I live in Lee county Florida. My wife is from China. Now we are facing divorce (my first one, no experience at all). We don't have children and we agree on everything in dividing assets and debts etc, therefore the divorce would be an uncontested dissolution of marriage without children.
I've found online people say that this type of divorce takes at least 5 weeks in Lee County. Now she is talking about booking a flight ticket back to China and be gone for good. I don't know how long she needs to stay here in the process.
Pending that you both filled out ALL the correct paperwork for a simplified dissolution of marriage without children, she could theoretically leave and leave a forwarding address for the final order. However, if any of the paperwork is missing or not done correctly there may be a problem where the Court requires her to be present. She can hire counsel before she leaves for the limited purpose of finishing off the divorce. Other than that the best advice is to consult with an attorney who can tell you what, if any, additional documents you need or that she should just stay until it is final.
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Divorce can be accomplished without either party appearing before the Court. However, it is important that all of the paperwork is done correctly. Many attorneys will do an "uncontested" divorce for a flat fee. This is likely the best option to make sure everything is properly signed, notarized, and filed with the Court.
You will need her signature on a marital settlement agreement addressing the equitable division of all of your assets and debts and waiver of alimony. You will also need her signature on an answer and waiver, financial affidavit (unless waived in the MSA) and statement of Social Security Number.
As pointed out by my colleagues, may attorneys will prepare the necessary forms for an uncontested divorce for a reasonable flat fee. Use the Find a Lawyer tool on Avvo to locate several family lawyers in Lee County and call around for pricing.
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If you both sign all documents - divorce final about 30 days after filing and neither of you needs to appear in court. If she leaves before documents are signed or, if she chooses not you, served with documents, process will take about 3 months and you alone will appear in court. We handle more Lee County cases than any Florida law firm. Look at website - make a call.
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