Answers To Common Questions About Uncontested Divorce
At Reed Law, we understand there may be some confusion around what an uncontested divorce actually entails. Here are a few more answers to some common questions we get.
What county will my divorce action be filed in?
In Florida, the filing fees for divorce vary. Therefore, in order to proceed with the online process and charge the same filing fee for all cases, we file all of our cases in Lee County, Florida. This is something that can be done if both parties to the divorce action agree to have their divorce finalized in Lee County, Florida.
How does filing for divorce in a county other than the county where I live affect things?
Property distributions (which assets go to which spouse) in Florida is final when the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered. Therefore, your asset/liability terms in your settlement agreement cannot be modified later unless both former spouses agree to modify it. Child support and custody are always modifiable. Therefore, in the future should either party wish to revisit these issues, either parent may seek modification of the time-sharing/parenting plan in the county that one of the parents resides with the child or in the county where the dissolution was finalized. This makes sense as the information the Court would need in deciding whether to modify time-sharing/parenting plan would typically be in the place where the child resides (i.e. teachers, coaches, activities, etc.). In the future should either parent wish to modify child support, such an action can be brought in the county that either parent resides or the county where the final judgment was entered.
What will I receive when the divorce is finalized?
You will receive two certified copies of your Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage so that both parties can have a copy for themselves.
If child support is ordered, how do I pay it or receive it?
Child support is paid through the State of Florida Disbursement Unit, and it is paid through an income deduction order (that will be signed by the Court when your Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is signed) that directs the paying spouse’s employer to deduct the child support from their paycheck. The receiving spouse will then receive the funds electronically through the Florida Department of Revenue. All of the information related to your child support will be provided to you when we send you the signed Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
How is property transferred between spouses after the divorce is finalized?
Transferring assets like titles to vehicles, boats, and trailers will require the spouses to sign either the title over to the other spouse based on what is in the Marital Settlement Agreement, or sign a Power of Attorney provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to permit the person receiving the vehicle to transfer it solely into their name. If there is a loan on the vehicle or property, you will need to refinance the vehicle loan to remove the other person’s name and liability from the loan. If the asset being transferred is land/real property, then you will need to have a deed prepared by an attorney to transfer the property into your individual name. But, again, if there is a mortgage on the property, you will also need to refinance the mortgage in order to remove the other person’s name and liability from it. We will not be able to prepare your deed at Reed Law.
How can you show that you have been a resident of Florida for the 6-month residency period?
Florida Statutes outline the following forms of documentation for proving residency: a valid Florida Driver license, a Florida voter’s registration card, a valid Florida identification card, or the testimony or affidavit of a third party. When you return your signed documents to us, you will need to send us a copy of one of these forms of identification.
Do we need to go to court?
In most cases, no hearing is required. We will email you all of the documents that you will need to complete your divorce. Once you both sign them in front of a notary, and return them to us, we will take it from there to have your documents filed with the Court, and will have a Final Judgment signed by the Judge to finalize your divorce.
What happens if your spouse refuses to sign the documents?
Unfortunately, there is not much that we can do in this situation. In order to have an uncontested divorce, both parties will need to be in agreement on the terms of the divorce. If you cannot agree, then we will be unable to finalize your divorce for you. You would then need to seek legal advice from a local attorney to assist you with a contested divorce action. In such a situation, with your documents not having been filed with the Court, you will not pay the Court filing fees to us. If you paid the filing fee to us when you hired us to prepare your documents, we will refund the filing fee to you. The attorney’s fee charged for drafting your documents is earned upon delivery of the documents to you by email and is not refundable.
What if your spouse lives outside of the state or country?
In Florida, only one spouse needs to be a resident of Florida in order to get divorced in Florida, and the Florida resident does not need to be the Petitioner. The spouse residing in Florida would need to reside in Florida for 6 months before filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Court.
Is this a legitimate process?
Kimberly D. Reed, Esq., founded Reed Law in 2008 after many years of practicing family law in Florida, Maryland and Washington D.C. With her 20 years of experience litigating contested divorce and other family law matters and improvements in technology, Kim Reed wanted to offer a simpler process to Florida residents. She is a member in good standing in all three jurisdictions.
If you feel like an uncontested divorce would work for your situation, get the process started today.