Overview of the Divorce Process in Florida
Most couples facing a divorce want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A divorce can take 3 to 24 months until it is finalized. The time it takes varies on the county, the judge, and the overall circumstances of the case.
Types of Florida Divorce Cases
Uncontested Divorce Cases
For starters, the duration of your divorce depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is when both parties can agree on every single term of the separation, including the division of marital property and debt, parenting plans and custody agreements, and alimony to be paid, if any. Both spouses must work together to submit all necessary paperwork quickly and efficiently.
Uncontested divorces are typically the fastest and can be filed in three weeks. After all the paperwork is filed, the waiting time for a final hearing is approximately three months. So, in Florida, it takes about four months to get an uncontested divorce if everything runs smoothly.
While it is possible to file an uncontested divorce alone, it would be beneficial to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. A qualified attorney will handle all of the cumbersome paperwork. Moreover, attorney-conducted uncontested divorces are finalized the quickest since lawyers can exert direct control over scheduling.
Initially Contested Divorce Cases
There are also initially contested divorces. In these cases, spouses disagreed on one or more issues at the beginning of the separation, which got resolved sometime during the divorce process. Most initially contested divorces conclude at mediation, which is required in all Florida divorce cases.
On average these cases take about 15 months to be finalized and could be settled faster with the help of an experienced divorce attorney.
Contested Divorce Cases
Contested divorces are the type of cases no one really wants. These cases typically end up in trial and involve a lengthy and unpredictable divorce process. An uncontested divorce can take anywhere from nine months to three years or more. In extreme situations, a contested Florida divorce can last up to six years.
Contested divorces require a high degree of accuracy in all paperwork and disclosures. The case needs to be prepared, filed, and served which can take 3-12 months. These cases typically involve a lengthy process of financial disclosures, court-ordered mediation, and multiple disclosure requests. The whole process can be contentious, and delay is often used as a strategic weapon.
Contested divorces warrant the help from an experienced divorce attorney. Not only will a qualified lawyer help bring your divorce to a speedy conclusion, but they will also advocate your best interest throughout every level of your case.
How to Bring Your Divorce to a Speedy Conclusion
If you are wondering how long your divorce will take, the truth is that it depends on your particular situation. The duration of your divorce depends on how busy your county is, the preferences of the judge, whether or not your divorce is contested, and the will of both parties to bring the case to a successful conclusion.
While the time it takes varies, hiring a competent attorney can help bring your divorce to a speedy conclusion. A qualified family law and divorce attorney can help you through this painful process and make sure you get the most from your divorce in the shortest amount of time. Get the legal help you need and get started on your new single life.
Title Tag: Divorce Process in Florida | Florida Divorce Timeline
Meta-description: Divorce getting in the way? Learn about how long the divorce process takes and get valuable tips on helping your case.