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

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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