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I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your dilemma.
It is always possible to request a continuance, but the judge has complete discretion over whether to allow it. The more time between making the request and the scheduled court date the better, so if you could get your lawyer to request a continuance today, that would help your case. You unfortunately cannot file without your lawyer. Because this case has been going on for 4 years, it's possible the judge will not allow another continuance, especially if they've already said that this case has to be resolved on Jan. 11.
It's possible that your lawyer won't want to file as a way of avoiding upsetting the judge less than a week before trial. That's fairly common - if he's positive the judge will say no, many lawyers wouldn't want to file. But you have nothing to lose by asking your lawyer about filing.
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That's OK. We can continue here.
The reason I'm concerned the judge might say no is that you said he already said that he wants the case off his docket. That doesn't mean you can't try. It just means that the request might be denied. You'd have a better chance if you could file today.
Talk to your lawyer about why you don't think he's ready. See if he can say anything to make you feel better.
If you filed for a no fault divorce, I'm afraid his behavior isn't relevant. The divorce will be granted if one of you testifies that the marriage is broken and cannot be repaired.
If that's really your concern, you do not have to sign anything. You can stand your ground until you get what you think is a fair settlement.
No, I'm saying the sooner it can be filed the better. As soon as you know you need to continue, it's best to file right away. If you wait to file until next week, the judge might say no.
Your lawyer needs permission from the judge to withdraw. If he filed to withdraw now, the judge might deny it because she's planning to end the case.
A divorce case doesn't require a settlement. If the two of you can't agree by the hearing, the judge will enter an order consistent with Florida law. Which essentially means that each of you will get half of everything.
If you don't agree, you don't sign. Period.
You're right that if you sign a settlement on the 11th, the judge will never hear about your husband's infidelity or giving you an STD. Because legally, these things do not matter in a divorce.
Then let the judge do it. If the judge does it, you can appeal. If you sign, you can't.
You always have a choice. But it sounds like you're giving up. If you choose to give up, then you are stuck. You have to make a decision to fight for what you want. Only you can do that. I can't do that for you.
I'm sorry, but I have to step away for a bit. I did not expect when I answered your question that it would take more than 45 minutes.
If you have any more questions, I can answer them when I return.
Yes, if you sign, the case is done on the 11. If you don't sign, it sounds like the judge will end the case anyway. The judge will apply Florida law and should give you half of everything. So if the papers you have don't give you half of everything, you may benefit from refusing to sign. You can also spend the next week trying to negotiate a better settlement.
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