Contested Divorce Lawyer in Fort Walton Beach
What is a Contested Divorce?
While some marriages may end on mutual terms, with both spouses agreeing on every issue needed to finalize the divorce, many more divorces are contested. A contested divorce doesn't mean both parties disagree on every issue; one concern / disagreement is all it takes.
Sensitive topics to resolve in divorce include:
Contested Divorce Procedures
In Florida, contested divorces require routine petitions filed with the circuit court. The court clerk releases a summons directing either the sheriff or a private process server to personally deliver the filed petition to your spouse, who has 20 days to respond to your petition by filing their own pleadings.
It's also mandatory for both parties to complete a financial affidavit in order to provide "mandatory disclosure," which includes your income, budget, assets, and debts. If you and your spouse have children, a mandatory child support worksheet must be constructed as well. A copy of both the affidavit and worksheet must be filed with the court. You must also exchange copies with your spouse within 45 days after your spouse receives your petition for dissolution.
If there are issues which need immediate attention prior to resolution, such as alimony or child support, one or both spouses might file motions for "requests for temporary relief" with a judge. These orders expire once the divorce is finalized.
If not all of the facts are presented to reach a settlement, both spouses must exchange "discovery." This protocol includes subpoenas issued to financial organizations requesting documentation, documentation requests from the other spouse, and even interrogatories and dispositions.
Before a judge rules on a couple's unresolved issues, mediation involving a third party professional is required to attempt a negotiation regarding settlement. Once you attend meditation, a court will set a date for your trial.
Seek Representation from Our Trusted & Experienced Legal Team
If you are currently involved in a contested divorce, it's important to retain legal counsel from an experienced divorce attorney. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we provide our clients with personalized and compassionate representation in order to accomplish an equitable resolution. With more than 80 years of combined experience in family law, our firm understands the complexities associated with divorce proceedings. Let us guide you through every step of the process so you can begin a new chapter in your life.
Contact us to get the dedicated assistance of our Fort Walton Beach divorce attorneys.