Expert Legal Guidance You Can Trust
When couples divorcing in Tampa, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, or a surrounding area agree to all terms, they can reduce the stress of the process through an uncontested divorce rather than a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce in Florida is a great option for many spouses.
This option is often possible for spouses who:
- Have no children
- Do not share many assets or property
But when couples are beginning a divorce, and separation was the first step, it is possible for any couple to decide that the same terms can apply to the final divorce. An uncontested divorce is not for everyone - the legal team at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. provide the divorce help you need to decide if uncontested divorce is right for you. Our Florida uncontested divorce lawyers will stick with you every step of the way. We can help you get a fast and easy divorce by filing for a no-contest divorce in Florida. Visit our divorce lawyer reviews to see why clients choose our law firm when they are looking for an uncontested divorce lawyer near them.
How Uncontested Divorce Works
Since uncontested divorce requires total agreement on all divorce terms, couples divorcing begin with a negotiation process-generally divorce mediation. If the couple was able to resolve all issues, the courtroom process is little more than administrative in nature-there is no need for the judge to make decisions because all terms have already been decided by both parties.
Although filing for and resolving an uncontested divorce is typically relatively simple, the parties must still meet the requirements for an uncontested divorce in Florida:
- At least one spouse has lived in Florida for the last six months;
- The parties agree on terms for the divorce;
- Both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken;
There is also available in certain cases a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. In addition to the requirements above, you can qualify for a simplified uncontested dissolution of marriage if you:
- Do not have minor children; and
- Neither party is seeking alimony.
In a divorce, the party that files for the divorce with the court is called the "petitioner," while the other party is the "respondent."
In most uncontested divorces, the parties draft an agreement detailing the terms of their divorce before the petitioner files for divorce with the court. This enables the court to enter a judgment and finalize the divorce more quickly.
However, an contested divorce can become a uncontested divorce over time if the parties reach an agreement for issues they formerly disagreed on.
1. Submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
The petitioner must submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the court. This petition contains the petitioner's request for the outcome of the divorce, data about the marriage and the petitioner's finances, and any other information the court needs.
2. Await for the Respondent to Be Served
After filing the petition, a third party such as a sheriff or process server must serve the respondent with a notice containing the divorce and a summons to court. In many uncontested divorces, the parties bypass this process by having the respondent fill out an Acceptance and Waiver of Server of Process by Sheriff.
- If your spouse waives their right to respond, the court can proceed with the divorce immediately. If they do not waive their right but fail to respond within 20 days of being served, the court can move on with a default judgment and finalize the divorce.
What Happens if the Respondent Disagrees with the Terms?
If the respondent disagrees with the terms set forth by the petitioner they can file a Response with the court, but that typically doesn't occur during an uncontested divorce.
An experienced divorce attorney can help you file for divorce more easily and ensure your divorce progresses smoothly regardless of whether the dissolution is a simplified dissolution, an uncontested dissolution, or contested.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce?
Even when an agreement has been reached, each party needs a skilled divorce lawyer throughout the process. A lawyer must carefully review the terms of the agreement to make sure their clients have not been misled into signing an agreement that can later prove to be unfavorable. The legal team of Florida uncontested divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. take all steps needed to protect the interests of their clients, even when a divorce appears amiable. If you need help with uncontested divorce in Florida, our attorneys can help.
Contact Our Legal Team in Tampa Bay Today
You need a lawyer who understands your issues to look out for your interests in an uncontested divorce. K. Dean Kantaras is board certified and offers 59 years of combined experience in family law.
Those wishing to know more about the skilled representation we can offer in all aspects of family laws in Florida are invited to contact our firm at (727) 939-6113. Don't wait, if you need help with uncontested divorce in Florida, give our office a call now.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation with a skilled member of our team!