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Understanding types of divorce in Florida

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2019 | Firm News |

If you are considering divorce, you can file in Florida if you have lived here for six or more months. Some couples can qualify for a streamlined divorce process, while others must undergo an extended dissolution process. 

Learn about the types of divorce  in Florida and determine which makes the most sense for your situation. 

Simplified dissolution  

Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either party can file for divorce for any reason. With the simplified divorce process in Florida, the court does not mandate financial disclosure. However, this route is only available for couples who do not have any children younger than 18, including unborn children. You and your spouse must also agree on property and debt division, and neither spouse may pursue spousal support. 

Standard dissolution 

Most couples must file for a regular dissolution of marriage, also called a standard dissolution. To start the process, you must file a petition in the county where you live that details your preferred arrangement for property division, alimony, and child custody and support if you have children. 

You must serve your spouse with official notice from the court or hire a sheriff or professional process server to do so on your behalf. Your spouse may either agree to your petition or file a petition in response within 20 days. The court requires complete financial disclosure from both spouses within 45 days of the petition. 

Florida courts sometimes order mediation on issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and asset and debt division. If you cannot reach an agreement on contentious issues despite mediation, the judge will hold a final hearing where both spouses can present evidence to support their petitions. 

When couples disagree, the court will divide debts and assets fairly according to state guidelines. Custody guidelines require a parenting plan that serves the child’s best interest, with a preference for shared custody where appropriate. Spousal support determinations vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the marriage, including its length.