Which is the best way for me to proceed with a divorce?

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Which is the best way for me to proceed with a divorce?

I was married 3 1/2 years ago, and had been separated 3 years. My husband was arrested for domestic violence, served a year in jail for a felony, and was deported to Mexico where he continues living. He has now fathered a child with another woman. He said he would sign the paperwork for a divorce but I’d like to know what my options are in case he doesn’t. We don’t have any property or children. Other than waiting on him what else can I do? Is there a way for me to get a divorce quickly without his signature, perhaps directly petitioning a judge? I live in FL.

Asked on June 6, 2011 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can obtain a "divorce by default".  Your divorce papers need to be filled out and filed with the court. The court will then issue a citation, at which point your husband will need to be served.  There are special service of process notice requirements for serving someone who is out of the country.  

In general a default divorce works this way - the respondent (your husband) is served notified of the divorce by the petitioner (you). Then, after a specified period of time (usually 30 days or so), if your spouse does not answer that constitutes a "default".  Accordingly you will then file your final paperwork and appear before the judge (typically in 60 days).  As a general rule, a divorce is then granted on the terms that you requested.

At this point you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. 


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