In their head, many people have this idea of divorce as a long, drawn-out, painful process in which the court is their battleground and their innocent children are stuck in the middle. The truth is that not all divorces must be like this; in fact, the state of Florida tries to help couples avoid this situation as much as possible. Most divorcing couples are encouraged to seek an uncontested divorce, which is where both spouses agree on all the terms of their divorce and do not need any outside help coming up with a marital settlement agreement.
Who’s Eligible for an Uncontested Divorce?
As appealing as an uncontested divorce may be for you, you might not meet the requirements for filing for one. Generally, couples are not allowed to have an uncontested divorce if:
- The couple has minor children (biological or adopted)
- Neither spouse has lived in-state for at least six months
- The wife is currently pregnant
- Spouses cannot agree on finances and debts
- Both do not agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” (if that is the reason given for the divorce filing)
Benefits of Uncontested Divorce
If you and your (soon-to-be-ex) spouse meet every eligibility requirement for an uncontested divorce, then you should strongly consider going this route. A major benefit of an uncontested divorce relative to a contested divorce is that it saves you a significant amount of time and money.
Yet another advantage of an uncontested divorce is that there are fewer opportunities for contentious points in the divorce overall. When you and your spouse disagree on something having to do with your divorce, by nature, your spouse is your opponent in a contested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can avoid potentially stressful, emotional, or explosive situations. Couples also find that, due to their having almost complete control over the terms of their divorce, they are able to minimize stress and anxiety during the process.
Benefits of Contested Divorce
Generally, Florida couples who are seeking a divorce but do not agree on all the terms of the marital settlement agreement will be sent to mediation before triggering a full-blown contested divorce. During mediation, divorcing spouses are trying one last time to amicably hammer out the details of their divorce through the help of a neutral third party. If mediation is unsuccessful, then court hearings are in the near future for the couple.
Marriages involving domestic violence or other intimidation tactics should be resolved through a contested divorce.
No matter what your divorce looks like, you need an attorney by your side to make sure that your interests are represented and that all agreements are in accordance with state law. If you need a fighter, reach out to Camadeco Law Group, PLLC at 239-444-5529 to get started on your consultation.