Uncontested Simple Divorce
If you thought all divorces are long-drawn affairs, causing a drain on your finances and emotional well-being, think again. If you live in Tampa or any other part of Florida, for that matter, you can an uncontested divorce easily.
An uncontested divorce is one wherein the couple reach an agreement over multiple issues on alimony, child support, time-sharing and property division. The agreement needs to have the signature of all the parties; there should also be a plan on parenting which resolves all issues related to children. Apart from the two documents, an uncontested divorce also should have evidence that both partners attended a course on parenting which has been approved by the court. This is, if there are, minor children to the couple. Even though it is an uncontested divorce, a petition needs to be filed in court. In all likelihood, a couple has gone through a mediation service wherein they realize that the financial and emotional drain connected to a contested divorce are not worth it.
However, apart from uncontested, there is a simplified dissolution or divorce. In a simplified divorce or dissolution, you must meet certain requirements. You should have met the residency requisites (one of the partners should have been a resident of Florida for six month before filing for divorce) and you should have both agreed to sign all documents. Also, in a simplified divorce, you should have no dependent or minor children together, irrespective of whether they are adopted or biological, and the wife should not be pregnant at the time of divorce. The couple should be in agreement over property division and that neither partner will get any alimony. Both the partners need to appear at the office of the court clerk to sign a petition for dissolution. Also, both partners should waive right to an appeal or a trial, and the need to provide any kind of financial information, apart from the Family Law Financial Affidavit. Both the partners would need to attend a hearing in court, albeit short. It is when these requirements are not met that a couple in agreement on all issues seek an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, you could have children (minor) and you are in agreement over how to child support etc.
A dissolution by default is obtained when the respondent to a petitioner fails to sign a form or do so in the timeframe given. If the respondent has not been proactive or positive in opposing the divorce, the petition can manage to get a dissolution by filing a motion. If a respondent can’t be tracked, the petitioner can serve by publication. Before that, an affidavit has to be filed over search to trace the partner. A notice for dissolution is published in a legal ad-specific newspaper, for four weeks. If there’s still no response in 28 days, then, the petitioner can get a dissolution by default.
When the partners don’t agree on a certain issue of the divorce or if a respondent disputes some aspect of the dissolution, the case becomes a contested one. Sometimes, in spite of a mediation attempt, the partners fail to reconcile on certain aspects and it is up to the judge to decide on time-sharing, visitation, etc.
See also: Florida Divorce Laws
If you have any questions about uncontested simple divorce in Tampa Florida or would like to speak to us about your options, please contact us at (813) 518-7411. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.