The final divorce order is the document that officially signifies the end of the marriage, returning both the spouses back to their “single” status.
Also known as a divorce decree or final judgment, it lists all the terms of the divorce, including:
- The division of assets
- A parenting plan, which involves issues such as: whether a parent will pay child support, which parent will have child custody, where will the child go to school, etc.
Even though it is called the “final” divorce order, the terms of the agreement can be changed later if circumstances warrant an alteration.
How the Divorce Process Works
Are you wondering how the divorce process works in the state of Florida? A divorce decree covers the following issues:
- Division of the property
- Division of the debt
- Child custody (including the issues of visitation rights and child support)
Your divorce only becomes “final” once you have signed the divorce agreement and a judge has approved it (by stamping it with their seal). The court will also mail you a copy of the final divorce order to conclude the divorce proceedings.
Ways to Reach the Final Decree
As per the Florida law, there are two ways the parties can arrive at a final divorce order.
A consent order incorporating the divorce agreement is submitted to the court if both the spouses reach an agreement on all of the issues (those listed above), even with the help of a mediator. After the court approves it, a final judgment is entered.
If spouses are unable to reach a mutually agreeable solution, they will have to go to the trial where a judge will decide the disputed issues based upon the evidence presented. Only then will the agreement enter a final judgment.
Mandatory Delay in the Final Judgment
The law states that a final decree cannot be issued until at least 20 days after a divorce petition is filed. Even if the parties are in agreement regarding all the issues and there are no disputes, this delay is mandatory in Florida.
There is an exception to this rule. If one party can show the court that it would be unjust to delay the final judgment, the judge can waive the delay.
Alteration of Final Judgment
The court can modify the final decree if the lives of both the former spouses change drastically after the divorce.
For example, you lose your job and are in no position to pay the entire sum of alimony. On the other hand, your former spouse has married a multimillionaire and no longer needs any financial assistance from you. Or maybe your former spouse – who has the custody of kids – wants to move out from Florida to Texas.
In these kinds of cases, the party looking to modify the final judgment must provide evidence that the terms of final judgment should be altered to fit the change in their situation.
A Florida family law court can order the couple seeking a divorce to go into counseling if children are involved. In that case, the court can delay the divorce process for up to 3 months so that the couple can come to an agreement regarding the disputed issues or reach reconciliation.
The Law Offices of Patrick Cordero, PA Can Help
If you want to control the outcome of your divorce and get the final judgment you want, it’s best to resolve the issues between you and your spouse before you go to the trial. The Law Offices of Patrick Cordero, PA will be personally involved with your case. Call today at (786) 460-3968 to schedule a consultation!