Contested Divorce Procedures
In Florida, contested divorces require routine petitions filed with the
circuit court. The court clerk releases a summons directing either the
sheriff or a private process server to personally deliver the filed petition
to your spouse, who has 20 days to respond to your petition by filing
their own pleadings.
It's also mandatory for both parties to complete a financial affidavit
in order to provide "mandatory disclosure," which includes your
income, budget, assets, and debts. If you and your spouse have children,
a mandatory child support worksheet must be constructed as well. A copy
of both the affidavit and worksheet must be filed with the court. You
must also exchange copies with your spouse within 45 days after your spouse
receives your petition for dissolution.
If there are issues which need immediate attention prior to resolution,
such as alimony or child support, one or both spouses might file motions
for "requests for temporary relief" with a judge. These orders
expire once the divorce is finalized.
If not all of the facts are presented to reach a settlement, both spouses
must exchange "discovery." This protocol includes subpoenas
issued to financial organizations requesting documentation, documentation
requests from the other spouse, and even interrogatories and dispositions.
Before a judge rules on a couple's unresolved issues, mediation involving
a third party professional is required to attempt a negotiation regarding
settlement. Once you attend meditation, a court will set a date for your trial.
Seek Representation from Our Trusted & Experienced Legal Team
If you are currently involved in a contested divorce, it's important
to retain legal counsel from an experienced divorce attorney. At The Virga
Law Firm, P.A., we provide our clients with personalized and compassionate
representation in order to accomplish an equitable resolution. With more
than 40 years of combined experience in
family law, our firm understands the complexities associated with divorce proceedings.
Let us guide you through every step of the process so you can begin a
new chapter in your life.
to get the dedicated assistance of our Fort Walton Beach divorce attorneys.
Your first meeting with us is free.