Divorce is the biggest business decision you will make in your life. It is also one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of life. To go through the divorce process via the best means possible you need both a great Jacksonville divorce lawyer and to be well educated on the divorce process. Below is a list of the top 5 things you need to know about the divorce process in Florida.
1. When to talk to your spouse and when to talk to a your divorce lawyer
If you are contemplating a divorce, prior to telling your spouse of your decision, you should consult a divorce attorney to put yourself in the best financial light and position possible. If children are involved, this is even more critical as you need to be provided legal guidance on how to position yourself appropriately for the best outcome for you and your children throughout and after the divorce proceedings.
2. How to start the divorce proceedings in Jacksonville
Once you have met with a lawyer and have informed your spouse that you would like a divorce, you need to meet with a lawyer who will then draft your Petition for Dissolution. This Petition for Dissolution will be served to your spouse. Once your spouse has received this Petition for Dissolution they have 20 days to respond. If they do not respond within these 20 days you can ask for and receive a default judgment. If your spouse does respond to the Petition for Dissolution in 20 days or less, then your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer will meet with the judge to set a date for trial. The date for trial is typically two to three months after this meeting. A trial is only necessary if mediation is not possible or if a settlement is not reached in mediation.
3. Mediation can make everyone happier
Mediation is the recommended approach as this is a wonderful tool that allows for everyone to come to an agreement on how to settle the issues in the case. Mediation can last anywhere from a ½ day to a full day and involves you, your lawyer, your spouse and your spouse’s lawyer meeting in an agreed upon location. You and your lawyer will likely be located in a separate room than your spouse and his or her lawyer. The lawyers will talk amongst each other and with their individual clients until an agreement is reached.
4. What to do if meditation is not possible
If mediation is not possible, or if an agreement is not reached during mediation, then the trial date will be held and a judge will determine how your assets and family responsibilities will be divided.
5.The length of time it can take to finalize a divorce
The divorce process can take between six months and a year depending on the individual circumstances of the case, sometimes longer.
Want to talk with the divorce lawyer Jacksonville FL knows and trusts? Contact The Lonker Law Group today.