Congratulations! If you’re reading this, then chances are you worked your case out. I wanted to let you know what to expect at the final hearing. You should have received an email detailing the date, time, and place of the final hearing. If your case is in Duval County, then your final hearing will be held at the Duval County Courthouse 501 West Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 in one of the hearing rooms located on the seventh floor of the courthouse.
When you walk into the courthouse you will have to go through security. Afterwards walk through the glass doors and the elevators are located on the first floor in the back left hand corner of the building. Take the elevators to the seventh floor and then go to the hearing room which I designated in the email.
Most final hearings in Duval Count take place between 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. If you could be at the hearing room at 9:30 a.m., I would appreciate it. Please note, however, if your case is in Division C (see upper right hand corner of Notice of Hearing), then the judge in that division actually specifies an exact time, which probably won’t be at 9:30 a.m.
Finding a parking spot can sometimes be difficult to find in the morning, so please give yourself an extra 10 minute leeway. Also, on some days, I may have more than one hearing, so I may not actually be there waiting for you at 9:30 a.m. Don’t worry, however, as we will have until 10:00 a.m. to handle your case. The hearing itself should not take more than 5 minutes.
Please make sure to bring your Florida driver’s license with you. Your license must have been issued six months prior to the filing of the case. Please double check the date for me. If for some reason it was issued within 6 months of the filing or after the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, then you will need to bring a witness with you who can testify that you have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to the filing. In the alternative, the witness could sign an Affidavit of Residency.
Please note that when we go in to see the judge, there may be other attorneys and other parties (waiting to get their own divorce). Here are the questions I will be asking you…
What is your name?
What is your address?
How long have you been a continuous resident of the State of Florida?
Can you please show the judge your driver’s license?
Who are you married to?
Have you separated with your spouse?
Do you believe your marriage to be irretrievably broken?
Can you briefly state the reasons why? (Note…you have to explain to the judge why you believe the marriage is broken beyond repair).
Do you believe that any type of marriage counseling could help save your marriage?
Do you want the judge to order any type of marriage counseling?
Do you have any minor children?
If you are the wife in the case, then I will ask you whether you are currently pregnant?
If you are the husband, then I will ask you if your wife is currently pregnant?
Did you and your spouse sign a Marital Settlement Agreement or Consent Final Judgment? (I will show you the Agreement or Judgment and have you identify the signatures).
If you are the wife and you are asking for a name change, then I will also ask you what name you wish to be restored to…and whether you are seeking to change your name for any ulterior motive such as to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution.
That’s usually about it. Sometimes the judge may ask a question or two. If that happens, just answer to the best of your ability. I should have you out of the courthouse by 10:15 a.m. depending on how crowded it is. I look forward to seeing you. I hope you have a great day. Thanks.
Copyright ©2012 Steven A. Leitman
Original posting on 904Divorce.com