A divorce can be complicated, especially if child custody, alimony or property divisions come into play. This is why it helps to have a divorce attorney in Naples working on your behalf. Below is an overview of what you can expect when you seek a divorce.

File a Petition

In Florida, a divorce is called dissolution of marriage. The process starts when you file a petition in the Circuit Court where you reside. As the petitioner, your document must explain what you want a judge to do. Additionally, the paperwork must describe your marriage as “irretrievably broken.”

Expect a Response

Your spouse is served the petition. As a respondent, your spouse has 20 days to file an answer to your petition and/or file a counter-petition. You can submit paperwork to respond to your spouse’s counter-petition. A divorce attorney in Naples can assist you with filing these legal documents.

File More Papers

Divorce proceedings often involve filing paperwork related to children and finances. These documents include:

  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit
  • Child support guidelines worksheet
  • Financial affidavit

Undergo Mediation

Many Florida courts mandate that divorcing couples participate in mediation. This allows you to resolve issues with the help of a mediator. However, if you’re a victim of domestic abuse you may be exempt.

Prepare a Parenting Plan

A plan for parenting is either drawn up by the court or the divorcing parties. A divorce attorney in Naples can help with this step. Additionally, Florida requires parenting classes prior to a divorce being finalized. 

Attend Trial

A trial is known as a final hearing. At this stage, a judge reviews the case and addresses issues that weren’t resolved during mediation. After considering the evidence, Florida law and testimony, a judge grants dissolution of the marriage.

A divorce attorney in Naples can guide you through the complex process of obtaining a divorce. Please contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 or fill out the online contact form.