Court

What Is The Divorce Process In Florida?

NEW TAMPA FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS

The process of divorce can seem overwhelming and intimidating. People often ask, what is the divorce process in Florida?

 

The following is a brief overview of the divorce process in Florida. Please keep in mind that each divorce is unique and that this is meant to provide general information only regarding the divorce process in Florida.

 

A divorce action begins with the filing of a divorce petition along with other required documents. Once the court receives the initial documents, a case is opened and a case number is assigned.

 

Then the party seeking a divorce, called the petitioner, must have the other spouse, called the respondent, served with the documents. The respondent then has twenty (20) days to answer the petition. In the event that the respondent fails to file an answer to the petition, the clerk may enter a default.

 

The court will set a day and time for the first Case Management Conference. The first Case Management Conference is typically scheduled several weeks to several months after the date of filing.  The parties use the time between filing and the first Case Management Conference to provide mandatory disclosures (click here to learn more about mandatory disclosures), to take the required parenting class if applicable, and to discuss the case in an attempt to narrow or resolve the issues.

 

The first Case Management Conference is simply a hearing where the parties inform the judge of the status of the case. If the parties have been able to reach an agreement on all of the issues, then the first Case Management Conference can be used as the final hearing for the case. In the event that issues remain to be resolved, the judge will order the parties to attend mediation (click here to learn more about mediation).

 

In the event that the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all issues at mediation, the case is set for trial. Trial preparation involves different ways in which the parties gather all information relevant to the case. At trial the judge will hear all of the evidence presented by both parties and will make a determination on all issues that have been brought to the court.

 

Divorce is an emotional and traumatic event and the court process associated with it is complex and lengthy. It is important that you have a Tampa divorce attorney to represent you throughout the entire process.

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