In order to qualify for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, you must meet the following criteria:.
If you initiate a divorce proceeding, you must provide legal notice to your spouse. There are a number of methods to serve divorce papers to a spouse:. Within 20 days, your spouse must file an Answer with the court, which agrees or denies each allegation in the petition. Your spouse has the option of filing a Counter Petition which details additional reasons for seeking a divorce. Within 45 days of serving notice, both you and your spouse must file a number of required financial documents.
If both parties agree to the points within the original petition, then an uncontested divorce may be had. An uncontested divorce requires that both parties sign a written agreement stipulating terms of property division, alimony and child support.
This expedited process requires only a final hearing in court to finalize the divorce. If your spouse fails to provide an Answer within 20 days, you may file a Motion for Default. If approved, you may complete the divorce with the judge largely agreeing to the points in the original petition.
A default judgment eliminates the need to consider any opinions from the respondent spouse, although it may not relinquish their right to equitable distribution of assets and liabilities. If your spouse files an Answer that disagrees with any of the allegations in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, or a Counter Petition, then you will face a contested divorce. This can be a costly and lengthy process which almost always requires the services of an experienced divorce attorney.
In most uncontested and simplified divorces in Florida, you can represent yourself, i. With the assistance of an online divorce service, you can answer a few questions about the nature of your divorce and be supplied with all of the necessary documents to complete the process. Mediators are neutral, third parties who can be found independently, or recommended by the court.
These professionals cannot bind you or your spouse to an agreement, but they can offer advice and solutions which can eliminate the need for a trial.
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In most cases, mediation may be had for a fraction of the cost of attorneys. If you and your spouse are unable to reach a binding, written agreement, you will have to go to trial. In that case, you will almost certainly need to hire a divorce attorney who has experience in litigation. Although the actual trial may only last a few hours or days, there may be months of discovery and trial preparation which can run the cost of the divorce into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The thorniest issues in most divorces involve property distribution, spousal support and child custody. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all of these issues, it is in your best interests to do so. Non-lawyer A person who is not a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. Non-marital Asset Generally, anything owned separately by you or your spouse. An asset may only be determined to be nonmarital by either agreement of the parties or determination of the judge.
Non-marital Liability Generally, any debt that you or your spouse incurred before your marriage or since your separation. A debt may only be determined to be non-marital by either agreement of the parties or determination of the judge. Nonparty A person who is not the petitioner or respondent in a court case. Notary Public A person authorized to witness signatures on court related forms.
Obligee A person to whom money, such as child support or alimony, is owed. Obligor A person who is ordered by the court to pay money, such as child support or alimony. Parenting Course A class that teaches parents how to help their child ren cope with divorce and other family issues. Parenting Plan Florida Statute The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child's education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being.
In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parties, including the parties' historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration. The parenting plan shall be developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by a court or, if the parents cannot agree, established by the court.
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Paternity Action A lawsuit used to determine whether a designated individual is the father of a specific child or children. Payor An employer or other person who provides income to an obligor. Permanent Alimony Spousal support ordered to be paid at a specified, periodic rate until modified by a court order, the death of either party, or the remarriage of the Obligee, whichever occurs first. Personal Service When a summons and a copy of a petition or other pleading that has been filed with the court are delivered by a deputy sheriff or private process server to the other party. Personal service is required for all petitions and supplemental petitions.
Petition A written request to the court for legal action, which begins a court case. Petitioner A party who presents a petition to a court when seeking relief. Pro Se Litigant A person represents themselves in court without the assistance of a lawyer. Reasonable Visitation Visitation between the nonresidential parent and child ren that provides frequent and unhampered contact with the child ren. Such visitation is designed to encourage a close and continuing relationship with due regard for educational commitments of child ren , any health or social factors of the child ren , business and personal commitments of both parents, and home arrangements of both parents.
Rehabilitative Alimony Spousal support ordered to be paid for a limited period of time to allow one of the parties an opportunity to complete a plan of education or training, according to a rehabilitative plan accepted by the court, so that he or she may better support himself or herself. Respondent The party against whom a motion or petition is filed. Rotating Custody Physical custody of child ren after divorce, which is alternated between the mother and father at specified periods of time, as determined by the court.
Rotating custody allows each parent equal time with the child ren. Scientific Paternity Testing A medical test to determine who is the father of a child. Secondary Residential Responsibility Visitation The time that the parent with whom the child ren does do not have primary residence spends with the child ren. Service The delivery of legal documents to a party. This must be accomplished as directed by Florida Family Law Rules Shared Parental Responsibility An arrangement under which both parents have full parental rights and responsibilities for their child ren , and the parents make major decisions affecting the welfare of the child ren jointly.
