How Long Does The Divorce Process In Florida Take?
There is no definite answer to this question. There is a minimum wait of 20 days from the initial filing to the finalization of a divorce. Typically, only uncontested divorces are completed in this time frame. The length of contested divorce cases vary case by case. However, Florida law imposes deadlines to help cases reach resolutions.
Time Frames And Deadlines For Divorce Cases In The State Of Florida
Once a spouse is served with a divorce action, he or she has 20 days to answer. If they fail to answer within 20 days, the filing party can seek a default and unilaterally proceed with the divorce. If the responding party answers, there is a mandatory discovery process due within 45 days of the date that the recipient spouse was served with the divorce action.
Often, additional financial disclosure documentation is also required to litigate a divorce case which is due 45 days from the date requested if included in the initial service of process or 30 days from the date requested if filed at least 15 days after the date of the service of process. The parties will then attend mediation. The time frame for mediation depends on the complexity of the case. If mediation is not successful then the divorce case is noticed for trial. The time frame for a trial date depends upon the judge's docket at the time that the case is noticed for trial.
Preparation For Contested Child Custody Cases
If you are in the process of a divorce and cannot come to an agreement with your spouse with regard to child custody, Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Rebekah Brown-Wiseman can help. You have several options in your child custody case, in that you can:
- Take the other parent's deposition: Obtain information and fix their testimony so they cannot change it later.
- Work with a guardian ad litem: A guardian ad litem is an individual who is appointed by the court to represent the interests of the child in a child custody case.
- Work with a parenting coordinator: A parenting coordinator is a neutral third party who works with parents on child custody matters.
- Work closely with witnesses: A judge needs concise, credible testimony to make findings a fact upon which to issue a judicial ruling.
- Obtain a psychological or psychiatric evaluation of the other parent of your child: A psychological or psychiatric evaluation may be administered to determine if one parent has a history of a mental illness such as depression, abuse or another condition that may affect his or her parenting abilities.
- Obtain a substance abuse evaluation of the other parent of your child: If one spouse has a history of alcohol or drug abuse, a substance abuse evaluation may be administered.
Preparation For Alimony Cases In Divorce Cases
If you are getting divorced from your spouse where alimony is disputed, preparation is essential for successful alimony litigation. Alimony lawyer Rebekah Brown-Wiseman works with vocational evaluation experts to determine a spouse's actual ability to earn an income whether or not the spouse is currently working. The Fort Lauderdale attorney works with clients to review financial documents to determine whether alimony is appropriate for a particular case.
Preparation For Property Division In Divorce Cases
The division of your assets and liabilities in your divorce can often become disputed. Property Division in the state of Florida is defined as "equitable" where the judge is required to divide assets according to fairness. Careful documentation, research and legal argument are often required to secure your legal rights.