What to expect when getting a divorce

What can I expect when going through a divorce?

What to expect when getting a divorce, steps to divorce

1. Evaluate your relationship.

It is important to assess the nature of your relationship with your spouse before deciding what route to take. Not every divorce is highly contested. If you and your spouse are on speaking terms, you may want to consider the possibility of proceeding in an uncontested or cooperative manner. In an uncontested divorce the parties have worked out an agreement together and hire us to prepare the marital settlement agreement and parenting plan. If you are able to work out most but not all of the terms of an agreement, then you may want to proceed with a cooperative divorce, whereby we would help advise you as to various settlement scenarios and help move toward a final agreement.

If there is a history of domestic violence or manipulation, an uncontested or cooperative divorce may not be the best option as it is likely the abuser will attempt to employ abusive tactics to get the result he/she ultimately wants.

2. Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

If you opt to proceed with a contested divorce, you will discuss and determine with your attorney all the requests you want to include in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Generally, there are five major issues in a divorce: division of property and debts, also referred to as equitable distribution, parenting, alimony, child support, and attorney’s fees and costs. The Petition is then served on your spouse, who will have 20 days after date of service to file an Answer to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

3. Parenting Course

Parties to a divorce involving children are required to attend a parenting class. This class is available to parents as an online course. You must be sure to file the Certificate of Completion.

4. Mandatory Disclosure and Discovery

Both parties are expected to file Certificates of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Affidavit within 45 days following the date the Petition was served. The Financial Affidavit reports your monthly income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Your Financial Affidavit is a very important document and is used to determine alimony, child support and property division. Visit http://www.howtogetdivorcedinflorida.com/ for an instructional video on how to create your Financial Affidavit. We make sure to work closely with our clients in preparing their Financial Affidavit.

Discovery is an opportunity for each side to request and gather relevant information. It may be necessary to schedule depositions. Depositions present an opportunity for a party to ask questions of a potential witness and have the answers documented by a court reporter.

5. Case Management

Parties will meet with a case manager at the Courthouse to check on the status of the case and ensure that the parties are meeting deadlines so the case does not become stagnant. If either party has a Motion for Temporary Relief pending, case management is an opportunity to try to resolve those issues.

6. Mediation

All cases are required to attend mediation prior to scheduling the case for trial. Mediation is a confidential process. The mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify at a future court hearing. It is intended to be an opportunity where parties can shape their own agreement that is most conducive to their lives. If an agreement is not reached at mediation, some parties agree to return to continue the mediation at a later date.

7. Trial

If parties are unable to reach a mutual agreement outside of Court, the pending issues will be decided by the Judge following a trial, where each side will have an opportunity to present testimony and evidence in support of their positions. You will want to discuss with your attorney whether it is necessary to have experts, such as, accountants or parenting evaluators, testify at trial. Depending on the issues in the case, trials may last a couple of hours or possibly even a few days.

Have questions about infidelity and alimony? Email Keith@AttorneyGrossman.com, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark

     Posted on January 22, 2015 at 9:08 am | No comment

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