Dissolution of marriage can be either contested or contested. Determining how a case is classified is often determined by the length of the marriage, whether there are children involved, the respective assets of the parties, and the willingness of the spouses to work out their differences quickly. Each case is different and comes with a variation of facts that may ultimately determine whether the case is contested or uncontested. Sometimes a client seeking divorce comes into my office with all of the major issues of the case having been previously worked out with the other party. Most of the time the facts are contested and the parties cannot agree to the majority issues that may or will be involved in the impending court case.
Many times spouses contemplate a simple and quick dissolution only to find themselves disagreeing to matters previously agreed upon. We do find this to be the case in many dissolution proceedings. As time goes on what was once an agreeable set of issues turns into a heated debate about even the smallest matters. This is not uncommon and goes hand in hand with the overall divorce process. Whether your case turns out to be a contested or uncontested divorce the main thing to remember is you will have an experienced and diligent advocate on your side when you hire us to represent you for your case.
It is our job to listen to our clients’ needs and to be a legal advocate for them in the courtroom. Upon meeting with us at your initial consultation you will find there will be no detail about your case overlooked. All of your questions and concerns will be answered and you can be confident that your case will be handled and litigated in a serious and professional manner. An experienced Jacksonville divorce attorney can help you in your time of need.
If there are contested issues in your anticipated dissolution of marriage, or if there are minor children involved, then the divorce action becomes contested. This simply means you file a petition for dissolution with the court to get the process started. If you are the filing spouse, you will file with the local Clerk of Court and serve a petition with summons on the other party. The other party will then have a given time period to respond or risk suffering a default judgment. We have many clients who initiate the lawsuit by filing first. On the other hand, I likewise have many clients who come to me after being served with the summons and dissolution paperwork. Whether you are seeking to file first or whether you are responding to the summons you deserve to be represented by experienced and aggressive Northeast Florida divorce lawyer who will diligently fight for all of your rights.
Once a petition is filed it triggers certain disclosure or discovery requirements pursuant to Florida Statutes. First, if you are served with a summons, you must answer the attached petition within a certain number days. Both parties must disclose financial information to the other side and both parties generally may participate in discovery. Discovery usually takes the form of requesting items and documents for the other side to produce within a certain time period. Discovery may also include propounding questions for the other side to answer under oath. Discovery is a very important phase of any legal case and should only be handled by experienced legal counsel. Please remember, a skilled Jacksonville divorce lawyer can help you through this entire process.
Following the discovery process the parties may decide to settle the case in the form of a stipulated agreement or may decide to continue on litigating the case to a trial or hearing. Once a trial date has been set the Court will generally order mediation before the date of the trial. The mediation process is a great way to resolve many cases and is less intimidating, for the client, than a full trial. However, many times the parties will not agree to all of the issues at mediation and reach what we call an impasse. An impasse just means that the case was not resolved at mediation and parties, at least for now, wish to pursue their rights at a full hearing or trial.
Whether a client wishes to pursue his or her rights at trial is completely up to the client following a full consultation. At the pretrial consultation, we answer all of the client’s questions regarding the trial, including, but not limited to, the advantages and disadvantages of going to trial. Other issues to go over at the pretrial consultation are what evidence favors my client’s case and what evidence may favor the opposing party’s case. Ultimately, our job is to answer all of the client’s questions and to advise the client accordingly. One thing we do pride ourselves on is being a straight shooter with the client. We will always give and honest and straight forward assessment of how the case is going.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We can be reached in the email dialogue box or you can call our law firm twenty-four hours a day at 904-356-8618. Let us start helping you with your case today.
Our law firm also represents individuals in Clay County, St. Johns County, Nassau County, Flagler County, and Baker County.