Uncontested Divorce Hearing With Answer & Waiver

by David from Orlando, Florida, Orange County (Deployed to Iraq)

I'm in the military and deployed to Iraq. My wife is the petitioner for the divorce and we signed the papers together using a non-lawyer while we were still on good terms.

I signed the answer & waiver so we could get the hearing and I would not have to go while I was deployed, other wise she would have had to wait until I redeployed and she needs to relocate with a child from another father.

We have no children and the divorce is uncontested with no children and no property. Now she is threatening to take it all back when she goes to the hearing and demand 50% of everything I own.

I only signed the waiver under the pretense of no property. Can she do that to me while I'm deployed?

Answer to Florida Divorce Question

Dear David,

First of all, I think that the intent of the statement in the Petition of Dissolution of Marriage with No Property and No Minor Child(ren) that there is no property is that there is no property to be divided.

And that the parties have amicably agreed to the division of property, that there is no property in dispute.

It does not necessarily mean that there is no property at all.

So, you likely were not signing the Answer, Consent and Waiver of Appearance under the pretense that there was no property, but that you thought that the property had been amicably divided.

And now, apparently, you found out that she wants half
of what is yours. She might be legally entitled to some of your property, if it is marital property. For example, a house that you bought together during the marriage is almost always marital property, even if you were the only one paying the bills; and even if for whatever reason her name is not on the deed.

But, if you owned a house prior to getting married and still own it, she may not have a claim on it. Contact the clerk of court to find out what you need to do to amend your Answer.

Explain to the clerk that, although you still consent to most of the statements in the petition for dissolution there may suddenly be property in dispute. And also that you need to appear at the hearing.

When you file your amended answer, also file a Motion for Telephonic Hearing, stating the reason for your need to be heard telephonically the fact that you are active duty military currently deployed in Iraq.

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