Florida offers a simplified dissolution of marriage that may streamline the process and save those seeking a Florida divorce money. However, to qualify for a simplified dissolution, both parties would have to agree on the division of assets, have no minor children, and seek no alimony. If those three stipulations fit your particular situation, the simplified dissolution route may be your best bet for a Florida divorce.
If that is not the case, a regular dissolution of marriage would have to suffice. Florida is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, you only need to prove that your marriage is broken or that, for at least three years, one spouse was mentally incapacitated. Your petition should include details like child custody, alimony payments, and the division of your assets.
Once the divorce petition is filed with the appropriate court, your partner must be served with the paperwork. Once the paperwork is received, you have 45 days to provide your former partner with a financial affidavit. You need to disclose a long list of financial information, including tax returns and bank statements. This is a time consuming and taxing process. However, accuracy is paramount. The financial affidavit must be accurate without any failures to disclose assets or errors.
Once this is completed, the case is typically set for mediation where the two parties come together to attempt to resolve financial issues, parental issues, and any other issues broached during the proceeding. If this is successful, the divorce may be finalized after this mediation. In the event it is not finalized or the mediation is unsuccessful, a trial may have to be set to resolve the lingering divorce issues.
In many situations, a court-resolved divorce can take many months. The Florida court system is busy. For that reason, you could wait six months or longer for your court date.
This leaves your divorce in the hands of a judge. When your court date arrives, you might need to deal with expert witnesses and depositions. The final decisions is based upon the strength of your case and the opinion of the judge.
In any case, it’s a good idea to speak with a Florida divorce lawyer before making the decision to move forward with a divorce.