Florida Divorce Laws
If you are seeking a divorce in Florida, our family law attorneys can guide you through the process and help you protect your rights. Matthew Irwin is one of the top divorce lawyers in the state. You can receive a free legal consultation from our family law practice by calling 866-995-0166 or filling out our online form.
The divorce process can become emotional and complicated and you want to make sure that your rights are protected. We are here to help you through that.
Can Your Marriage be Saved?
Divorce should only be considered when all other options have failed. Counseling can often solve marital differences and is available for free or nearly free from social and religious organizations. As family law attorneys we want to do what's best for you and your family so we can recommend someone who can help you if you and your spouse decide that you may want to save your marriage.
Rule for Divorce in Florida
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither spouse must prove there is cause for divorce, such as adultery, abuse or abandonment. This eliminates much of the bitterness and fighting that can often accompany a divorce trial.
In a no-fault divorce one spouse files for divorce stating the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” No proof is required. The only requirement is that one spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Our attorneys can help you gather the necessary documents to show this.
Two Kinds Of Divorce
Florida law allows for two types of divorce:
- Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
- Regular Dissolution of Marriage
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
A simplified dissolution of marriage is quick and fairly painless but has requirements and restrictions. You qualify for a simple dissolution of marriage if:
- You and your spouse do not have any children
- You both agree on the division of property and debts
- You both agree to using the simplified dissolution format
- Your wife is not pregnant
- Both of you agree the marriage is irretrievably broken and want the marriage to end.
If you qualify for and choose this form of divorce, note that you and your spouse are responsible for completing all paperwork and you must both appear before the judge together when the divorce is granted. There is no trial, no opportunity to cross-examine your spouse regarding financial information, no alimony - and no appeal. This option is quick but requires cooperation with your spouse, and it limits your options.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
If you don’t qualify for simple dissolution, you will have to file for a regular dissolution of marriage. One spouse must file a petition for divorce that states the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and outlines what the filing spouse wants from the court. Once the petition is officially served on the other spouse, the served spouse has 20 days to respond and declare where there is agreement or disagreement and raise any additional concerns or issues they want the court to consider. Then each spouse must provide the other with a financial affidavit with details of their financial situation. Failure to provide this information can result in dismissal of the case or refusal to consider that party’s requests.
A divorce settlement is best decided upon by the couple outside of court. If you and your spouse can work out your differences or negotiate those differences through a mediator, it will save money, minimize stress, and avoid a painful trial. Otherwise a trial will occur and the judge will decide things. Our experienced attorneys can help you prepare your case, protect your rights, and negotiate the best settlement possible.
Free Legal Consultations
It’s absolutely free to talk with any of our family law attorneys. Find out how our family law practice can help you protect your rights. You can arrange for a free phone consultation by calling 866-995-0166 or completing our online form.