Is a Court Appearance Necessary During an Uncontested Divorce?
Most couples, when they decide to end their marriages, wish to do so in the least painful and most cost effective manner as possible. For many, this takes the form of an uncontested divorce, which unlike contested divorces, doesn’t require litigation and repeated court hearings. This does not mean, however, that the parties will be able to avoid going to court entirely, as most couples will need to attend at least one hearing before their divorce can be finalized. To learn more about filing for divorce and what kinds of court hearings you can expect, please reach out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale uncontested divorce lawyer today.
Two Categories of Uncontested Divorce
There are actually two types of uncontested divorce in Florida: a standard uncontested divorce and a simplified uncontested divorce. The former is an option for couples who share children or are seeking alimony, but who agree on divorce-related issues and so don’t need to litigate them in court. Spouses who don’t have minor children, who don’t have complex financial holdings, and aren’t seeking alimony, on the other hand, could be eligible for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. These types of divorces tend to be resolved even more quickly than standard uncontested divorces, although they do generally still require at least one court appearance.
Brief Hearings After Reaching a Settlement Agreement
Whether a couple is filing for a standard uncontested divorce or a simplified divorce, the process typically involves at least one court hearing. In most cases, these hearings take place after a couple has already reached a Marital Settlement Agreement, in which they resolve all divorce-related issues, including how marital assets and debts will be divided, whether one party will be required to pay alimony, and if necessary, how child custody will be shared. Once this settlement has been put in writing, usually with the help of an attorney, the parties will need to attend a brief final hearing, where the judge will enter the agreement into the official record. Both spouses are typically required to attend the hearing.
Fortunately, as long as a settlement agreement was reached through honest negotiation, was overseen by attorneys, and was entered into in good faith, a judge will likely approve it. For this reason, the final hearings for uncontested divorces almost always proceed relatively quickly and smoothly. If, however, the agreement is rejected or needs to be amended in some way, the court could still require the parties to attend additional hearings at a later date.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
While uncontested divorces are often simpler and less time-consuming than contested divorces, which often involve litigation, couples who want to end their marriages should still consider speaking with an experienced attorney before proceeding with their case. To learn more, please call dedicated uncontested divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. You can also set up a meeting with a member of our legal team by completing one of our brief online contact forms.