UNCONTESTED DIVORCE by DEFAULT
AFTER DILIGENT SEARCH and INQUIRY
and CONSTRUCTIVE SERVICE
Attoney Prepared Pleadings $149
Spouse Cannot Be Located
A court does not have the authority to hear your case unless your spouse is served with your pleadings. If you do not know where your spouse is or if your spouse is out of the country and personal service isn't possible you can serve him/her by a method called constructive service. This process allows you to publish your pleadings in a local newspaper to obtain personal service of your spouse.
You must show the court that you have made a good faith effort to find your spouse by filing a Diligent Search and Inquiry Affidavit. It means you have to show you tried very hard to find your spouse.
With few exceptions Constructive Service allows you to get a divorce only. The judge will not decide property or debt division. There are extra costs associated with constructive service (also called "personal service by publication") because you willl have to pay the newspaper publication fees (about $200) along with your filing fee of about $400. Keep in mind that if you need financial assistance with the filing fees and publication fees you can request help by filing an application with the clerk of court. All counties have their own guidelines and there is no guarantee your request will be granted. I will supply the application.
SUMMARY OF WHAT TO EXPECT:
You respond to my questionnaire and I send the completed documents for you to sign.
You file the case at your local clerk's office and pay appropriate court costs and publication fees.
A local newspaper publishes your pleadings and sends you proof to file with the court.
You ask the clerk for a default against your spouse and a final hearing before the judge.
Questions? Call 561-389-2022
You do not have to buy forms and worry if you are using them correctly or filling them out properly. You do not have to depend on complex instructions or non lawyer advice to properly file your case.
I will prepare your pleadings and documents according to the requirements of the laws of the State of Florida and the local procedures of the Circuit Court of filing.
FAQs for Uncontested Divorce after Diligent Search and Inquiry
1. How long does this process take?
A diligent search and newspaper publication can extend the process on this type of uncontested divorce to approximately 2-3 months.
2. What happens if I locate my spouse?
If you locate your spouse you will have to serve him/her to proceed. I will prepare the pleadings that you require to file a lawsuit for a contested dissolution of marriage (divorce). After your spouse has been served you will have to contact the clerk or case manager in your circuit to complete your divorce.
3. How and when to pay.
Your initial payment of $149 will pay your legal fees in full. You are hiring me to prepare the required documents for filing only. You will pay court costs of about $400 to the clerk when you file and your fees to the newspaper when you order the publication.
If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees or publication fees you can apply for financial assistance when you file. You may be granted full or partial relief. I will supply the application. Remember however that if you are not approved for assistance you will have to pay the full filing fee before your case can continue.
4. What if you have questions?
You are hiring me to prepare your document and I will answer your questions. Call or email.
5. Is this service right for you?
If you cannot locate your spouse the judge can still grant a divorce but cannot grant other relief. If you require any other specific relief you can either reopen the case at a later date or seek the help of local counsel..
6. Contract for Legal Services
The Contract for Legal Services is found here or on the CONTACT page of this site. By making your payment either online or by mail you are agreeing to the terms as set forth therein.
7. Wife's Former Name
If you are the wife you may ask the court to restore a former name. It is accomplished easily and at no extra cost in this procedure but is expensive if done after the case is finalized.