No Hearing Option | Florida Divorce
Here’s the real deal – no legal mumbo jumbo. Once a Florida divorce case is filed at the local courthouse, the family law judge MUST wait at least 20 days before a final judgment can be entered. Like most rules, there is an exception which allows a judge to do it sooner but unless there are compelling/extenuating circumstances, don’t ask.
Most of Florida’s 67 counties require a short final hearing. It lasts about 5 minutes and the lawyer or judge will ask about 7 routine questions (name, rank and serial number stuff) and, most importantly, whether your marriage is irretrievably broken and whether you want to be divorced. Assuming all the legal work is in order, this is where you really need a diligent, competent Florida divorce lawyers, NOT a document company or paralegal type, the judge will sign the final judgment and you will be divorced.
Uncontested Florida Divorce | No Hearing Option
Now, there are a few counties around the state that will process a divorce requirements in Florida WITHOUT requiring a final hearing if the case is an UNCONTESTED Florida divorce. Everything is done electronically and by mail. The judge’s case manager reviews all the legal work and if the “I’s” have been dotted and the “T’s” crossed will send the final judgment to the judge to sign.
Most of the time this occurs within 30 days unless there is an issue with a document or the case manager and/or judge is backed up. IF there are no children or potential issues after the divorce, the no hearing option is really good and we encourage you to take advantage. However, IF there are children there is always the potential for some type of post judgment proceeding (modification of support, parenting plan or relocation) or if no children and there is a potential for a post divorce modification (i.e.. alimony) or enforcement because your spouse has no intention of honoring the agreement, we DO NOT recommend the no hearing option and here’s why (THIS IS WHAT MOST LAWYERS DON’T TELL YOU): in all likelihood you live far away from the county where your case was filed as there are only a few that will process by mail.
If there is an issue that requires you to go back to court to make a modification, you will either need to go to the county where the case was filed OR transfer it back to the appropriate county (usually where you live). If you choose to litigate in the county where it was originally filed, you will not be pleased (trust me – read on), your ex-spouse will not be pleased, the judge will not be pleased and you will spend money that you shouldn’t have to IF your lawyer gave you this information. So, if you see other websites promoting a no-hearing option in a Florida divorce case, see if they give you the whole story – not likely. The divorce attorneys at Steven D. Miller, P.A. will always give you honest information on what to expect.
Trust me (famous last lawyer words), if there are kids, go to the hearing. You’ll be glad you did.
“ When it’s time to leave . . .Call Steve.” It’s a smart, smart thing to do.