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Boca Raton Divorce Attorney FAQ

Boca Raton Divorce Attorney FAQ

Do You Need Both Parties to Agree to a Divorce?

No, both parties do not need to agree to a divorce. However, if one party is contesting the divorce or making it difficult to agree on settlement details the process is going to take a lot longer and potentially cost more.

The spouse who is not agreeing to the divorce has 20 days to respond to your petition. If they do not respond in the first 20 days, you can apply for a default judgment.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce If Both Parties Agree?

If a divorce is uncontested, meaning both parties can agree on all the terms relating to their children; custody, visitation, and child support, as well as agreeing on dividing their assets, and any alimony – a divorce can be resolved in a minimum of 20 days.

Florida Law requires both parties to wait at least 20 days to deal with any issues that may arise in this period. There is the rare instance where the divorce can be finalized sooner, but only if you can demonstrate that the 20 days is causing a significant injustice.

What Can You Do If Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?

If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, you can refer your petition to the court for a default judgment after the first 20 days. Your case will be reclassified as “uncontested” and a hearing will be scheduled.

This is your opportunity to tell a judge about your situation, why you think your spouse is not signing the divorce papers, and how you would like to divide your assets, custody of any children, and any other relevant information.

How Many Years Do You Have to Be Separated to Be Considered Divorced?

There is no legal requirement to be separated for a set period before you can be considered divorced. There are two grounds for divorce in Florida:

  1. That you can prove the marriage is irretrievably broken;
  2. That you can prove your spouse has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years;

Do I Have to Pay Alimony If the Divorce Is Not My Fault?

Whoever is at fault for the divorce is not the main determining factor when a judge is deciding who will be paying alimony, or how much they will have to pay their spouse.

The legal standard in Florida is to access the needs of each spouse, and the ability for the other party to pay them alimony.

What Is a No-Fault Divorce?

In Florida, you can file for a no-fault divorce. This means that you, or your spouse, can request a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage without having to prove there is any reason for the divorce.

The purpose of a no-fault divorce is to lessen the stress on both parties getting divorced as they will not have to bring up specific incidents and reasons as to why they want to get a divorce.

You can simply state, “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for wanting a divorce. A judge can, however, decide who is to blame when deciding on the details of the divorce settlement.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce?

The least expensive way to get a divorce is to file for a simplified divorce. You can only do so if you have no children, have agreed on how you will be dividing assets, and so on.

A simplified divorce will cost you $409 to file your petition, there are of course lawyer’s fees on top if you’ve used a lawyer. The more elements that are contested and the longer the proceedings take, the more you can expect to pay. Which is why both parties will often agree to draw a line and make a compromise if it looks like the lawyer fees will start exceeding their financial means.

Can I Get a Divorce If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?

Yes, you can still get a divorce even if you don’t know where your spouse is. The process is going to take a little longer, and there are some other legal requirements to satisfy. But if you want a divorce and have no idea where your spouse is it’s better to get the wheels turning than leaving it indefinitely.

You will have to prove to a judge that you have performed a “good faith search” which basically means you’ve tried your hardest to locate your spouse. This will typically include proving you’ve contacted family members, tried to trace their vehicle, and even posted a notice asking them to make contact online and in the local press.

What Happens If We Reconcile and Want to Cancel the Divorce?

Canceling a divorce is a straightforward procedure if it’s not been finalized, of course. The person who filed the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage needs to file a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal to the court to stop the proceedings.

Can I Change Lawyers in the Middle of My Divorce?

Yes, you have the right to change lawyers at any point in your divorce process.

What Is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

A Marital Settlement Agreement is a legal term for the contract that’s drawn up in uncontested divorce detailing all the rights and final settlements of the divorce for both parties.


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