Divorce – Your Q’s and some A’s
When it comes to divorce, there are more questions than could ever be answered. In this article, however, we will answer some of the uncommonly common questions out there; the ones that are asked often, but never given a spotlight.
Q: My spouse and I have done a collaborative divorce. We went through mediation, and both signed an agreement that covered all our bases. Do I really still need to be at the final hearing?
A: Yes. According to Florida law, a petitioner is always required to be at their final hearing.
Q: I have been separated from my spouse for over 4 years. Do I still need to get a Marital Settlement Agreement, and if so, what should I do if they simply refuse to sign it?
A: Unfortunately, for a simple Dissolution of Marriage (there are no children, and both parties are collaborating) or any type of uncontested divorce, a signed Marital Settlement Agreement is required. If you either do not (or can not) obtain a signed form, then your only option is to file for a contested divorce.
Q: I would really like to file an uncontested divorce, but I can’t track down my spouse. What are my options?
A: Unfortunately, uncontested divorces require participation from both parties, so if you can’t track down your spouse, you will not be allowed to file for uncontested divorce. You will be able to file for a contested divorce, but you need to perform a good-faith search for your spouse first. That generally means you need to put out a notice in a local newspaper or two, as well as contacting any and all friends and family members who might have any information. Make sure that you document everything, as well, since the court will require proof of who you contacted, when they were contacted, how long you stayed in touch, and what you discussed.
Q: When will the divorce be finalizes?
A: Everything is still in process until the moment the judge signs the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.