Are you considering a Divorce or Legal Separation? The attorneys at Mosaic Law Firm fully understand the emotions involved in such a decision. It is important that you retain an attorney that can competently represent your rights in a courtroom but can tend to your emotional needs as well. Going through a Divorce or Legal Separation can be a life-changing experience. Let the attorneys at our firm take some of the weight off your shoulders by communicating your desires and rights to the opposing party(s) and judge. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. A consultation is merely the first step in a final resolution.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
Q: What is the first step in filing a Divorce?
A: The first step is to file a Petition for Dissolution with the circuit court. Jurisdictional guidelines require that the petition is filed in the county that you resided for 6 months prior to filing the petition. Once the petition is filed, it must be served upon the respondent, your husband or wife, unless this party waives their right to service of process.
Q: What needs to be filed along with the Petition for Divorce?
A: In addition to filing the Petition for Divorce, you are also required to file the following supplemental pleadings in the State of Florida:
- Financial Affidavit
- Notice of Related Cases
- Notice of Social Security Number
- Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), if minor children are involved
Q: Will every Divorce case proceed to trial?
A: No. In Florida, all Divorce cases must go to mediation. Mediation is a process during which all parties and their attorneys attempt to resolve the issues comprised in the divorce with the assistance of a third-party mediator. Your case will only proceed to trial if, and only if, it cannot be resolved at mediation.
Q: I was served with a Petition for Dissolution. What do I do?
A: You have 20 days from the date of being served to file an Answer or Counterpetition for Dissolution in Florida. An Answer will simply admit or deny the allegations in the Petition for Dissolution. If you decide to file a Counterpetition, the Counterpetition also admits or denies the allegations but also sets forth your claims for affirmative relief. You are also required to file a Financial Affidavit and Certification of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure within 45 days of being served with the Petition for Dissolution. Missing these deadlines could result in a default judgment which can severely impact your case.
Q: What is a Counterpetition and do I need to file one?
A: A Counterpetition is a response to a Petition for Dissolution. It will admit or deny the allegations in the Petition for Dissolution but will also set forth your claims for affirmative relief. For example, if you are requesting alimony and/or attorney’s fees from your spouse, you will need to file a Counterpetition in order to get those issues before the Court.
Q: My spouse and I are living apart during the divorce process. Do I have to pay child support even those there is no Court order requiring me to do so?
A: Yes. Once the children are sharing time between two homes, an obligation for child support arises in Florida. It is a complete misnomer that a parent is not required to pay child support until a Court order has been issued. This is wholly incorrect and can negatively impact your case in many ways.
Q: My spouse is not paying child support. Do I have to let my spouse see our children?
A: Florida law explicitly prohibits the withholding of timesharing based upon non-payment of child support.
Statutory requirements, court rules, and administrative orders must be strictly followed or you may lose certain rights forever. Contact us now to inquire further and learn how our firm can help you with your family law issues.