Preparation of Forms
Going through a divorce can be not only an emotional experience, but also a tedious one. Figuring out what documents are needed and how to compile them properly for mediation or court can feel overwhelming. My name is William Wallshein and I’ve been a Palm Beach Gardens family attorney for over 25 years, helping clients sort through and prepare forms that are required for divorce proceedings. I know how difficult this time can be, and I work hard to ensure vast amounts of paperwork do not add to my clients’ stress. I aid clients in document preparation to safeguard their interests in mediation and, if necessary, litigation. This allows my clients to focus on deciding the important issues when it comes to their divorce, such as child custody, child support, or spousal support.Filing for Dissolution of Marriage
In Florida, a spouse must file a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage in the correct court to initiate divorce proceedings. A spouse may file in the county where he or she has been a resident for at least six months before filing. Since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, it is not necessary to place blame on either spouse for the divorce. You need only show that the marriage has been irretrievably broken, or that a spouse has been mentally incapacitated for three years.
A petition for dissolution should include all issues to be addressed by the court, including asset and debt division, child custody, child support, and alimony. If neither spouse wishes to seek alimony, and there are no minor children involved, you may be able to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage if you have agreed upon how property will be divided. Simplified dissolutions, however, mean that both parties relinquish some rights, such as cross-examination and access to financial documentation. By contrast, a regular dissolution process allows parties to mediate or go to court to settle divorce issues.Forms Required for Divorce Proceedings
Depending on the couple, whether or not they had minor children, and what property they own, various forms and documentation are required in a divorce. The least complicated, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage With No Minor Children and No Property, still requires the following forms to be submitted:
- Petition, which must be notarized
- Financial Affidavit – Short Form (for those individuals who earn less than $50,000 yearly)
- Financial Affidavit – Long Form (for those individuals who earn more than $50,000 yearly)
- Notice of Social Security Number
- Family Law Civil Cover Sheet
- Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage
If the divorce involves minor children, additional forms regarding parenting plans, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit, and Summons for Service of Process are also required. Spouses filing must also “serve” their petition, meaning they must give notice and a copy of the petition to the non-filing spouse.
In Florida, you are also required to submit a completed and signed financial affidavit to your spouse within 45 days of when your petition is served. Information and documents required for this affidavit include a list of your:
- Tax return documentation
- Bank and credit card statements
- Any other personal financial statement or document that is relevant
The volume of documentation can be a time-consuming process, but it is important to pay attention to detail when filing the various forms, whether they involve custody proceedings, divorce, or a paternity action. It is wise to consult a knowledgeable attorney to make sure all paperwork is prepared and submitted properly.Skilled Divorce Attorney in West Palm Beach
Organizing all the required forms and paperwork to settle a divorce takes a lot of time and energy. Even then, mistakes can be made. The assistance of a meticulous West Palm Beach divorce lawyer can make sure everything you need is properly prepared and filed in court. My name is William Wallshein, and I have been a practicing law for over three decades, and helping clients throughout Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties in all stages of divorce for over 25 years. I am dedicated to making sure my clients receive diligent representation throughout their legal proceedings. Please call 561-533-1221 to schedule a free initial consultation, or contact me online. We accept payment by credit card.