If you are beginning the process of a divorce in Florida, and it seems that you will end up in court with a contested divorce, it is absolutely essential that you contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Miami today. While any divorce can be complicated, and sometimes messy, a contested divorce will require a lot of legal work in and out of court in order to move towards a good outcome. In a contested divorce, there is going to be a lot of details that you and your spouse do not agree on, and it is important that you are confident in your legal representation to protect your interests and fight for what you deserve. Contact me, Attorney Antonio Jimenez, today to discuss your divorce and my experience as a family law attorney in Florida.
What Is a Contested Divorce?
In a Florida divorce, you essentially have two options, a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. If you file for an uncontested divorce, this means that both spouses agree on all of the terms of the divorce and simply file their divorce in a family court. If this is not the case, then the spouses must go through the process of a contested divorce. This means that the terms of the divorce will be determined through a contested hearing, and contested divorces are by far the most complicated option out of the two.
What Is the Process of a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce is not guaranteed to follow this process exactly, and you will have a better understanding of what to expect for your own divorce after working with a family law attorney. However, generally the process of a contested divorce will consist of the following steps:
Serving the Divorce Papers
Before the process officially begins, you will work with your attorney to draft, finalize, and ultimately serve the divorce papers to your spouse. You will then need to wait a period of time for them to respond, at which point we can officially begin the divorce.
In discovery, there will be an extended period of time where you, your spouse, and any associated third parties will need to produce an extensive amount of documentation and information pertinent to the divorce. This could include responding to subpoenas, completing written interviews, or attending depositions.
After discovery is finished, you will work with your divorce lawyer in Miami to develop your case, identify possible roadblocks that might hinder your ability to prevail in court and work to build the argument that supports the various terms you are requesting in the divorce. There will also be motions submitted from both sides requesting additional information or hearings to clarify the nature of the marriage and divorce.
Settlement Proposal and Negotiation
Once you and your lawyer have developed a settlement that you think is fair and just, you will submit the proposal to your spouse and their lawyer, and begin the negotiation process in an effort to reach a middle ground between each of your proposal and your spouse's proposal. Ideally, you will be able to reach an agreement at this stage of the process instead of going to a full hearing. If you are unable to reach a settlement, then your case will go to trial.
I will then prepare you for your hearing in a way that could get you most, if not all, of what you are entitled to from your settlement proposal. I will create an argument to present to a judge about why we believe that your proposal is fair.
The Contested Hearing
Throughout the hearing, I will argue on your behalf in an effort to ensure that you are given a fair ruling from the judge. At the end of the trial, the judge will make a ruling that is legally binding and settles all issues of your divorce. At this point, the divorce is considered final, unless there is a portion of the judge's ruling that is appealable.
If you are in the process of or planning to begin a contested divorce, contact my office as soon as possible to discuss how I can help. During your initial consultation, I will learn more about your situation, explain my approach to contested divorces, and identify the best outcomes that we can work together to obtain. My experience as a divorce and family lawyer in Miami will be a great asset to you, and I look forward to us working together.