What Is the Florida Divorce Process?
Our Fort Walton Beach Divorce Lawyers Describe Your Next Steps – (800) 822-5170
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we know that divorce can be a stressful process, especially if you are not armed with the right information. Our Fort Walton Beach divorce attorneys are here to help remove some of the strain and guide you through this complex process. We can help you look ahead and arm yourself for each critical juncture in your case.
Many of our clients want to know just what they can expect their next steps to be. If you have similar questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. We’re here to advocate for your best interests.
Contact our Fort Walton Beach divorce attorneys by calling (800) 822-5170. Request a consultation to discuss your case with us today.
Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
The first step of your divorce is to file a petition for the dissolution of your marriage. This step can occur regardless of whether you and your spouse agree upon the divorce. Even if you both haven’t yet sorted out all the details of your divorce, you can start the process with the petition. Either spouse can file the petition, but it doesn’t necessarily matter which spouse does so. Florida is a “no-fault” state, which means that you merely have to demonstrate that your marriage is beyond reasonable repair.
Obtaining Temporary Court Orders
This step isn’t necessary in every divorce, but it is important in some divorces. We wanted to take a moment to discuss temporary court orders so you can have all the information you need to make the key decisions you are facing. If the wellbeing of one spouse or any dependent children is at risk, a temporary support order may be issued to address that need.
A judge may issue a temporary alimony order to make sure that both spouses have financial support until the divorce is finalized. These orders are also very important for dependent children and family members, since temporary child custody and support orders can ease the stress children may experience during their parents’ separation.
Service of Divorce Papers and Response
This is the step that we often see in movies and read about. When one party officially files a divorce petition, and notifies the other party of the divorce petition. This notification can happen several ways, including hiring a private legal server or a law enforcement to serve the papers, posting it in a newspaper, or mailing the divorce papers to the other spouse. If you and your spouse are working together on your divorce, you can simply serve the papers to the non-filing spouse’s attorney.
After the papers have been served, the receiving spouse will have 20 days to submit a written response or counter-petition. If they do not submit a response to your divorce petition, you may be able to enter a default judgment against your spouse. This will allow you to continue with the divorce, even if they are not present for the proceedings or otherwise represented.
Negotiating Your Terms
Some couples are able to come to an easy agreement about every aspect of their divorce, while many, many others need some time and help to come to an agreement. Adequate legal representation is very valuable at this stage, since your attorney can advocate on your behalf in negotiations. Without an experienced lawyer on your side, it’s possible that your spouse will be able to win the lion’s share of your marriage’s assets and property. To ensure an equitable distribution, you will need to work with your lawyer to determine what your goals for your divorce are.
If you and your spouse are unable to resolve your differences and come to an agreement in mediation, it is likely that you will need to take your case to divorce court. Our Fort Worth divorce attorneys can help you fight for your best interests during litigation.
Finalizing Your Divorce
Whether you are able to settle your divorce in mediation or need to go through litigation, the final step will be obtaining a finalized divorce decree from a judge. Your attorney can help you draft an order of dissolution, which contains all the terms you and your spouse have agreed upon, and submit it to the court. Once it has been finalized, the terms of your divorce decree will be legally binding and enforceable.
Do you require assistance with your divorce? At The Virga Law Firm, P.A, we are backed by more than 80 years of collective legal experience. Contact our Forth Walton Beach divorce attorneys for a consultation by calling (800) 822-5170.