While your bank account may be slightly smaller than that of billionaire Jeff Bezos’, you might be surprised to learn you may both go through the exact same process to achieve your divorce. There are really only five ways to get a divorce, regardless of how much money and assets you have.
The Uncontested Divorce
In Florida, in order to get an uncontested divorce, you cannot be pregnant or have any children under the age of 18. (Thus, the Bezos family doesn’t qualify. . . ) You have to agree on the division of assets and debts, meet the residency requirements, and agree the marriage is irretrievably broken. Finally, neither party may receive alimony from the other in an uncontested divorce.
Even in an uncontested divorce, it is a good idea to have an attorney review the divorce papers to make certain the agreement complies with the law. Additionally, a divorce attorney may see red flags or even provisions that are illegal, which could cause unnecessary delay in the proceedings.
Mediation is a process wherein a single facilitator works with the parties in an attempt to resolve any disagreements between the parties. Disagreements may stem from disputes about assets or debts, or disagreements on time sharing the children, or the amount of alimony. A skilled mediator guides the conversation with an eye towards resolution. In Florida, couples are required to attend mediation prior to their final hearing. However, they can choose to attend mediation even before they file for divorce in court. This is called “pre-suit mediation.”
Negotiation is the oldest approach to divorce. In this form of divorce, the attorneys work to negotiate the terms of the divorce. Topics include:
- Division of assets
- Division of debts
- Time sharing the children
- Child support
In order to come to a compromise, both parties give up some of what they want, in exchange for other things that they want or need more.
In cases where the couple, along with their attorneys, cannot come up with a suitable settlement, the case, or the portions of the case that are in dispute, are litigated before a judge. The risk with this kind of approach is that the judge, a complete stranger, makes critical decisions about your children’s lives as well as your life.
Collaborative law is the most recent method of handling divorce cases. It involves a commitment by the divorcing couple and the attorneys to stay out of court, resolving the issues as a group. The parties agree to share documents, share experts, and avoid involving the children in the divorce.
Are You Looking for a Divorce Attorney?
If you are looking for a divorce attorney, call the Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. Aliette H. Carolan is a Florida Supreme Court Family Law Mediator who can assist you in your mediation. With over 15 years of experience, she can also negotiate on your behalf, or, if necessary, litigate the issues. The firm also offers collaborative law services and uncontested divorce services. Call today at 305-358-2330 for your confidential consultation.