Frequently Asked Divorce Questions
Insight from an Ocala Family Law Attorney
At Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A., our Ocala family law attorney believes that her clients deserve the utmost in service and support from their legal advocate. This is why our team has provided the answers to some common questions about divorce. If you have any further questions, please contact us at any time.
What Is the Usual Time Frame for a Divorce?
A divorce is often one of the most stressful and emotionally traumatic situations a human being will ever go through. It is important to know what to expect and how long the process could potentially take.
- The steps involved include:
- Initial consultation.
- Filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.
- Financial disclosure.
- Other forms of discovery.
- Mediation and/or trial.
- Dissolution of the marriage.
A divorce begins upon the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and ends upon the entry of a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. This process, from beginning to end, can take as little as two weeks and as long as two years. The average divorce action takes approximately six months to resolve. The average post-dissolution matter also takes approximately six months to resolve.
What Happens During the Initial Consultation?
This is the first time you and your attorney meet. It is imperative that your attorney carefully listens to you at this meeting and to assess exactly what you expect. It is equally important that the attorney advises you how the law will likely apply to the facts of your case and whether your expectations are reasonable. It is at this meeting that you and your Ocala divorce attorney should formulate your strategy for going forward, and begin the process of gathering documents for mandatory financial disclosure.
What Is Financial Disclosure?
Parties to most family law matters (divorce, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements and modification/enforcement actions) must exchange financial disclosure. These documents consist of financial affidavits wherein the parties list their income, monthly bills, and expenses, assets and liabilities. Each party must also produce tax returns, credit card statements, bank statements, and other documents.
When Would I Need Other Forms of Discovery?
In some cases, it is necessary to hire individual experts and take the depositions of these individuals before going to mediation and/or trial. The parties may also have their depositions taken.
What Is Mediation?
Most family law disputes settle in mediation. Mediation is an informal or formal meeting in which the parties and their attorneys meet and attempt to settle their case with the help of a mediator. The mediator is a neutral third party who is either an attorney or retired Judge with family law expertise. If an agreement is reached at mediation, a Marital Settlement Agreement is prepared and signed by the parties that very day. After that, the agreement is filed with the court, and a Final Judgment of Dissolution is entered dissolving the marriage.
Will We Go to Trial?
Trials can be very stressful and very expensive. However, trials are necessary in some cases. In matters in which the parties have attempted, unsuccessfully, to settle their case at mediation, a judge will hear the evidence presented by the parties and will make a decision regarding all disputed matters. The judges' decision will be in the form of a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
Contact Us for Representation
If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, or if you have already decided to end the marriage, you need legal representation. Contact the Ocala divorce attorney at the law office of Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A.today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Call (352) 437-2200 now to get in touch with our legal team.