Shared Parental Responsibility is presumptive in Florida. Sole Parental Responsibility A parenting arrangement under which the responsibility for the minor child ren is given to one parent by the court, with or without rights of visitation to the other parent. Specified Visitation A parenting arrangement under which a specific schedule is established for the visitation and exchange of the child ren. Spouse A husband or wife.
Subpoena A form requiring a witness to appear in court or at a deposition and could include a demand for the production of documents. Supervised Visitation A parenting arrangement under which visitation between a parent and his or her child ren is supervised by either a friend, family member, or a supervised visitation center. Supplemental Petition A petition that may be filed by either party after the judge has made a decision in a case and a final judgment or order has been entered. For example, a supplemental petition may be used to request that the court modify the previously entered final judgment or order.
Time Sharing Schedule A timetable that must be included in the parenting plan that specifies the time, including overnights and holidays that a minor child will spend with each parent. If developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child, it must be approved by the court. If the parents cannot agree, the schedule shall be established by the court.
Do It Yourself Divorce in Florida – a Logical Plan
Trial The final hearing in a contested case. Uncontested Any and all issues on which the parties are able to agree and which are part of a marital settlement agreement. Public Records Custodian Pursuant to Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing. Follow this link to skip to the main content. Browser Upgrade Recommended!
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Learn More. Family Law Forms. Child Support Matters. Divorce Records. Dissolution of Marriage is the legal term for divorce. Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Parties can file for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage if the following applies: At least one of the spouses has lived in Florida for the past six months; The parties agree that the marriage cannot be saved; The parties do not have any minor or dependent children together, the wife does not have any minor or dependent children who were born during the marriage, and the wife is not now pregnant; The parties have made satisfactory division of their property and have agreed as to payment of their joint obligations; Neither party is seeking support alimony from the other spouse; You are willing to give up your right to trial and appeal and All other facts set forth in Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children.
Dissolution of Marriage with No Children. Name Change A Name Change can be filed for an individual, minor, adult or family. Electronic Fingerprinting Process According to chapter Dissolution of marriage or Adoption of Children: A records check is not required to restore a former name or for changes of name in proceedings. Paternity Any woman who is pregnant or has a child, any man who has reason to believe that he is the father of a child, or any child may bring proceedings in the circuit court to determine the paternity of the child when paternity has not been established by law or otherwise.
A duplicate of an original document, certified as an exact reproduction by the officer responsible for issuing or keeping the original. Mail for which the sender requests proof of delivery in the form of a receipt signed by the addressee. The act or state of despising; the condition of being despised or conduct that defies the authority or dignity of a court or legislature. An asset that you may receive or get later, such as income, tax refund, accrued vacation or sick leave, a bonus, or an inheritance.
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A liability that will occur only if a specific event happens; a liability that depends on the occurrence of a future and uncertain event. A petition for relief asserted against an opposing party after an original petition has been made. A failure of a party to respond to the pleading of another party. Child ren who depend on their parent s for support either because they are under the age of 18, they have a mental or physical disability that prevents them from supporting themselves, or they are in high school while between the ages of 18 and 19 and are performing in good faith with reasonable expectation of graduation before the age of A sworn statement that contains information regarding income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
A courts last action that settles the rights of the parties and disposes of all issues in controversy, except for the award of costs and enforcement of the judgment. A legal proceeding before a judge or designated officer general master or hearing officer on a motion. Everything owed by you or your spouse, including mortgages, credit cards, or car loans. Money ordered to be paid by one spouse to another in a limited number of payments, often a single payment.
Items that must be disclosed by both parties except those exempted from disclosure by Florida Family Law Rule A method of nonbinding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution. A person who is trained and certified to assist parties in reaching an agreement before going to court. A court order directing a party not speak to, call, send mail to, visit, or go near his or her spouse, ex-spouse, child ren , or other family member. Generally, anything owned separately by you or your spouse.
Generally, any debt that you or your spouse incurred before your marriage or since your separation.
Consumer Pamphlet: Divorce In Florida – The Florida Bar
A class that teaches parents how to help their child ren cope with divorce and other family issues. Florida Statute A lawsuit used to determine whether a designated individual is the father of a specific child or children. Spousal support ordered to be paid at a specified, periodic rate until modified by a court order, the death of either party, or the remarriage of the Obligee, whichever occurs first.