What a Reality TV Star’s On-Again-Off-Again Divorce Can Tell Anyone About Their Own Divorce Case in Florida

Celebrities, in many ways, live lives very different from ours. They are, however, still real people with real problems just like the rest of us and, when those problems are marital ones, there are things any of us can learn when it comes to our marriages. Whether or not you are a reality TV star, when your marriage seems headed for divorce, you should take the time to reach out to an experienced South Florida divorce attorney. It will be well worth it.

The sometimes tumultuous marriage of Love & Hip Hop star Ray J and fashion designer Princess Love has been in the entertainment news several times recently. Last May, the wife filed for divorce in Los Angeles. Two months later, she sought and obtained a dismissal of that divorce petition.

Two months after that dismissal, it was the husband’s turn, as he also filed for divorce in Los Angeles. However, by February 2021, the marriage had taken a turn for the better. Ray J told E! News that he and his wife were living in Miami, that Miami brought a “different vibe” and that the couple had reached “a peaceful place.”

Note that what was missing from the most recent coverage, which was what became of Ray J’s September 2020 divorce petition.

Sometimes, a Florida couple may experience marital problems that lead a spouse to file for divorce. Afterward, the couple may work things out and, having reconciled, may simply stop doing anything about that divorce case. Here are a few questions you may have (and their answers) if you’re in that circumstance.

What happens to my divorce case in a circumstance like that?

Initially, nothing. Even with neither party taking any action, there is a period of time during which the case, in the absence of an order of dismissal, will remain open. That period lasts for at least 10 months.

After at least 10 months during which there was no activity of any kind in the case, which the Florida Family Court Rules define as no “filing of pleadings or order of court” and no “order staying the action has been issued nor stipulation for stay approved by the court,” then the case is eligible to be dismissed based on what Florida law calls a “failure to prosecute.”

Who can initiate a process for dismissal for failure to prosecute?

A lot of people, actually. They include you, your spouse or any “interested person,” whether or not that other person was a named party within the case.

They also include the court itself. If the court clerk identifies a period of inactivity spanning 10+ months, then the clerk will send out notice of that inactivity and potential for a dismissal.

I have received one of these notices, but I don’t want my case dismissed. What can I do?

You have multiple options. The most direct one is simply to take an action that triggers record activity in the case. The law says that, after you receive the court clerk’s notice of 10 month+ inactivity, you have 60 days to take an action that triggers record activity in the case. If you do that, then the case remains active and is no longer eligible for dismissal due to failure to prosecute.

Another option is to prove that the court clerk was wrong. If you can show that something did occur that qualified as a form of record activity, then the case is not eligible for dismissal due to failure to prosecute. Say, for example, after seven months of letting your case languish, you finally decided you needed the help of a good divorce attorney. You hired counsel two weeks later and your attorney promptly filed something called a “notice of appearance.” That would qualify as record activity and would prove that the required period of 10+ months of inactivity had not, in fact, occurred.

Whether or not you’re a reality TV star, if you are going through divorce or potentially may be going through divorce soon, you probably have questions. Make sure you’re getting the answers you need from a source you can trust. Rely on the knowledgeable South Florida divorce attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A., who have been helping Florida spouses and partners for many years, to give you the clear advice you need and the effective advocacy you and your family deserve. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation today.