There are many misunderstandings for what is required to qualify for a Florida uncontested Divorce. Obviously, both the Husband and the Wife must want a divorce. Besides both Husband and Wife wanting an uncontested divorce, the following factors must be met:
- There are irreconciable differences which makes the marriage irretrievably broken. This means that nothing, such as marriage counseling, will save the marriage.
- You or your spouse have been a Florida resident for at least six (6) months before filing for divorce.
- If there are minor or dependent children:
- Both parents must attend a parenting class prior to the final hearing.
- Both parents agree to a written Parenting Plan. Amongst other things, the Parenting Plan outlines the time-sharing that each parent has with the children, time of drop-off and pick-up, which parent’s address is used for school district, summer vacations, and holiday time-sharing.
- Completed child support guidelines worksheet and both parents agreement of the calculated child support, if any.
- If alimony is involved, both spouses must also agree on the amount and length of spousal support (alimony).
- Both parties agree on the division of assets and debts.
- If there is a marital home, both parties must agree on who will have exclusive use and possession of the home and when it will be sold. Upon the sale, the parties must also agree on how the equity will be divided.
- Both parties must complete a financial affidavit. This requirement cannot be waived.
Both spouses must agree on all issues regarding the divorce. Although a simple divorce requires both parties to be present, only one spouse must be physically present for a Florida uncontested divorce. Only on spouse must attend the required hearing. If the non-filing spouse does not want to attend the hearing, he or she can file a waiver of appearance.
DO I NEED AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE ATTORNEY?
There is no law requiring you to retain a divorce lawyer to get a divorce – whether it is uncontested or not. However, having an experienced divorce attorney and legal team is strongly advised. Besides the convenience, comfort of knowing your documents are legally enforceable, and expedited manner in which we can obtain your divorce, our divorce attorneys most often save you more money in your Marital Settlement Agreement than you pay in our fees. We identify issues with tax liabilities, credits and set-offs for mortgage payments, homestead exemption transfers, and other issues which could cost you or save you a lot of money over time. A divorce attorney can discuss all of your rights and options that are available to you during a Florida uncontested divorce. Before discussing a divorce settlement with your spouse, have answers to the following potential scenarios:
- A spouse’s entitlement to your retirement or 401(k).
- Are your or your spouse entitled to alimony?
- The house is not in both names. What are the rights of the non-titled spouse?
- Can either spouse move with the children after the divorce? What if there is a job transfer?
- Which assets are subject to taxation and how to plan for it.
- If all or most of the credit card debt is one spouse’s name, does the other spouse have to pay?
- One spouse just received an inheritance. Is the other spouse entitled to any of it?
- Unpaid bonus, sick time, or accrued vacation pay from employment. How is this split?
- I want to change back to my maiden name. How can I do that?
Another beneificial factor to have a divorce attorney handle your uncontested divorce is being assured that the proper language and terms are included in your Marital Settlement Agreement. Is the language you drafted for yourself enforceable? What happens if one spouse does not follow through with terms? Also, a divorce attorney can handle the Florida uncontested divorce process for you much faster. At North Tampa Law Group, our divorce staff will file the case for you and schedule the matter for the first available hearing date. We make sure all of the required documents are completed correctly so there are no surprises at your final hearing.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
At North Tampa Law Group, we have a plan for every budget. The uncontested divorce is a flat fee. We offer different plans based on your needs. Uncontested divorce documents start as low as $300.00. The rates for a full uncontested divorce start at $1,000.00. Full uncontested rates include discussing your options, drafting the documentation, notarizing our client’s forms (your spouse must obtain own notary), filing the forms with the Clerk of Court, scheduling your final hearing and a divorce attorney attending the final hearing. The above starting rates do not include the clerk’s filing fee of $408.00. However, if you feel you qualify for indigent status, we can attempt to have your filing fee waived or reduced.
WHAT IF MY SPOUSE AND I DO NOT AGREE?
If there is not a full agreement on all issues, then you are not ready for an uncontested divorce. If there is any dispute, you and your spouse can pursue other legal remedies. Before filing for a contested divorce, consider pursuing mediation or collaborative law divorce. At North Tampa Law Group, our goal is to protect your interests while doing everything possible to preserve your marital estate. If an amicable resolution in Florida uncontested divorce is not possible, then our divorce litigators are ready to assist.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce, speak with an attorney. Learn your rights before signing any divorce documents. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (813) 518-7411 or e-mail us.