There are many issues that must be resolved in a divorce, including:
- Where will the children primarily reside?
- What happens to the family home?
- Who is responsible for the car payments?
- How will each spouse financially sustain themselves after the divorce?
With so many things to consider, it is easy for the two spouses to disagree. When two spouses cannot agree on the resolution of all divorce related issues, a contested divorce is a viable option.
A contested divorce is the most common way to dissolve the marriage. A contested divorce does not mean the spouses disagree on all divorce related issues. If the spouses disagree on one issue then a contested divorce is the proper route.
West Palm Beach Contested Divorce Lawyer
The experienced and compassionate attorneys of Quality Family Law understand divorce can be emotional and confusing. From the initial consultation the team of attorneys at Quality Family Law will listen to your unique circumstances and fully inform you of your legal options, including simple divorce, contested divorce, uncontested divorce, mediation, or collaborative divorce.
With partners on call 24/7, you will never go through any part of your legal process alone. Contact Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
Quality Family Law proudly represents individuals and families throughout Palm Beach County, Florida, including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Jupiter, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and surrounding communities.
Florida Contested Divorce Information Center
- Contested Divorce Procedure
- Alimony and Other Issues During Pendency of Divorce
- Contested Divorce Resources
Contested Divorce Procedure
Like any dissolution of marriage in Florida, the one spouse must satisfy certain residency requirements. At least one spouse must reside in Florida for at least 6 months. It is not required that both spouses reside in Florida. Divorce proceedings may be initiated against a spouse who resides out of state.
If the residency requirements are satisfied an action for contested divorce may be initiated by filing a petition for divorce with the court of proper jurisdiction. After the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed with the appropriate court and served on the spouse, each spouse must file “mandatory disclosure”.
Mandatory disclosure requires each spouse to disclose all financial information, including assets and debts, by exchanging financial affidavits. It is important for the information on this form to be accurate, because the financial affidavit will be used for the determination of child support and alimony.
Although not required, each spouse may request discovery. Discovery refers to the process of obtaining the information necessary for the spouses and the court to make decisions. In discovery spouses may request all types of information, including documentation from banks and other financial institutions and documentation from retirement.
Even specific information from the other spouse can be compelled in a deposition.
Often, the next step in a contested divorce is mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution technique, which is intended to help spouses resolve any issues. Mediation is conducted by a neutral third-party called a mediator, who uses special training to help spouses develop a parenting plan, agree to alimony, and agree to the division of marital property.
If all issues are not resolved in mediation, the spouses may proceed to trial, where the court makes decisions regarding any unresolved issues.
Support during the Pendency of the Divorce
It is common for one spouse to be financially dependent on the other spouse to cover necessary expenses, including expenses for housing, food, childcare, transportation, and more. Just because the spouses have decided to divorce, the financially dependent spouse does not immediately become financially self-sufficient.
To ensure the financially dependent spouse and any minor children are sustained while the divorce is pending, the court may issue an order for temporary relief. An order for temporary relief may grant one spouse alimony or spousal support and child support.
Contested Divorce Resources
Marriage and Divorce Statistics ǀ National Center for Health Statistics- The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the governmental agency responsible for providing statistical information that will guide U.S. policy, releases statistics on marriage and divorce in the U.S., including rate trends.
Florida Revised Statutes ǀ Dissolution of Marriage Statutes- Access the Florida Revised Statute that governs dissolution of marriage or divorce.
Palm Beach County Contested Divorce Attorneys
The experienced and seasoned family and divorce attorneys of Quality Family Law represent individuals and families in all family law matters, including dissolution of marriage, time-sharing, child support, alimony, paternity, guardianship, and domestic violence matters.
Contact Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
Both Partners are Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rated in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.
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