When you are facing a contested divorce and do not have children, the entire situation can become volatile. Who will get the house or other property, how will assets be divided, what will happen to the investments you or your spouse have, or the 401K? These are just a few of the issues that couples without children who are getting divorced face. Every situation is unique, and while there are property division and other issues common to many cases, the complexity of the process increases according to the number of items being contested. At Adams & Luka, our contested divorce attorneys are dedicated to making what is typically one of the most difficult times in your life at least a little easier and less stressful.Orange County Family Law Attorney Working to Protect Spouses Involved in a Contested Divorce Without Children
How will debts acquired during the marriage be divided, what if the value of property or items are disputed, what about property or money left to a spouse in a relative's will? As dedicated family law attorneys who understand most people involved in a divorce have many unanswered questions, we will strive to answer all of your questions directly and honestly. The purpose of hiring a contested divorce lawyer is not only to provide the guidance you need, but to help you understand the laws in Florida and to protect your rights so that you are not unfairly taken advantage of.Wills, Debts, Investments, and Acquired Property in a Contested Divorce
The Court has substantial power in cases of contested divorce without children, however there are certain guidelines that are typically followed in determining division of debts, distribution of acquired property, etc.
If one of the spouses acquires property or money from a deceased relative who left the property to the spouse in his or her will, the other spouse is not entitled to any of that money or property.
IRA's, 401K, pensions, and other assets acquired during a marriage are usually split equally so that each person gets half. This is true of most property acquired after the marriage including homes, property, furnishings, and other belongings inside the home.
In most cases, property or assets that were owned by one spouse or the other prior to the marriage remains that spouse's property.
Debt distribution may also be assigned by the Court. Depending on the situation, the Court may order both spouses to pay equal amounts on the debts, or may require one spouse to pay a larger portion of the debt than the other spouse. However, unequal distribution of the payment of debts cannot be based solely on the fact that one spouse earns more income than the other. In most cases, one spouse may be required to pay more on a debt than the other spouse if he or she spent money in a way that is irresponsible or irrational.Procedures in a Contested Divorce in Florida
There are several procedures you may encounter during the process of getting a divorce in Florida. These include:
When you file a petition for divorce, your spouse will have 20 days to answer the petition and may have issues to contest as well.
Mandatory disclosure is required in Florida, which involves the completion of an extensive financial affidavit by both spouses. This form requests details regarding debts and assets, income, budget, etc.
A Motion for Temporary Relief may be filed in some situations such as when one spouse or the other needs alimony or child support prior to the divorce being finalized. If the order is granted, it generally lasts until the divorce becomes final.
Discovery procedures involve oral questions (depositions) or written questions (interrogatories) in cases when a judge cannot rule on specific issues without evidence or proof of the facts, such as in the case of financial status.
Mediation is required in many counties in Florida before unresolved issues can be settled by a judge. This involves hiring a neutral third party who will attempt to bring both spouses to agree on a settlement and therefore avoid the process of divorce.
Trial is a last resort, and only occurs if the spouses do not come to an agreement during mediation, or in the time span between mediation and the date set for trial. Truthfully, most couples settle their differences before trial, and therefore avoid going to court.Contact Florida Family Law Attorneys Adams & Luka Today
At Adams & Luka, we understand how traumatic and emotional a contested divorce can be. Depending on the issues you are contesting, the process can seem overwhelming; you may feel that you will be "cheated" out of property or assets that should be partially yours, or held liable for debts that you had little or no part in incurring. Regardless of how complex the situation may seem, our contested divorce lawyers will work vigorously on your behalf to ensure justice is served. We invite residents of Central Florida to call us now at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084.