Contested Divorce in Florida
A contested divorce happens when you and your spouse have disagreements about finances, custody, child support payments or anything else. If at all possible, we encourage couples to work out their differences and file for an uncontested divorce instead. If this can’t be done, a contested divorce involves multiple stages of litigation and court appearances which can be very costly for both spouses.
WHY CHOOSE BENJAMIN LAW FOR A CONTESTED DIVORCE?
If you are forced to pursue a contested divorce, our solid background and experience with divorce and family law in Kissimmee and surrounding Florida towns and counties ensure that you will be hiring experienced counsel for your contested divorce case. We will always look out for opportunities to settle your case at each stop along the way, rather than just continually taking a retainer and forcing expensive litigation and other legal actions.
Contested divorces spring from any disagreements. A lawyer with a concentration in family law understands that emotions run high, but is an expert in keeping them out of the picture to get good results for their client since judges and courts are rarely interested in the “he said, she said” of the case. Despite the need to keep emotions out of things, we are very understanding throughout the entire process.
HOW MUCH DOES A CONTESTED DIVORCE COST?
The charge to file the petition is $410 plus $10 for each defendant served. These fees are payable directly to the court and are apart from attorney fees.
We will be able to give you a reasonable estimate of what your divorce will cost after our initial free consultation. If your divorce is contested, the costs will often run into the thousands of dollars as it will involve preparation for trial and a trial rather than just a simple filing.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE IN FLORIDA
There are two situations which qualify as grounds for divorce in Florida:
Irreconcilable differences between the couple
Mental incapacity on the part of one spouse
Nearly all of our divorces are filed for irreconcilable differences. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you get divorced for any reason or no reason at all. This does not mean that abuse, adultery, or abandonment can’t factor into the arguments of your case. In addition, your spouse has no choice but to undertake the divorce process once it is filed. They can delay signing the papers and stall for time, but those actions have time limits imposed on them.
WHAT IF THERE ARE ISSUES WITH ITEMS IN THE UNCONTESTED DIVORCE?
The easiest way to divorce your spouse is to ensure you have all of your issues hammered out in order to successfully complete an uncontested divorce. If there is a problem with any issue in the divorce terms, an uncontested divorce turns into a contested divorce and becomes more costly for both parties. It is customary for minor editing to occur of the documents between attorneys and spouses, but all issues should be resolved between you and your spouse before the documents are drawn up.
CONTESTED DIVORCE NOT GOOD FOR THOSE ON A TIMELINE
There is no such thing as a speedy contested divorce. There are a high number of cases before the court in every jurisdiction, and the process for a contested divorce can take anywhere from six months to two years and even more, depending on the complexity of the case. If speed is an overriding factor for you, you are better off coming to an agreement and filing for an uncontested divorce.
AUTOMATIC ORDERS GO INTO PLACE ONCE A DIVORCE IS FILED
There are specific restraints on access to finances, access to children and other items which automatically go into place once a divorce is filed. In many cases, these automatic orders may run counter to what you are asking for in your Florida contested divorce. We’ll make sure you understand what these orders are and how they can affect you before your divorce is filed.
WANT TO KNOW HOW A DIVORCE WILL AFFECT YOU?
If you are considering a divorce but want to know the financial and other impacts it could have before you file, contact us for an initial free consultation. We will tell you what you need to do prior to your divorce for the best outcome.