Deciding that you want a divorce can be very difficult. The process of going through a divorce shouldn’t be. We’re here to help you understand how to file for divorce in Florida to make the process as smooth as possible.
If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, use this information to make sure you fully understand the process and know what to expect.
How to File for Divorce in Florida in 6 Steps
There are many factors that can impact the divorce process. If it is contested, children are involved, or alimony is requested, there may be additional steps. But as a basic framework, these steps outline how to file for divorce in Florida.
- One or both parties file a petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
- If it is a contested divorce, the other party files an answer within 20 days.
- Both parties may be required to fill out additional paperwork and affidavits (related to material assets, child custody, alimony, etc.).
- Both parties may work together through mediation to come to an agreement.
- If no agreement is made, a trial may take place.
- A final judgement is made, and the divorce is finalized.
While these are the basic steps of most divorces, every divorce is different. Factors related to the marriage can make these steps move faster or slower and add to or shorten the process.
If you are about to go through the divorce process, it’s a good idea to speak to an attorney who can listen to the specific details of your case and help you understand what you can expect based on your unique situation.
FAQS for Filing for Divorce in Florida
If you are wondering how to file for divorce in Florida, knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions will help you navigate the process.
What is a Simplified Divorce?
The fastest and easiest way to get a divorce in Florida is through a Simplified Divorce. A Simplified Divorce, or Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, is an uncontested divorce. Parties meet certain qualifications that enable them to expedite the divorce. To qualify, no children under 18 can be involved, and both parties must agree to terms set before the filling, agreeing to forgo the right to trial and alimony.
How much does it cost to file for divorce in Florida?
The average filing fee for a dissolution of marriage and annulment in Florida is $408.00. Depending on the details of the divorce, there may be additional fees if the case needs to cover matters related to child custody, visitation, paternity, and support. If parties can’t afford to pay the fee, they can submit an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status, or a divorce filing fee waiver. This may be approved by the court to waive the fee.
What forms do I need to file for divorce in Florida?
For an uncontested divorce, you only need a Dissolution of Marriage form. This form along with any other forms needed to file for divorce can be found on the Florida Courts website. If the divorce is contested, involves alimony, or has children involved, other forms might be required in addition to the Dissolution of Marriage form. For example, if children are involved, a Parenting Plan or Disestablishment of Paternity form may also be required.
How long does a divorce in Florida take?
A Simplified Dissolution of Marriage with no disputes can be completed in about three months. A contested divorce can take longer, and the length will depend on the details of the case. On average, a disputed divorce takes around 12 months.
Can I file for divorce without an attorney?
Yes, you can go through the divorce process without legal counsel. The Florida State Courts System’s Self-Help Center offers assistance through self-help programs and court staff. But, it’s important to note that these resources can only help with administrative and procedural assistance. They cannot provide legal advice.
If you want legal advice — information about how to go through the process to get the best outcome — you need an attorney. An experienced divorce attorney can ensure that you go through the process properly and get the outcome you deserve.
Don’t File for Divorce on Your Own
Going through a divorce isn’t always easy, but when you work with an experienced divorce attorney, it is easier.
You don’t have the added stress of trying to navigate the legal process. You can find comfort in knowing that someone experienced with the process is guiding you toward the best possible outcome while making the situation as quick and smooth as possible.
If you need help going through the divorce process, TJ Grimaldi is here to help. See how TJ can guide you through your divorce proceedings. All consultations with TJ are 100% free, so schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today to see how our team can make your divorce easier on everyone involved.