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M1952's avatar

Is there any point in divorce where the petitioner is asked to change their mind on continuing with the divorce?

Asked by M1952 (301points) September 1st, 2014 from iPhone

My husband filed for divorce (florida), I am 5 months pregnant, I responded to the petition and agreed with everything he said EXCEPT that our marriage was irretrievably broken (I think that’s the term) I stated I did not agree and that maybe counseling would of helped us and a few minor differences were not cause for divorce. The court sent us paperwork a month ago to go to a class called divorce in a child’s view or something like that, we haven’t gone yet but is this something that will try to persuade him not to continue with the divorce? Or will the judge try to convince him not to divorce? My think is I would at least like to wait until our baby is born because I feel he is being irrational and not thinking properly. Our court date is set for the end of October.

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23 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I think I answered to you on a previous question that Florida courts concern themselves with children when parents divorce. The class you are mandated to take is part of that. If I were you I would attend the class.

Florida usually does not spend a lot of time trying to get the couples to work things out and stay married (thank goodness). I think the law is once the divorce is filed the couple only need wait 20 days for it to be finalized, except in the case of children in the marriage, then things are delayed until the parents and child have gone throughball required classes.

I don’t know if there will actually be a specific time the courts will ask you if you want to change your mind. If you are changing your mind then don’t sign the final divorce decree. Don’t sign anything if you are unsure.

You really should get legal advice, please seek out help where you live for some legal advice.

I’m not a lawyer.

M1952's avatar

You did respond before, thank you. I’m not the petitioner, just the respondent, what is a divorce decree? I’m still in the process of trying to convince my husband to either cancel or postpone the divorce

M1952's avatar

I have already responded to the petition if that’s what you mean? I already filed my response.

janbb's avatar

We keep suggesting to you that you get some local support and/or advice. It would be so much more beneficial for you to speak to people who really know the Florida divorce process. Is there a reason why you are not getting local advice that we can help you with? I really feel for you but I am frustrated because I don’t really know how to help you.

Your husband does sound like a deadbeat and it might also be helpful for you to focus your energies on how to support yourself and your child without him.

M1952's avatar

I just started a new job and I cannot go during buisness hours to speak to anyone at the moment, and today is a Holliday.

marinelife's avatar

No. I am sorry to tell you this, but if your husband is set on divorce probably nothing could dissuade him. You could get an attorney and contest the divorce but why would you want to be tied to someone who doesn’t want to be with you?

janbb's avatar

How about going on You can look for a divorce support group in your town or area; many of them will meet in the evening. People in the group will have lots of practical advice for you.

You should get an attorney in any case because he may be able to fight for child support for you.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m pretty sure the final divorce decree is the document that gets signed off by the judge and has the details of the divorce including any alimony, child support, etc. I’m not a lawyer, and I hate the law, so my knowledge is very limited. What I know is just from friends getting divorced, I’ve never been divorced. I was witness to one of my friends divorces, she had no kids, her husband was not even present, we just went into a room in the courthouse, a judge, a couple of lawyers, my girlfriend me, and we all signed off on everything and it was done in 5 minutes. Her husband had already signed the papers. Other friends and family had children and they and their children had to take the classes, and everyone said they benefitted from the classes and so did their children.

My only point is don’t sign anything you are unsure of or if you don’t understand what it says. Read everything completely before signing. Even if you think verbally everyone agrees, or that a prior document said what you were ok with, each time you sign you need to make sure that document says what you agreed to.

jca's avatar

Your local courthouse may have some free legal help, usually provided by a local law school (students and interns who provide advice and referrals, and maybe actual lawyers who participate). I’m sure you get a lunch hour – see if you can go then. If not, tell your boss that you need an extra hour off during the day or to leave early or come in late for something personal and important.

JLeslie's avatar

My girlfriend who is a lawyer in MI volunteers on Saturdays to help fathers who are not married (never having been married) to submit documents to the court to be able to see their children.

Call the court and ask what help might be available for you.

livelaughlove21's avatar

A man typically does not file for divorce as a way of saying, “Try harder. Convince me to back out of this. I love you.” By filing, he’s telling you, “I’m unhappy and I want out. I don’t love you enough to stay and work on this. You being pregnant with my child isn’t even enough of an incentive for me to stay. I don’t want to be with you.” I understand wanting your marriage to work, especially with a baby on the way, but don’t make a fool of yourself by trying to convince him to come back. He’s given you no indication that he’s second-guessing this divorce. He doesn’t even want time with your child after it’s born. His intentions are clear.

