Orlando Divorce Lawyer
When parties have an amicable relationship and they are able to come terms on divorce, custody issues, property division and other matters, then an uncontested divorce may be the right route to take. An uncontested divorce is generally less expensive and time consuming than a contested divorce.
The divorce is filed only after the settlement has been signed. The petition for dissolution is presented to the court at a short hearing that typically only one party must attend.
- Contested Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
- Bankruptcy and Divorce
- Complex Property Division
- Divorce Later In Life
- Property Division
- Spousal Support
It is possible in an uncontested or amicable divorce for only one spouse to retain legal representation, but this is not recommended. No matter how amicable the parties are, uncontested divorces often become more complex than either side expects. Dividing even limited marital assets and debts can present complicated legal issues. And both parties should always have legal representation if there are minor children involved.
Our Orlando divorce lawyers work with clients throughout central Florida and speak Spanish fluently, so our Spanish-speaking clients work directly with an attorney instead of communicating through an interpreter. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
We Help Clients With Uncontested And Contested Divorces
A contested divorce does not necessarily imply that litigation is imminent, but rather that the parties involved have not agreed to terms regarding the numerous issues that must be resolved, including:
- Asset division and complex asset division involving houses, pensions and more
- Spousal support/alimony for a financially dependent spouse
- Child custody and time sharing, formerly known as custody and visitation
- Interstate custody matters such as relocations
- Child support orders, modifications and enforcement
- Bankruptcy during divorce
These issues may be resolved in mediation, negotiations or require litigation.
At Anderson & Ferrin, Attorneys at Law, P.A., in Orlando, we make every effort to guide you through the divorce process as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. While the cost savings and absence of tension in an uncontested divorce may be attractive, it is most important to reach terms that you feel are as favorable as possible.
Whether you reach an uncontested divorce agreement or you require legal counsel to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in a contested divorce, our experienced Orlando divorce lawyers are intent on seeking solutions that are customized to your exact needs.
What to Expect in Your Orlando Divorce Case
Not surprisingly, divorce is a stressful time for most people. Whether the marriage was short or long-term, you are ending a significant period in your life and beginning a new one. Divorce is stressful enough with uncertainty about the future, concerns about your children’s well-being, or hurt feelings between you and your spouse. One thing that can make the process less stressful is knowing what to expect from the process. See below for an outline of the major phases of a Florida divorce case, and contact Anderson & Ferrin, Attorneys at Law, for skilled and compassionate help with divorce in Orlando.
Basic Steps to a Florida Divorce
Filing the Petition – Either spouse can file a petition for dissolution of marriage, so long as at least one of the spouses has been a resident of the state of Florida for the preceding six months. This petition is filed in the circuit court for the county where the spouses lived together most recently, or in the county where either one of the spouses currently resides. The spouse who files the petition must be able to show that a marriage exists and that the marriage has reached an irretrievable breakdown. If certain conditions for an uncontested divorce are present, the parties may follow the process for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Otherwise, the following procedures typically apply.
Service and Response – After being filed with the court, the petition is served on the other spouse, who has 20 days to respond. The response may agree with or dispute the terms of the petition, or the spouse may file a counterpetition and include other issues he or she wants the court to address.
Temporary Orders – The court may make temporary orders at this time which last until a final judgment of divorce is made. For instance, the court could order a form of temporary spousal support known as alimony pendente lite, or the judge could make orders regarding custody of the children or possession of the family home while the divorce is underway. Court orders also typically require both parties to maintain the status quo and not make any major purchases or dispose of property which could affect the property division.
Disclosures and Affidavits – Each spouse is required to make certain financial disclosures to the other spouse within 45 days of the petition being served. These disclosures include financial documents and an affidavit regarding assets and liabilities. A spouse who fails to make required disclosures could face dismissal of the case or otherwise be prejudiced regarding what he or she wants out of the divorce.
Mediation – Either party can request mediation, or the court can order it. Mediation can be a way to resolve the outstanding issues in a contested divorce more quickly and easily than heading to trial. The Orlando divorce attorneys at Anderson & Ferrin can advise and assist you in a voluntary or court-ordered divorce mediation.
Litigation – Litigation is a process involving depositions and the production of evidence, pre-trial motions in court, and eventually a hearing in court. At the hearing, each party presents their arguments to the judge through testimony and evidence. The judge listens to the arguments and weighs the evidence before making a final ruling on contested issues such as custody and support. The judge will grant a final decree at this time, legally dissolving the marriage. Each party is then free to remarry if they choose.
Modification and Enforcement – If circumstances change later on, the parties may return to court to seek modification of a court order regarding custody or support. Likewise, if one party is not complying with court orders such as paying child support or respecting the timesharing agreement, it may be necessary to go back to court for enforcement of court orders through contempt proceedings, wage garnishment or other means. Our Orlando divorce lawyers help seek or oppose modifications and enforcement in Orange County family court.
Help is Available with Divorce in Orlando
We hope having this knowledge of what to expect helps you plan and prepare for your divorce and eases some of the stress or anxiety you may have. Whether you are considering filing for divorce or need to respond to a petition, call Anderson & Ferrin in Orlando at 407-412-7041 for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to discuss your case and help you figure out your important next steps.
Call 407-412-7041 or use the contact form on this website to schedule a free consultation.