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
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.
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.