If you were trying to do this as an uncontested divorce and have not yet paid the filing fee, you'll have to get her served. This just means that your divorce becomes contested. You'll file a complaint which requires her to file a response within 20 days after she's been served. You will also be required to attend mediation. Set up a consultation today.
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I agree...set the matter for trial asap and get it moving.....
Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.
1. When you say "she will not sign" I am unclear. Do you mean she will not voluntarily acknowledge service of the complaint for divorce? Or do you mean that you have presented her with paperwork to resolve all matters which she refuses to sign? Or do you mean that you both agreed at mediation to an final agreement which she now refuses to sign?
2. I would give you different advice for each one of these possibilities.
3. If you mean that she will not voluntarily acknowledge service of the complaint, I would normally tell you to pay the sheriff or some local private investigator to serve her with the paperwork. But if she has left the state for a significant amount of time (generally more than six months), Florida may no longer have personal jurisdiction over her. In that case, you can still seek a divorce in Florida (assuming you are still a resident there per the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act). In that case, Florida will likely only be able to grant the divorce and divide property in Florida and with you, wherever you now are. But it will not be able to divide property with her in Georgia. Plus, if she has the kids with her in Georgia, per an interstate compact called the UCCJEA, Georgia very likely is the only state that can make a child custody order in your case. In other words, you may do better to just dismiss your Florida case and start over in Georgia. You can voluntarily opt into Georgia's jurisdiction if you like.
4. If you mean that you have presented her with paperwork to resolve the case and she refuses to sign, tough luck! You can present her your solution to resolve the case all day long, and she is under no obligation to accept it. Assuming she has already acknowledged service or been served, just schedule the case for trial (or mediation) if you can. As for being away, you will need take leave to go to Florida.
5. if you mean that she already agreed to a settlement and now won't sign the final paperwork, there is a simple remedy. You can ask the court to enforce the agreement. But you will still need to travel to Florida.
6. If you end up coming to Georgia, you can call me. That's where I am. If you are going to finish this in Florida, let me know where. I can probably refer you to somebody good down there.
Good luck with it.
If your case is lagging pressure your lawyer in getting this case to trial or time to get another lawyer. You shouldn't have to pull teeth in order to get your lawyer to do work on your behalf - they get paid for a reason.
You can reach the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. at (305) 974-1580 or RChiz@ChizeverLaw.com. Richard S. Chizever, Esq. is a family law attorney licensed in the state of Florida. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Richard S. Chizever or the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
If she has given birth to a child during your separation make sure your attorney amends or supplements your petition before the court to include a request for disestablishment of paternity. If the child was born under the circumstances as you indicate them to be you are considered the legal father of that child.
Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you.
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