Sunday, November 8, 2009

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law Lawyer describes what it is in Florida with So What Exactly is a “Florida Uncontested Divorce“?

At a minimum, those issues include:

1. property division, technically called “equitable distribution” of marital assets and debts
2. alimony, technically called spousal support and, if the spouses have children together,
3. parental responsibility (in the sense of decision-making authority) (the term custody is now obsolete in Florida)
4. timesharing (formerly known as “visitation”) and
5. child support.

Okay nothing different with Indiana but I probably would have started here:
But the point is: if one spouse is unwilling to sign a marital settlement agreement (or the desired marital settlement agreement) resolving these issues then, with the two possible but very unusual exceptions cited above, the divorce is not uncontested.

No matter how much the other spouse would like it to be. No matter how unreasonable the refusal to sign may be.

Period. End of story.
Uncontested means agreead upon and agreed upon takes two.

Last week I had a meeting where I tried to explain to a person that an agreement can be arranged at any point:  before filing the dissolution; after filing and before the provisional hearing; or between provisional hearing and Final Hearing.

I also tried to explain that lawyers or a mediator can help in reaching an agreement.  We can be useful - so long as the clients have a meeting of minds on an agreement.

Note to non-lawyers - do not be surprised if your lawyer suggests a settlement.  Question those lawyers who will not attempt to settle a case. 

1 comment:

Ken said...

I enjoy how succinct and direct this particular article is and, indeed, is a nice breather from my usual research on new york divorce lawyers (see to see what I mean; I know this kinda stuff is unavoidable in litigation, but I do like straightforward advice when it is offered).

Keep it up!