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If you are considering getting a divorce in Florida, you might wonder how to proceed. You might have heard terms like pro se divorce or simplified divorce and asked what they mean. A Stuart, FL, pro se divorce mediator can help explain these terms and how they might be an option for you if you seek a divorce in Florida.
Pro se simply means that you do not have a lawyer and represent your own legal interests in a legal proceeding. So, yes, you can get a pro se divorce even if there are minor children involved.
However, some people mistake the term “pro se” with “simplified” divorce. A simplified dissolution of marriage, or simplified divorce, is one in which you and your spouse agree to all the terms of your divorce. With a simplified divorce, you can expedite the process and get divorced faster, often within 30 days of the divorce filing. However, you must meet certain conditions to qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, including:
Many people who pursue a simplified divorce are also pro se, meaning that they agree on the divorce and do not have their own lawyers. The courts respect the ability of spouses to reach an agreement on their own terms and to acknowledge it.
As you can see from the conditions above, you cannot get a simplified dissolution of marriage if you have minor children.
When these more complex issues are involved, the court requires greater oversight. Additionally, it uses other standards when making determinations, such as the child’s best interests. Florida courts also require parties to take a parenting class in all family law cases involving minor children.
The primary benefit of a pro se divorce is saving money by not having to pay a lawyer. Legal fees for a basic divorce can easily cost thousands of dollars. They can be even more expensive if the case is contested or involves complex legal issues.
Sometimes, when couples involve lawyers, the case may become more contentious than it would have been without the involvement of a lawyer. Unfortunately, some lawyers may have reputations for fighting aggressively, even if that is not best for a particular client. Having a pro se divorce potentially allows you to get divorced on your own terms.
The major drawback of a pro se divorce is that you must deal with the complex legal system independently. There may be complicated procedures involved in the case. If you do not provide a response or make a legal argument at a certain time, you can unwittingly forfeit your opportunity to do so.
A divorce involving minor children can carry high stakes, with child custody and support issues at play. Therefore, you must understand the legal implications involved in your divorce.
A Stuart FL pro se divorce mediator can help bridge the gap by providing you with helpful legal information while also controlling costs. Additionally, a Florida pro se divorce mediator can help you and your spouse identifies the issues involved in your divorce and starts collaboratively tackling them. That way, even if your divorce is originally contested, you can proceed with an uncontested process after mediation.
An experienced Stuart, FL, pro se divorce mediator can help explain Florida divorce rules and outcomes that you may have if you proceed to litigation, such as not getting as much time with your children or losing the property you thought you would be able to keep. When you (and your spouse) realize everything is on the line, you may be more likely to fully engage in the mediation process.
Working with a Stuart FL pro se divorce mediator may help you obtain the following benefits:
Contact Ann Goade today if you are considering divorce and want to work with an experienced Stuart, FL, pro se divorce mediator. Ann has served Florida families with quality mediation since 1993. She is dedicated to helping your family achieve an amicable, swifter, more affordable, and less contentious divorce. Call to find out more about the mediation process today.