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WHAT IS AN UNCONSTESTED DIVORCE?
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse work together to decide everything. If both of you agree, then you can sign a marital settlement agreement that will settle the divorce on your terms instead of going to court. You will have to agree on everything involved in the case like child custody and visitation (timesharing), child support, alimony (if applicable) and the division of property and debts. If there are children involved, you need to decide the timesharing schedule in Orlando and the amount of child support and who will pay for health insurance. With property and debts at issue, you need to decide how they are divided up and who is responsible for payment of the debts going forward.
How an Uncontested Divorce Works in Orlando
You can have an oral agreement with your spouse on how to resolve your post-marriage issues. But it is better if you have it in writing so that there are no disagreements later. A divorce settlement agreement (sometimes referred to as a “property settlement agreement” or a “marital settlement agreement”). This agreement is a written contract between you and your spouse and is binding on both of you and enforceable by the court. You can enter into a settlement agreement before or after you file for divorce.
The reason why an uncontested divorce is preferable for most people is because it can be completed with significantly less stress, time and money involved. Because there is minimal court involvement in an uncontested matter, the process usually takes much less time. In particular, for couples who do not have any children or major assets together, they might find that the process moves faster if their divorce is uncontested instead of contested.
Family Law Financial Affidavit
Even in an uncontested case, both spouses have to file a “Family Law Financial Affidavit” (short form or long form, depending on your income), to that all income, assets and liabilities are disclosed to the other side. Further financial documents can be produced if necessary, or the spouses can agree to waive any financial discovery and disclosure other than financial affidavits.
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The Benefit of a Written Settlement Agreement
Uncontested divorce gives you and your spouse maximum control over the outcome because the Court will allow you to be somewhat creative as long as the children are taken care of. The parents can agree to an unusual timesharing schedule that works for their family or work out creative cost sharing arrangements or other items that give the family flexibility. Once the marital settlement agreement is negotiated and signed and other required documents are filed with the court, your attorney will attend a short final hearing with you to get the final judgment of dissolution of marriage.
Attending the Final Hearing
On the date of your hearing, try to get to court a little early. If your final hearing is a virtual hearing, make sure you review the instructions and download any apps ahead of time, then log in at least five minutes before the hearing starts. Hearings for uncontested divorces are usually short. The judge will make sure you’ve met the residency requirement, which you can prove with a valid Florida driver’s license, a Florida voter’s registration card, a valid Florida identification card, or the testimony or affidavit of someone who can verify your residency. The judge will also need to determine that you’ve met all the legal requirements, which your attorney will handle through the questions asked.
Procedure in Court
- File Petition With the Court
- Discuss Terms of Proposed Settlement Agreement with Your Spouse
- Complete Financial Affidavit & Other Required Documents
- Negotiate, Sign & File Marital Settlement Agreement
- Attend Final Hearing
Questions About an Uncontested Divorce in Orlando?
Getting an uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse have the most control over how it turns out. You can freely negotiate all terms of the agreement and the Court will allow you to come up with a creative solution that fits your family best. Contact the family lawyers at the Spence Law firm with any questions.
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