Navigating divorce disagreement in Florida can be an emotional and legal maze, especially when you’re the one who wants to stay married. It’s a topic often sidelined but crucial to understand because it not only impacts your emotional well-being but also your legal standing in the state.
Refusal to Divorce
Florida courts can proceed with a divorce with only one party signing the divorce petition. Nonetheless, it elongates the process and amplifies the frustration, which is often the crux of divorce disagreement.
What to Do When You Can’t Refuse the Divorce?
What are the options for a married person who wishes to remain married and does not want a divorce? Florida courts do permit a counterclaim. Such a claim may ask the court to mandate therapy to save the marriage. If the couple has children, the court is very likely to grant such a request.
Can You Ignore a Filing for Divorce?
It may be tempting, but it is a bad idea to simply ignore your spouse’s divorce filing. Ignoring reality will not stop the process. A divorce petition is a legal filing with the court and should not be ignored, as the court will proceed regardless of your actions or inactions. The most you will accomplish is to create a delay. When legal papers have been filed, it is always in your best interest to seek legal advice (which is not the same as agreeing to a divorce) to ensure that your needs and rights are protected. Everyone deserves fairness, especially when it involves assets and children.
A Contested Divorce
In a divorce disagreement, the Respondent must express their objections clearly to the court. The sensible way to do this is not to ignore the divorce proceedings. Instead, file an answer to the initial petition, thereby making your dissent heard. Your response signals that you’re contesting the divorce.
An Uncontested Divorce
Reasons for Signing Divorce Papers
Even a brief marriage without noticeable assets or children can turn complicated by issues such as property division and/or alimony as the Petitioner may seek terms favorable to him or her only instead of to both parties. When there are assets or children involved, a response becomes even more critical.
A Respondent usually has 30 days to answer a divorce petition. If there is no answer, the judge may grant a default divorce, granting the Petitioner what he or she has requested.
Options in the Event of Abandonment
Divorce can get messy, and outright abandonment can be even worse. Even if the abandoned party does not desire a divorce, he or she can ensure the family’s financial security by requesting child and spousal support without filing a divorce petition. Said party can also file a separation agreement, or postnuptial agreement, which addresses property division and child custody and support. The judge will address these issues as if it were a filing for divorce – with the difference that you will not be able to remarry.
There may be reasons for a legal separation instead of a legal divorce. A couple, or one of the parties involved, may simply not be prepared for that final severing of ties. There may also be religious reasons involved. A third, and perhaps practical, reason for opting against a divorce is to help the other spouse maintain insurance and other legal benefits.
Whether you agree with a divorce or not, you will be unable to prevent it in the State of Florida. The best you can do is slow it down and/or file a counterclaim requesting marriage counseling.
Without your response, the Petitioner’s filing will move forward without your input. This situation leaves you voiceless in your divorce disagreement. It’s wise to consult a divorce attorney to safeguard your interests and rights before any court decision.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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