If you are facing a divorce, or helping someone else make their way through one, there are undoubtedly a thousand little questions floating around up in the air. We will try to answer some of the more common ones here.
Q: My wife and I went through mediation, and we collaborated and signed an agreement that is beneficial to both of us in every way. Do I still need to be at the final hearing?
A: Yes. Florida law states that a petitioner is always required to be present for their final hearing.
Q: My wife and I have been separated for over 3 years. Am I still required to get a Marital Settlement Agreement, and if so, what should I do if she refuses to sign it?
A: A signed Marital Settlement Agreement is required for a simple dissolution of marriage (no children/pregnancies, both parties agree on property division) or any sort of uncontested divorce. If you do not (or are not able to) obtain a signed form, you will have to proceed with a contested divorce.
Q: I really want to file an uncontested divorce, but I am unable to track down my spouse. Do I have any options?
A: Unfortunately, if you are unable to track down your spouse, you will be unable to file an uncontested divorce (as both parties’ cooperation is required). You will still be able to file for a divorce, but you will have to put in a good-faith search for your spouse first. That usually requires you to put out a notice in a local newspaper, contact all friends and family members who might have any information as to their whereabouts, and make sure you document everything. You will need to prove to the court who you contacted, when you contacted them, how long you were in contact, and what was discussed.
Q: When will my divorce be final?
A: Once the judge signs the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.