Fort Lauderdale Family Lawyer
Weddings and divorces are both very emotional events – but at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. You’ve probably heard horror stories of very nasty divorces where one spouse “loses everything” or when both parties have fought against each other for so long that “everything we had went to the attorneys!” While sometimes this is the reality, for many it does not have to be.
If you and your spouse have no assets to divide and no children between you, in Florida you can file for what is called a Simplified Divorce. There are other requirements – such as one or both parties having lived in the state for at least the last six months and both spouses appearing for the final hearing – but there are benefits, too. You can waive the filing of financial affidavits and you can also schedule your final hearing as soon as there is an availability with the judge, instead of having to wait a minimum of twenty days. Contact our Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Firm today for more information on filing a Simplified Divorce.
When the parties have children, or the wife is pregnant (even if not by her spouse), or a party is requesting alimony, then the couple cannot file for a Simplified Divorce. However, if you both agree as to how your assets should be split, your time-sharing arrangement, and any financial obligations (such as child support or alimony), then you can do an uncontested divorce. As a Fort Lauderdale Divorce attorney, Pamela Fero is able to assist you with making sure that your case is filed correctly and that it complies with Florida law.
Then again, what if you both want to get divorced, but you cannot quite come to an agreement? Or, maybe you agree on some things, but are not sure what to do about others. In this type of situation, you may benefit from a process called a Collaborative Divorce.
In a collaborative divorce, each party is represented by their own attorney who will provide them with legal advice. The process starts with a joint meeting so that a collaborative divorce participation agreement can be drawn up by the attorneys and then signed by the parties. Both sides will contribute to this document which will set out ground rules for the process and identify which issues and decisions need to be addressed. Any documents or evidence that either party will need from the other will be listed so that it can be provided. The most important thing to note is that both parties must agree that they will not litigate the issues addressed in the participation agreement through the courts. Should either side choose to do so, then both attorneys will have to withdraw from the case and both parties will have to hire new counsel.
One of the most compelling reasons to participate in a collaborative divorce is that it generally costs much less than the traditional, adversarial divorce. For instance, since both parties are working together to provide necessary information to each other, discovery time is shortened. Also, if an expert is needed – such as a child psychologist or forensic accountant – one can be hired instead of two, and you can split the cost. Another advantage to this process is that the parties tend to feel more satisfied with the results because they have been more in control than they would have been during a traditional divorce. Instead of having attorneys argue issues to judges who then make important decisions affecting your life, you have more influence during the process, while still having legal counsel to make certain you are being treated fairly.
The Florida Supreme Court has provided standard forms for couple who wish to represent themselves in their divorce (formally called a “Dissolution of Marriage”). These forms are available online from the Florida Supreme Court website or you can usually purchase them from your County Clerk of Court. But, either way, you are on your own as far as what forms you will need, how to fill them out, and how to file them. While the Clerk may be able to help you with the filing part, they cannot provide legal advice because they are not attorneys. Our Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Firm is happy to help you determine what you need to do next; feel free to contact us today for a case evaluation.Do you really need or want the extra stress of trying to figure this all out by yourself?
At Pamela Fero Law, PLLC, we are experienced with representing parties in their Dissolution of Marriage cases. Whether you are planning on filing for an uncontested divorce or are looking to go through the collaborative process, our Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Firm will work with you to ensure that you have agreed to an equitable division in your distribution of marital assets and that other issues – such as time-sharing and child support – fall within legal guidelines.Attorney Fero Is Here For You
To discuss your case with Attorney Fero, please contact us today to schedule a free initial phone consultation.