Is there a law regarding the timely filing or lack of filing of financial affidavits in divorce?
02/16/2007 - Divorce - State: FL #724
My spouse and I signed a consent final judgment of dissolution 9/19/99. I signed because he threatened to sell my home. No petition or financial affidavit was filed prior to this nor had it been until 4/13/06. We have not lived together but went to trial in order to establish that the consent was not valid. The consent was never filed and never enforced until my husband was caught cheating with a co-worker. He told me he would be fired if I did not agree to the original consent showing me were divorced. The judge ruled that the document was valid. How is that possible? My witnesses (spouse's family) testified that we maintained a complete marital relationship since 8/12/90, the date of our marriage, and that we act as husband and wife in all issues. Is there a law regarding the timely filing or lack of filing of the abovementioned consent?
Florida is one of the many states that has abolished fault as a ground for divorce. This law lessens the potential harm to the husband and wife and their children caused by the process of divorce. All that is required is that the marriage be "irretrievably broken." Either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. All that has to be proved is that the marriage is broken. The regular dissolution process begins with a petition for dissolution of marriage, filed with the circuit court by the husband or wife, which states that the marriage is irretrievably broken and sets out what the person wants from the court. The other partner must file an Answer within 20 days maximum, which includes the matters within the initial petition on which the parties agree or disagree as well as any issues the answering party wishes to raise.
After a regular dissolution of marriage, if you feel the judge's decision was incorrect, you may appeal that decision, provided that certain procedural steps are taken. An appellate court does not, however, frequently reverse a trial judge's decision because the judge has broad discretion in divorce cases. Just because you do not like the judge's decision is not a reason for an appeal. If the trial judge makes an error of law, or has abused his discretion, the decision may be reversed.
Certain Florida couples are eligible to dissolve their marriage by way of a simplified procedure. These dissolutions are "do-it-yourself" and were designed so the services of an attorney may not be necessary. Husband and wife are responsible, however, for filing all necessary documents correctly, and husband and wife are required to appear before a judge together when the final dissolution is granted.
The simplified dissolution of marriage process is designed for couples with no dependent children and no disputed property. Therefore, not everyone can qualify. A husband and wife can use the simplified dissolution of marriage only if:
(a) they both agree to the use of this form of dissolution proceeding;
(b) they have no minor (under 18) or dependent children;
(c) have no adopted children under the age of 18;
(d) the wife is not pregnant;
(e) at least one of the parties has lived in Florida for the past six months;
(f) the parties have agreed on the division of all of their property (assets)and obligations (debts); and
(g) both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and want to end their marriage because of serious permanent differences.
Couples wanting to use the simplified process must meet all these conditions. If not, they must use the regular dissolution of marriage process.
There are substantial differences between a simplified and a regular dissolution of marriage. In a regular dissolution, each spouse has the right to examine and cross-examine the other as a witness, and to obtain documents concerning the other's income, expenses, assets and liabilities before having a trial or settlement of the case. With a simplified dissolution, financial information may be requested but it is not required to be given.
In a simplified dissolution there is no trial and no appeal. Also, with a simplified dissolution neither the husband nor the wife can receive support from the other
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02/16/2007 - Category: Divorce - State: FL #724
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