you see on TV. It can be quite nerve-wracking and stressful if you don’t know what to expect or what to do.

Judges are mandated not to waive any rules of evidence or court procedure just because someone doesn’t understand the rules and this has caused many self-represented litigants to walk out of court in tears not understanding why the judge ruled against them when it should have been a no-brainer .

Regardless of how well or poorly your trial goes, at the end of the trial the judge will issue an order that will essentially close your case.

Unfortunately, for some people this is not the end. If their spouse receives a judgment they are not happy with, they can use the appeals process to bring the case forward

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