Unpacking Divorce: The Path to Starting Afresh in Florida

Fairway Law Group

Hello to all those navigating the complexities of divorce, or even just considering the possibility. I’m Matthew Waring, joined by my partner Brian Dunmire at Fairway Law Group. Today, we’re not just talking about the legalese but about the realities you’ll face and how to handle them with composure and foresight.

The Journey Through Divorce: Setting Expectations

When it comes to divorce, we’ve found that our clients often want a roadmap — what can they expect? It’s about managing the expectations of time, process, and outcomes. The clear-cut truth is that the process is neither a sprint nor a scenic drive; it’s more akin to a marathon with its set of procedural steps.

Contested vs. Uncontested: Knowing the Difference

In Florida, the path to divorce starts with a formal lawsuit, whether it’s contested or uncontested. The so-called “simplified dissolution” still requires adherence to the same rules — a detailed petition, filing fees, and due process.

The First Steps: Filing for Divorce

The first leg of the divorce marathon involves filing in your respective county, assuming residency requirements are met. The initial documents set the stage, including the petition for dissolution, notice of related cases, and, if applicable, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit.

Don’t Dodge Service: Embrace Reality

An unavoidable step is the service of process. Dodging service doesn’t do anyone any favors. Instead, it’s about confronting the situation head-on, understanding that the goal is transparency and progress, not playing an endless game of hide and seek.

Mandatory Disclosure: Full Financial Transparency

One of the most critical milestones in the divorce process is the mandatory disclosure of financials. Both parties must lay their cards on the table, ensuring all assets and debts are out in the open. This step isn’t about shaming or blame but about ensuring fair division and proper child support calculations.

Mediation: The Turning Point

For many, mediation marks a significant turning point. It’s the best opportunity for both parties to have their say, to negotiate, and ideally, to find common ground. A successful mediation often leaves both parties slightly disgruntled, a sign of compromise and progression towards resolution.

The Home Stretch: Finalizing the Divorce

Post-mediation, if an agreement has been reached, the finishing line is in sight. The final judgment of divorce becomes a formality, a mere administrative step to acknowledge the end of a marital union and the start of new beginnings.

Embracing the Process for a Better Outcome

Throughout this journey, we stress the importance of engaging in the process earnestly and truthfully. It’s not just about the end but how you get there. It involves a bit of legwork, a touch of patience, and a considerable amount of honesty. The smoother you run this marathon, the quicker and less painful it’ll be.

In Summation: The Lawyers’ Role in Your Divorce Marathon

As family law attorneys, our role is to pace you through this marathon, to provide support when the course gets tough and ensure you don’t miss any critical checkpoints. We’re here not just to guide you through the steps but to help you find the best path for your unique situation.

If you’re standing at the starting line, contemplating the race ahead, give us a call. We’re here to run alongside you, every step of the way, to ensure you reach that finish line with your head held high and ready for the next chapter of your life.

Best regards,
Matthew Waring and Brian Dunmire
Fairway Law Group, Florida Divorce Law Firm

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