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Florida Divorce Online is a service created in Florida that allows you to complete your official Florida Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, commonly known as divorce, online.
How Do I?
Florida Divorce Laws
Divorce is formally called "dissolution of marriage" in Florida. In Florida, common law marriage is not recognized. Per the Florida divorce laws you have to be legally married for the court to enter a Decree of Dissolution.
Legal marriages in other states and countries are recognized as valid in Florida. However, the following situations are not recognized as valid marriages in Florida due to the divorce laws in Florida. This situations are:
- When a person gets married when they already have another spouse, then the second marriage will not be considered valid.
- When two people who are close relatives marry, that marriage may not be recognized in Florida.
- When two people of the same sex marry, that marriage will not be recognized in Florida.
What are the grounds for divorce in Florida?
Florida is a "no-fault divorce" state. This means that the only requirement for a divorce is for one spouse to declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken. There is no need to assign blame or prove that the other spouse is at fault for the failure of the marriage. "Irretrievably broken" means that the marriage cannot be saved, and there is no chance of reconciliation.
Who can file for a divorce in Florida?
Under Florida divorce laws you can file for a divorce in Florida if you or your spouse have resided in Florida for the six months leading up to the filing of Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (divorce case).
Where do I file?
Once you have established residency, then you may file for your divorce in any county in Florida. It is common for individuals to file in the county in which they live. In some circumstances, individuals will elect to file in a particular county because that county’s process is preferable to certain individuals as compared to the process in other counties.
How long is the divorce process?
The waiting period for the finalization of a divorce action in Florida is twenty (20) days. This is the minimum period required before the court will finalize your divorce. The "twenty day" clock begins running after the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed and then served on the non-filing spouse. If both spouses sign the Petition, then the clock begins running once the Petition is filed.
Twenty days is the minimum time it will take for a Decree of Dissolution to be entered. However, it will likely take longer if there are disputed issues that exist when the dissolution process begins. These disputed issues could be related to the division of property and/or debts, aspects of the divorce related to children, maintenance/alimony, or any other issues. Many other issues could delay the process as well.
Some courts are very busy, so they cannot finalize a divorce within twenty days. This is something you will find out when you commence your action. If your case is an uncontested one, when you file your case you can ask the Clerk what the approximate wait time is for finalization of uncontested divorces in their county.
What is an uncontested divorce?
If you and your spouse agree on all issues in your divorce, then your divorce will be considered an uncontested divorce. The basic issues that make up a divorce are: 1) division of property and liabilities; 2) alimony (also called maintenance or spousal support); and if there are children, 3) the time-sharing schedule for any dependent children, and 4) child support.
If you and your spouse can agree on all issues, then you will be making the best out of a bad situation. By agreeing on all issues, you're more likely to get along better after the divorce – something that is very important, especially if you are have children together. Additionally, you save money. The cost of an uncontested divorce is significantly less than the cost of a contested one.
If you've agreed on some issues - but not all - but you want to work together to try to achieve a resolution efficiently and without fighting, then mediation may be an option for you and your spouse.
What is divorce mediation?
Mediation in divorce requires a mediator or a trained neutral, often a lawyer or mental health professional, to help divorcing spouses reach agreement. While divorcing spouses routinely participate in mediation when they are represented by attorneys, it is not uncommon for spouses to participate in mediation with a trained mediator and without their own attorneys. This is a good option for spouses who want to work together to create a resolution that is best for them, and who both feel as if they are well able to present their side of the story and their requests to the mediator.
What will the court do in granting a divorce in Florida?
- The court will divide all assets and liabilities "fairly and equitably" (which does not necessarily mean equally);
- The court will determine whether one spouse will pay alimony (also called maintenance or spousal support) to the other, if requested by one spouse. This determination is made based on many factors including whether one spouse has the need for maintenance, and whether the other has the ability to pay it. If it is determined that spousal support will be paid, then it also needs to be decided how much and for how long it will be paid.
- The court will establish a time sharing plan for the dependent children, and will also set an amount of child support. In Florida, child support is based on guidelines set by the legislature as determined by each parents’ income and the number of children. If the agreed upon child support is more than 5% different from the support schedule, then a motion must be submitted to the court, and the court needs to approve the amount.
What won't a court do in granting a divorce in Florida?
- The court will not resolve the frustration or anger you may feel toward your spouse.
- The court will not be able to increase the assets that you and your spouse have, so that there is more money to go around. In fact, litigating a case with attorneys will most certainly cause you to spend a large amount of money and end up reducing the total amount that remains to be divided between you and your spouse.
- The court will not cut the other parent out of your children's lives (except in very extreme circumstances), so learning how to work with your spouse to make decisions for your children is best for your children and for you and your spouse.