Wrestling with the decision to divorce your spouse isn’t always easy. One survey cites that excessive conflict and non-constructive arguments as the third most common reason for getting a divorce. The decision can be complicated by the unknown effects it might have on your finances, living arrangements, and more. Getting a divorce in Florida involves predefined steps that must be followed. The time it takes is entirely dependent on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.
Uncontested Divorce Is the Fastest and Easiest Route
An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree on all items in the paperwork. When you file for divorce, you’ll fill out the information on which assets go to who, which one of you will be responsible for what debts, who will live in the marital home, etc.
As Palm Beach county family law attorneys, we encourage couples to do everything in their power to reach these agreements, including being far more flexible than each of you planned. We understand it may take you both longer to agree if you have children under the age of 18 at home, but we encourage you to still come to a complete agreement. When couples do this, it helps you keep legal fees as low as possible, which helps both of you in the end.
The time it takes to prepare, discuss, and agree on the paperwork is different for every couple. Not including this upfront negotiation, once papers are filed with the court, it can take 20 days to 90 days to get a hearing date. If things are still uncontested (you both agree on everything), the divorce is finalized.
Contested Divorces Take Much Longer
If you cannot agree on everything, the divorce is considered contested, even if it’s only over one thing. Depending on the issue you’re challenging, it can stretch out the finalization process from 90 days to 3.5 years. Your legal fees will go up significantly, and you’ll need more time off work to work with your attorney, gather information, complete appointments during business hours, and may have to answer deep and detailed questions under oath. These are all things that happen before a trial even takes place.
While we understand it isn’t always easy to work with a spouse during a divorce, we always encourage couples to agree on everything whenever possible. Our law firm specializes in helping couples through uncontested divorces to keep our legal fees low and to keep the negative impacts of divorce on their family at a minimum. Contact us today for an appointment!