Divorce in Florida
Divorce in Florida is formally referred to as “dissolution of marriage.” Florida has established two types of divorce process: 1) A simplified dissolution of marriage and 2) A regular dissolution of marriage. In order to file for either, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for the previous six months. Florida only has a no-fault divorce process which essentially means that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
Thus, neither you nor your spouse has to provide any “fault” grounds or evidence showing that marital misconduct caused the marriage to fail. This can mean the divorce process can proceed faster when you and your spouse do not have to litigate any factors pertinent to the dissolution. However, where one spouse has engaged in misconduct, it may be considered by the judge in matters such as child custody, property division, or alimony.
The factors that must be resolved in any Florida divorce include the following:
- Child custody and timesharing
- Child support
- The division of marital property and debt
- Alimony/spousal support
When you and spouse cannot agree on a divorce settlement of these factors, your case becomes contested and will require the decision of a family court judge.
Florida’s Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
The simplified dissolution of marriage is essentially a streamlined divorce process. However, you must meet certain qualifications for this. These include that you have no minor children, neither of you is seeking alimony, you have already made a written property settlement, and you both agree to the simplified process. This process requires that you forfeit your right to a divorce trial.
Florida’s Regular Dissolution of Marriage
This is a more traditional process where you or your spouse files a petition with the court. The petitioner will provide information about the reason for the divorce and what he or she is seeking in marital property, child custody/timesharing, child support, and alimony. This petition is then delivered to the other spouse who may either agree with the terms of the petition or file his or her own answer to it. In some cases, where you and your spouse cannot agree, mediation may be required. If this fails, your case will need to be litigated in front of a judge.