If you are filing for a divorce in Florida, you might not know what to
expect out of the process or where to begin. One of the first steps you
should take before you begin is to seek skilled legal counsel to ensure
that you do not make any unnecessary mistakes. Remember, a lot is at stake
here, so the last thing you want to do is start your new future on the
wrong note. That said, it is still a good idea to understand the steps
involved in a divorce, which is why we are providing a brief overview
of the process.
Dissolving Your Marriage
First, to divorce in the state of Florida, you or your spouse must have
been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
Once you meet the residency requirements, there are a number of paths your
divorce can take, depending on the details of your circumstances. Below
are some of the different situations you might face as you move forward
with your divorce:
A simplified dissolution: This type of divorce is, as the name suggests, simpler, quicker, and easier.
Spouses can use this simplified procedure only if they are able to meet
the following requirements:
- At least one spouse meets the residency requirements
- Both spouses agree that the marriage is not salvageable
- There are no minor or dependent children
- The wife is not pregnant
- Neither spouse is seeking spousal support
- Both spouses filed financial affidavits or agree that they do not need them
- Both spouses agreed on a division of their assets and debts
- Both spouses agree to the simplified procedure and give up the right to
a trial and appeal
Additionally, both spouses are responsible for filing all necessary documents
and must appear together in court before a judge in order to officially
finalize their divorce.
A regular dissolution: Oftentimes, a regular dissolution of marriage is necessary. During this
process, one spouse would file a form that is titled “Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage” with the court. The other spouse must then
prepare a response to the petition and file it with the court as well.
At this stage, a divorce can take a few different paths:
- If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all the issues
presented by their divorce, including division of property, alimony, custody,
and child support, you can sign a settlement agreement. This would be
considered an uncontested divorce.
- If you and your spouse disagree on a few issues, a judge might recommend
that you attend mediation, which would allow you to negotiate with the
assistance of a neutral third party. Through mediation, you and your spouse
will be able to avoid having to go to court to reach a settlement agreement,
which will also allow you and your spouse the chance to make mutually
agreeable decisions rather than leaving it up to a judge.
- If you and your spouse are simply unable to reach an agreement, even with
the assistance of a mediator, you and your spouse will have to go through
litigation where a judge will make decisions on all contest issues. In
some cases, it is possible that you and your spouse might have made some
progress and agreed on some issues during mediation, but could not settle
on others. In such cases, the agreed upon issues would not need to be
rehashed during divorce litigation.
Experienced Divorce Attorney in Orlando
If you and your spouse are going through a
divorce, you need to hire skilled legal representation to help you navigate what
can often become a relatively complex process. At R. Gregory Colvin, LLC,
our Orlando divorce attorney has more than 25 years of legal experience
and a proven track record of success. Let our team help you resolve your
family law legal matters.
Get started on your case today and give us a call at
(407) 603-3460 to request your free initial case evaluation.