Florida Divorce Guide
Going through a divorce is a difficult process, even if both parties want to end the marriage. Understanding the different terms related to divorce actions in Florida can help reduce the stress and anxiety you might feel as you begin discussing divorce options. While it is not difficult to understand the difference between an uncontested and contested divorce, there are distinct consequences of choosing to go one route over another route.
Proving Fault in a Florida Divorce Action
Many people assume that the main difference in a contested and uncontested divorce action is proving fault for the breakup of the marriage. However, Florida is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, you can obtain a divorce by simply stating that the marriage has ended because you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences.
You do not need to prove that your husband was cheating on you, abandoned you, is guilty of domestic abuse, or committed any other type of wrongdoing to cause the marriage to end. Therefore, uncontested vs. contested does not refer to whether your husband agrees or disagrees that the marriage should end. Even if your husband does not want a divorce, you can still move forward if you want one.
Uncontested vs. contested comes into play when we discuss the other terms of the divorce.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorces
In an uncontested divorce, both you and your husband agree to all the terms of the divorce. Terms of the divorce include matters related to the children, which includes support and timesharing (previously called custody and visitation) alimony and dividing up the assets and debts. The divorce is uncontested if you and your husband have worked out all of the details pertaining to these issues.
When parties have worked out the terms related to these issues, there are still requirements that must be completed including a financial affidavit, parenting plan, if you have children, as well as a complete marital settlement agreement that is signed and notarized by both Husband and Wife.
However, if you and your husband disagree on even one small matter related to the divorce, the action becomes a contested divorce. In many cases, issues related to money and children are the most common points of disagreement between divorcing spouses.
In a contested divorce, the case proceeds on a different route, which usually requires more court involvement. There may be hearings on temporary issues and mediation (with your attorneys attending with you) will be required. If mediation is not successful, you will proceed to a trial before a circuit court family law judge.
Most cases that are contested, end up resolving when you have attorneys able to narrow the issues and establish the evidentiary basis that allow you to prevail. Successful negotiation and mediation requires skills that give you the upper hand against your husband.
Seek Help from an Experienced Divorce Attorney with the Florida Women’s Law Group
There are many things to consider when you contemplate ending a marriage. One of the best things that you can do for yourself and your children is to seek advice from an experienced Florida divorce lawyer. The Florida Women’s Law Group works with women to protect their rights and best interests during a divorce action. We provide the strategy and skills to get women successfully divorced.
Florida Women’s Law Group
4312 Pablo Professional Court
Jacksonville, FL 32224
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