The divorce process is known to be messy. When you think of a divorce, words like “court,” “judgment,” “child support,” “alimony,” and “headache” often come to mind.
If you want to file for a divorce in Florida, you’ll need to go through a formal procedure called dissolution of marriage. In most cases, spouses will file for a regular dissolution of marriage. However, in some cases, you can file for a simplified dissolution of marriage. In cases of simplified dissolutions of marriage, you may not need to go to court to get divorced in Florida.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Uncontested Divorce) vs. Regular Dissolution of Marriage (Contested Divorce)
A simplified dissolution of marriage—also called an uncontested divorce or uncontested dissolution of marriage—is the only way you can get a divorce in Florida without going to court. If you qualify, you’ll be able to get a quick divorce in about 30 days.
In order to qualify for a simplified divorce, you must meet the following criteria:
- you must both agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken (Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce)
- you must not have any dependent children
- the wife must not be pregnant
- no alimony can be involved
- one of the spouses must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months
- you are both willing to give up your right to a trial
If you meet all of those qualifications, you can pay the filing fee and fill out the appropriate uncontested divorce forms. Even with an uncontested divorce, sometimes one or both spouses may need to appear in front of a judge so that they can grant a final judgment dissolving your marriage. Then, you’ll be legally divorced in no time!
However, if you do not meet all of the criteria or you can’t come to an agreement around the division of assets, you’ll need to file for a regular dissolution of marriage.
Many divorces must go through the regular dissolution process because:
- there is a minor child involved and a parenting plan must be established
- child custody or visitation rights for dependent children are in question
- the two parties don’t agree on the division of property and marital assets
- one spouse is requesting alimony or child support
- one or both spouses haven’t lived in Florida for the minimum period of time
Is online divorce legal in Florida?
Yes, online divorce is legal in Florida. If you qualify for an uncontested divorce, you can use a third-party site to fill out divorce paperwork and go through the divorce process completely online and receive a judgment of dissolution to officially end your marriage.
While an online divorce will allow you to skip the divorce hearing process, it can be complicated, and divorce laws can be confusing. It’s always best to consult with a family law attorney before you make a decision about how to proceed with your divorce, even if both parties are in agreement about most aspects.
How long do you have to be separated in Florida to get a divorce?
There is no waiting period to get a divorce in Florida. The only time requirement is that at least one party must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months in order to file for divorce in Florida. Additionally, the two parties must be living separately at the time of filing.
Can I file for divorce in Florida without a lawyer?
Yes, you can file for a simplified divorce in Florida without an attorney. You and your spouse can jointly file a divorce petition and submit the appropriate divorce papers to the courts. One or both parties may be required to see a judge in order to receive the final judgment.
However, you may be better off if both parties are represented by divorce lawyers, especially if there are children involved. Family law attorneys are well-versed in the ins and outs of the divorce process, and even if both parties are in agreement on most issues, having an attorney to help you through the process can be beneficial for everyone.
An attorney can help you come up with a martial settlement agreement that protects both parties. This includes figuring out how to divide marital property and creating parenting plans and custody agreements.
A divorce attorney can also help both parties understand the divorce requirements and the filing process. This includes filling out the proper divorce papers, understanding property division, and asset division, and knowing what official records must be submitted.
What is the cheapest way to get a divorce in Florida?
The cheapest way to get a divorce in Florida is to file for a simple divorce, or simplified dissolution of marriage. You can fill out the required paperwork, submit the processing fees, and be on your way to divorce in as little as 30 days.
Does uncontested divorce in Florida require a court appearance?
In most cases, an uncontested divorce in Florida will still require at least one spouse to appear in court before a judge in order to receive the final divorce judgment. In some cases, you may be able to have your attorney attend court on your behalf.
We’re Here to Help You Navigate The Divorce Process
Whether your divorce is quick and simple or messy and complicated, it can take an emotional toll on both parties. The legal team at Bragg Family Law Firm is here to help you navigate the process. If you have questions about divorce requirements in Florida or how to get a divorce without going to court, contact us at (941) 229-6244. We’re here to help.