5 Tips For A Florida Uncontested Divorce
When going through an uncontested divorce in Florida you can use the Florida divorce forms, prepare the documents without assistance, or have a divorce lawyer or family law attorney prepare the documents. Whichever method you choose, we have five tips to make your uncontested Florida divorce easy and successful.
1. Determine whether in fact your marriage is broken and cannot be repaired.
Nothing is worse than you trying to get a divorce in an amicable fashion while your spouse thinks it can be worked out. When this happens an uncontested divorce will likely take longer or may never happen. This means it will become contested while your spouse puts off discussing the issues you need to resolve.
2. If you have children, discuss who they will live with and who will have visitation.
A carefully drafted visitation schedule should take into account not only the rights of each parent to spend time with the children, but also the children’s schedule, particularly when they are older. In Florida child custody laws allow both parents to play important roles in their children’s lives and allow for joint decision making about a child’s future.
3. Calculate the child support.
Child support in Florida is based on the parent’s net (that is, after tax) income and the amount of time they spend with the children. Unless the children are spending more than forty percent with the parent who has visitation, the standard Florida child support guidelines apply. More than forty percent time sharing will result in adjustments to said amount. For more information on Florida Child Support please see Florida Child Support Information Page.
There are three important things to be aware of pertaining to child support payments:
First, if you’re the parent paying it and your are not seeing the children for any reason, you cannot stop paying child support.
Second, if you’re the party who should be receiving it, you do not stop or interfere with visitation if the other parent is not paying it. Only the court can determine to stop visitation. Nothing makes family judges more upset than parties playing games with visitation and child support.
Last, it doesn’t matter what your expenses are as far as the court is concerned. By law child support is the number one obligation you will have; it comes before paying your other creditors, like your credit card and car payments, etc.
4. Take inventory the property you own and debts you owe.
Make a list of both what you own, and what you owe. Sit down with your spouse to decide how these items will be divided. If you both have property or debt from before the marriage, you need to address those issues too.
5. Make and draft an agreement.
Whatever you and your spouse agree on, write it down. This will be your marital settlement agreement which the court will incorporate into your final judgment of dissolution of marriage. Once part of the final judgment that both agree to, it will become an order of the court directed at you, the parties to the divorce.
If you have any questions, get a consultation with an attorney. Doing your uncontested divorce doesn’t mean you have to do without legal advice on divorce, particularly the legal consequences of any decision you want to make regarding your divorce—once you agree to certain things, you may not be able to change them. Rather, uncontested means you and your spouse will not contest or disagree, not that you and your spouse will not know the legal consequences of your agreement; so seek legal advice for divorce.
If this article has been helpful please feel free to use it as is. Also please Contact Us and we will be glad to give you more information and help you through a difficult time.
Trip Bechert is a Family Law Attorney that has been helping families through their difficult times. He offers Divorce in Florida and Mediation services to couple in South Florida.