A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties disagree on certain terms of the divorce, such as a division of property, custody/visitation of the minor child(ren), alimony, child support, etc. even after the parties attend mediation. If a matter is contested, those issues will be presented to a Judge who will decide the distribution of assets/liabilities, payment of alimony, parental responsibility, child support, and custody/visitation of the minor children at trial. This is the most costly type of divorce because as more litigation is involved, more attorney's fees and costs are expended.
Uncontested Divorce in Florida
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties agree on all terms of their divorce and have entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement which solemnizes the parties' agreement with respect to their assets and liabilities, minor children, child support, alimony, etc. The Marital Settlement Agreement will be incorporated into a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage at a Final Judgment Hearing. This is a cost-effective type of divorce as litigation is usually at a minimum or even non-existent.
Simplified Divorce in Florida
Florida has a procedure for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. In order to qualify to use this procedure, the spouses must certify that: (1) there are no minor or dependent children of the spouses and the wife is not pregnant; (2) the spouses have made a satisfactory division of their property and have agreed as to payment of their joint obligations; (3) that one of the spouses has been a resident of Florida for 6 months immediately prior to filing for dissolution of marriage; and (4) that their marriage is irretrievably broken. The spouses must appear in court to testify as to these items. Each must also attach a financial affidavit to the Simplified Dissolution Petition. This is the most cost-effective type of divorce as the parties can complete the simplified divorce paperwork on their own or hire an attorney to prepare the documents at a lower rate due to the time required to finalize the divorce.
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