The Importance Of Counsel During An Uncontested Divorce
Florida family law establishes the rules married residents of the state must follow if they wish to get divorced.
While some couples quickly agree on the terms of a divorce and can end the marriage relatively quickly, others remain in litigation for months or even years. When the parties agree on ending the marriage, the division of shared property, child custody and child support, spousal support, and finalizing all documents, the divorce is deemed “uncontested” and will likely proceed quickly.
For over three decades, attorney Stuart N. House has helped Florida residents handle uncontested divorces.
The Role Of A Lawyer In An Uncontested Divorce
Many individuals assume that, because in an uncontested divorce both parties agree on how the divorce should proceed, a lawyer can’t contribute meaningfully to the process. However, the reality is that any divorce process — even when the divorce is uncontested — takes a significant amount of time and requires legal acumen to navigate. An experienced attorney can help you ensure your divorce goes smoothly and make provisions to protect you in the future.
Each party in an uncontested divorce in Fort Lauderdale usually retains a divorce attorney to facilitate the process. Because a family lawyer cannot represent both sides in a divorce case, he or she cannot advise the opposing party. If the other party is “pro se,” or chooses self-representation in the divorce action, a lawyer may meet with both parties; however, he or she may not advise the pro se party.
How Is it Finalized?
If both parties agree on terminating the marriage, each divorce attorney works with his or her respective client to review the relevant issues and prepare documents needed to initiate the divorce. If appropriate, the lawyers prepare a settlement agreement to finalize the distribution of marital assets and liabilities, child custody, child support, spousal support, and alimony.
The divorce attorney designates nonmarital assets and liabilities at that time. Once parties agree on all terms, they sign a written agreement. The lawyers then prepare the necessary documents to finalize the divorce, file divorce pleadings on their clients’ behalf and schedule a court hearing before a Broward County judge.
What Are The Benefits?
In the interest of preserving time, energy, and financial expense, most Fort Lauderdale spouses who decide to end their marriage strive for an uncontested divorce. If properly executed, the case is prepared and settled before court papers are filed. Parties discuss, prepare, sign, and resolve all aspects of the case.
What Is A Parenting Plan?
Couples who produced a child together during their marriage must plan for the continued care of the child. One of the most critical parts of the uncontested divorce case is preparing and filing a parenting plan.
Parenting plan details include:
- Where the child will live
- Where the child will go to school
- Where and with whom the child will spend specific holidays
- How the parents will share responsibility for the child’s emotional and financial needs
Writing a detailed parenting plan is a challenging task. A Fort Lauderdale uncontested divorce attorney experienced in child custody and parenting issues can prepare these critical documents on your behalf.
The judge hearing your case is likely to appreciate the parties’ ability to negotiate and present their parenting agreement. Parents in this scenario typically have a higher probability of achieving co-parenting success after divorce.
Why Do You Need A Lawyer For An Uncontested Divorce?
Divorcing couples are not legally required to hire an attorney to complete the divorce process in Florida. However, family law is complex, and if your spouse has lawyered up, you could walk away with an extremely unfavorable deal, even in an uncontested divorce.
Couples who find that they can reach an agreement on their own should ask a lawyer to review divorce documents prior to moving forward. Family courts are unable to answer questions about the case or provide legal advice. Therefore, each party should meet with a divorce attorney to protect his or her rights adequately. Failure to do so could mean the loss of property or custody rights.