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Common Questions About Divorce
Call 800-822-5170 for Immediate Help with Your Divorce Questions
Breaking up a marriage is one of the most emotionally tumultuous and personally painful transitions a person can undertake. Even without the legal battle that may ensue, divorce tends to be traumatic, demanding, and complex. When you add the nitty, gritty details divorce proceedings and the confusing, tedious process of disentangling accounts, property, parental responsibilities and so on, it can be a nightmare—but it doesn’t have to be that way.
While our lawyers at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. can’t spare you the pain of splitting up from your spouse, we can answer your questions and provide the kind of compassionate, nuanced legal counsel that only experienced family lawyers can give.
You don’t have to go in alone. Call 800-822-5170 today for legal representation in your divorce.
Can I Serve the Divorce Papers Myself?
After you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce), your spouse must be officially notified. However, you are not legally permitted to serve the divorce papers yourself in the state of Florida. You may, of course, tell them you intend to file for divorce or that you have done so, but this does not count as official notification.
The most common means of serving divorce papers is having the sheriff or a county-certified private servicer deliver them to your spouse. The court in the county where you both live or where your spouse lives can also mail the divorce papers to your spouse’s residence. If you prefer not to use either of these options, you may also leave the divorce papers at your spouse’s residence with another person who lives there and is at least 15 years old.
In other cases, such as in cases of missing spouses or spouses who dodge servicers, the law also allows you to announce your divorce in an official, legitimate newspaper or other written publication that your spouse is likely to see. You must do so 4 times before you can enter a default judgement and proceed without them.
Call 800-822-5170 today for help if you are experiencing trouble serving divorce papers to your spouse.
What Happens After I File for Divorce?
If you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, your spouse must be notified. Once they have been officially “served,” they are typically required to submit a written response in 20 days or less. Your spouse can either submit an answer, contest the information in the divorce papers, or file a counter-petition of their own. If they do not respond within 20 days, you may be able to file a default judgement with the court and continue the process of divorce without your spouse’s input. If this occurs, and you go through the divorce process without your spouse, they are still legally obligated to fulfill the terms of their divorce.
Make sure your divorce goes smoothly by contacting an attorney right away.
Can I Divorce My Spouse if They’re Missing?
If your spouse is nowhere to be found, you can still get a divorce. However, you can’t proceed the way you would if they lived right down the street. You have to deliberately search for your spouse and make demonstrable effort to find them before going ahead with your divorce. This ought to include visiting most recent known residences, workplaces, and so on, as well as performing searches online and via social media and checking with their friends and relatives.
Should the search for your spouse prove unsuccessful, you may file a statement with the court swearing that you have done everything in your power to find them and have been unsuccessful in doing so. Once you have filed your sworn statement and 60 days have gone by, the court may allow you to notify your spouse in the newspaper or other publication.
Divorcing a missing spouse? Let us help. Call the divorce attorneys at The Virga Law Firm today.
Can I Get a Divorce Without Going to Court?
Just because you are getting a divorce doesn’t mean you have to engage in an explosive (or expensive) court battle. It may be more difficult to avoid court if you and your spouse have major disagreements about what the terms of your divorce will be, but, even then, it isn’t impossible. Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of out-of-court options that may create a positive outcome for you and your spouse.
Mediation and arbitration are two of the most common means of alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples. They take less time, require less money, and allow you and your spouse to resolve your disagreements as cordially and collaboratively as possible, which significantly reduces the likelihood that you will end up back in court after divorce. In short, alternative dispute resolution allows you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys to work toward realistic outcomes that both of you can be happy with and do so in an efficient, relatively quick manner.
Contact The Virga Law Firm today if you are getting divorced in Pensacola and are considering mediation.
Can I Get Divorce without a Lawyer?
You can, indeed, get divorced without hiring an experienced divorce attorney. However, the significant likelihood of costly error far outweighs the potential benefits. Using an online service or filling out the divorce papers without legal help is never advised, although it may be an option in cases of uncontested divorce between couples who have been married a very short amount of time, have no transmutated assets, and have no children or shared property. However, even in such cases, filling out divorce papers incorrectly can cost you in the long run.
Let us provide the guidance and legal help you need. Call 800-822-5170 today.
How Long Do Florida Divorces Usually Take?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce always depends on whether or not your divorce is contested and the nature of your disagreement on important matters such as property division, primary custody, spousal support, and so on. The more extensive and numerous your disagreements, the more likely your divorce is to take longer than you’d like. A trial may, unfortunately, be necessary for divorces that are highly contentious and cannot be satisfactorily resolved through mediation. In such cases, divorces can take 6 months to 1 year or more. (This is due in part to the fact that the court system tends to be jam-packed and inefficient.)
Uncontested divorces, on the other hand, are quite rare and relatively fast-moving. If your divorce is uncontested, meaning that you and your spouse have no disagreements whatsoever about the terms of your divorce, your split could be finalized within 2 months. Mediation and other out-of-court methods (or at least those that require the help of a divorce attorney) can cut your divorce time down significantly and reduce the overall cost of your split.
Call The Virga Law Firm, P.A. for help making your divorce as quick and simple as possible.
Gerard Virga Founding Attorney
David Lohr Executive Director/Attorney
Chad Self Panama City Beach Managing Attorney
William West Ritchie Panama City Managing Attorney
Jill Warren Pensacola Managing Attorney
Taylor Tippel Orlando Managing Attorney
Christopher Melendez Attorney
Brian Norback Attorney
John Stokes Attorney
Andrea Ansley Attorney
Matt Hutt Attorney
Tracie Phillips Attorney
April Hand Operations Manager and Florida Registered Paralegal
Danny Durnbaugh Chief Financial Officer
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