DIVORCE ATTORNEY - PENSACOLA, FL
Types of Divorce
A divorce is uncontested when the parties have agreed on the division of all marital and separate property, the division of debts, all parenting and timesharing issues, and the amounts of child support and/or alimony to be paid. A divorce is uncontested when there are no disagreements, and there is no need for the court to be involved.
Even in an uncontested divorce, however, the parties will have to file a marital settlement agreement and a parenting and timesharing plan as well as child support guidelines. A court will not grant a divorce unless each party has filed a financial affidavit, and either exchanged discovery, or filed a waiver of discovery. If there are children, a child support guideline worksheet must be filed with the court; the parties are not free to negotiate the amount of child support, it is determined by statute, as it is a vested right of the child.
Traditionally a divorce is initiated when one party files and serves a Petition for Dissolution on the other party. Along with the Petition for Dissolution, the party will usually file a Financial Affidavit, Notice of Social Security Number, a Notice of Confidential Information, a Notice of Residency, and if the parties have children, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit must be filed.
Once served with process, the opposing party has 20 days to answer the Petition for Dissolution. If no Answer is filed with the court, a default may be entered against the opposing party. If an Answer is filed, the parties have 45 days in which to exchange all discovery documents which include a Financial Affidavit, Income Tax Returns for the last three years, payroll stubs or evidence of income for the last three months, deeds within the last three years, promissory notes within the last 12 months, copies of all present leases, the last three months of checking account statements, the last 12 months of savings account statements, all brokerage account statements, statements for all retirement accounts, certificates for all life insurance policies, copies of all health and dental insurance cards, all credit card statements, and any other records of indebtedness for the last three months.
After the discovery process, the parties will participate in mediation and if no agreement is reached at mediation, the matter will be set for a final hearing with the court.
Collaborative law is dedicated to helping families resolve disputes without resorting the judicial system.
The process enables separating spouses to divorce or modify child support or timesharing in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.
The process is both confidential and transparent within the team. Each party is represented by a collaboratively trained attorney and all negotiations are facilitated by a trained mental health professional or a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator.
The collaborative process emphasizes personal privacy, often the first casualty of a traditional divorce. Nothing is filed in the court's docket until both parties have agreed on all language in the marital settlement agreement. The parties reach a mutual agreement through cooperation, rather than unnecessarily delaying the process by dwelling on differences. The collaborative process is committed to moving parties through the divorce or modification process faster then traditional litigation, which translates into potential cost savings for the parties.
Specially trained professionals, including, attorneys, financial experts, skilled mediators, and mental health professionals work together to help you constructively arrive at a resolution.
MANDATORY DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
- Financial Affidavit
- A legible copy of your state and federal income tax returns and W-2 form for the past 3 years.
- IRS forms, W-2, 1099, and K-1 for the past year, if the income tax return for that year has not been filed.
- Payroll stubs or other evidence of income for the past 3 months.
- Evidence of all income received from any source for the past 3 months.
- All loan applications and financial statements prepared or used within the 12 months preceding service of that party’s Financial Affidavit required by this rule, whether for the purpose of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit or for any other purpose.
- a. All deeds within the last 3 years, all promissory notes within the last 12 months.
b. All present leases in which you own or have an interest, whether held in your name alone or as a joint interest.
- a. The last 3 months of checking account statements.
b. The last 12 months of savings accounts, certificates of deposits, regardless of whether or not the account has been closed, including those held in the party’s name individually or jointly with any other person.
- All brokerage account statements in which you held an interest within the last 12 months individually or jointly with another individual.
- The most recent statement for any profit sharing, retirement, deferred compensation or pension plan (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), SEP, KEOGH, or other similar account).
- a. Certificates for all life insurance policies insuring your life or your current spouse’s life.
b. All current health and dental insurance cards covering either of the parties and/or minor children.
- See “Other” below.*
- a. All credit card and charge account statements and any other records of indebtedness for the last 3 months.
b. Lease agreement or mortgage statement showing last 3 months of payments.
- - 16. See “Other” below.**
**14. All written premarital or marital agreements entered into at any time between the parties to this marriage, whether before or during the marriage. Additionally, in any modification proceeding, each party shall serve on the opposing party all written agreements entered into between them at any time since the order to be modified was entered.
**15. All documents and tangible evidence supporting the producing party’s claim of special equity or nonmarital status of an asset or debt for the time period from the date of acquisition of the asset or debt to the date of production or from the date of marriage, if based on premarital acquisition.
**16. Any court orders directing a party to pay or receive spousal or child support.
We have worked with many families in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. To learn more about our collaborative approach, call our Pensacola office for an initial consultation at 850-450-1755 or use our convenient online form.