JLeslie's avatar

Plus, he sounds like a loser. I hate to say it, I know it is upsetting and an extremely difficult time. He will make you miserable I think staying married to him after the way he has acted.

M1952's avatar

Yes you guys are right ): it’s just hard to accept, thank you.

zenvelo's avatar

To get back to your question, the judge won’t try to persuade him or you, but the judge will check on proceeding? The judge will ask, “You wish to proceed with the dissolution?” The judge will ask you, too. It’s the judge’s now to make sure a fully informed decision is being made.

But you can’t hold someone hostage in a marriage to have the baby born. So don’t expect anything to be done to delay. You showing up in court pregnant will make the judge sympathetic anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

PS – Your husband sounds like the kind of jerk who even if he knows it is his child, ail still question paternity. Do not be surprised if he wants a paternity test after the baby is born.

M1952's avatar

Probably so ! ): thank you for the information @zenvelo my husband is definitely a piece of work, I feel stupid even asking this question now.

JLeslie's avatar

@M1952 Did you want to stay married until the baby was born? Or, you wanted to stay married in general? I didn’t get the impression it was about the baby. If you are divorced at the time of the baby’s birth he likely will have no right to see her, no custody, but will have to pay child support. That’s how it is in most states, I’m not sure about Florida. Most states an unwed father at the time of the birth has no legal rights to the child. If that is the case that would be ideal for you I would think. You can move out of state if you want, you can legally deny him access to the child if you want. He would have to sue you for visitation or custody if the laws are like many other states. Mind you, I empathasize with men who complain about paying for their kids and don’t get to see their children much, but I think you will have trouble getting money out of this guy anyway. Plus, the law will be on your side that if he doesn’t pay you can get him arrested, but I know a lot of women are reluctant to do that, I have no idea if you will be.

Seaofclouds's avatar

When I filed for divorce in Delaware, I had to take a similar class. It was mandatory for the petitioners in Delaware if there were children involved. It is also required in Delaware when they look at custody issues. I’m not sure if Florida is the same way or not, but you may want to make sure you take the class.

You may also want to start looking into child custody. I know you still have a few months, but it’s best to be prepared. If he signs the birth certificate, he will be establishing paternity and have rights/visitation and a responsibility to pay child support (if ordered). If he does not sign the birth certificate, he would need to establish paternity (through a test) in order to have rights/visitation. You would also have to establish paternity to get child support.

I know this can all sound very overwhelming. If you have any other questions, you can PM me and I can try to help you. I’m not in Florida and don’t know their laws, but I’ve been through a divorce, custody, and child support issues before.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds The laws in MI and TN are the unwed father has no rights to visitation or custody, so the laws vary a lot from state to state. She really needs to know Florida law regarding the unborn child.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I agree that she needs to know the laws in Florida. I was just pointing out that having him sign the birth certificate when their child is born could have an affect on child support, visitation, and custody. It’s something she needs to look into and consider.

Also, unwed is a little different from in the process of or recently divorced. The timing of their divorce will also come into play, especially if they haven’t finalized the divorce before the baby is born.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I doubt the law cares about when the baby was created, it probably only cares about whether they are wed at the time of the baby’s birth.

In MI and TN the unwed biological father is on the hook for child support no matter what. It doesn’t matter what the birth certificate says, he still has no rights unless he fights for them legally. The state cares about the money more than anything. That some father is going to help pay for the child.

You’re right though, it is something to look into since the laws do vary.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie The law does care about when the child was created. If you look up the Uniform Parentage Act, it states the ways of establishing paternity. Under “presumed paternity”, it states the following:

“he and the mother of the child were married to each other and the child is born
within 300 days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of
invalidity, or divorce [, or after a decree of separation];” (source)

So, as I said, there is a difference between unwed and divorced and that will have an affect on her situation. She needs to speak to someone in Florida that can help her with their specific laws. I just wanted to point this out to her so she knows it is possible he will be presumed as the father and have rights from the start.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds Interesting. Well, she will fall within the 300 days so I guess he will have rights to see the child, if he bothers to use the right.

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