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What Information Will Both Sides Have To Disclose During The Divorce Process In Florida?

In the Florida divorce process, or for any other family law matter, you must disclose your basic financial information from the past few years including assets, liabilities, financial statements, paystubs, and tax returns. As part of this process, you will also fill out a financial affidavit. You will have 45 calendar days to comply with the mandatory disclosure requirements after a divorce has been filed. Florida law requires this process for every couple facing divorce in Florida.

Is There Really Any Benefit To Filing For A Divorce Before Your Spouse Does In Florida?

Since each spouse goes through the same filing process, there is no distinct advantage to filing a divorce before your partner. The only small advantage might be having more time to seek professional assistance to help draft the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Florida is a no fault divorce state, which means as long as either spouse wants to end their marriage and there are irreconcilable differences, a divorce will follow.

Once One Party Files For A Divorce In Florida, What Generally Is The Timeline Or The Steps That Take Place Up To The Point Where A Decree Will Actually Be Finalized?

After one spouse files the initial Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the other spouse must be served with a copy of the Petition via a process server. The deadline for filing an Answer to the Petition doesn’t begin to run until the other spouse is served. Once the other spouse is served, that spouse has 20 calendar days to file an Answer to the Petition admitting or denying the claims in the Petition.

Each party must disclose his or her financial information to the other party and file a financial affidavit within 45 calendar days after the Petition is filed. In Florida, the court will order the couple to attend mediation if they do not choose to do so voluntarily. There is no specific deadline for the parties to attend mediation, but it is often highly beneficial for them to attend as soon as possible. If the parties need to settle basic issues, such as temporary child support and/or visitation with minor children, they can handle those issues through mediation outside of the court process.

However, if the parties cannot come to an agreement, they must set the case for a hearing. The hearing could determine the status of temporary relief, child support, and/or spousal support. Before setting a final hearing, each party must update his or her financial information. Each party may also choose whether to ask the other some standard written questions called interrogatories or verbal questions through a deposition. Each party may also request written documents from the other through a request for production of documents prior to the final hearing.

In our experience, cases are typically resolved within a year, but more contentious cases may take longer to resolve. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down some of the more complicated cases. In general, divorce and family law cases tend to move quicker than a typical civil lawsuit.

For more information on Family Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 820-0010 today.

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