How to file for divorce in Florida without an attorney

For filing divorce in Florida without an attorney have some requirements, the first requirement to dissolve a marriage is for one of the parties to prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. The second one that you must prove that a marriage exists, one party has been a Florida resident for six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken. They should both contact the clerk of the circuit court in their county and obtain a copy of the booklet titled “Simplified Dissolution Information” for more detailed information and forms.

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There are mainly two types to file for divorce in Florida

There are two types of divorce in Florida. This first is a “simplified dissolution of marriage,” which is also called a simplified divorce." The second is a “regular dissolution of marriage.” This article provides an overview of both.

For either type of divorce, you must first show:

  • the parties are married
  • one spouse has resided in Florida for six months before filing for divorce
  • the marriage is irretrievably broken (this means there is nothing the husband and wife or the court can do to fix the marriage).

All divorce cases, regardless of type, are handled in the Circuit Court division of the Florida court system.

1. Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

With a simplified divorce in Florida, the divorcing couple asks the court for the divorce (both spouses are referred to as the “petitioners”). This type of divorce may be easily handled without the help of a lawyer.

In addition to the above requirements, you may only seek this type of divorce if you meet the following:

there must be no minor children from the marriage

the wife must not be pregnant at the time of filing

both spouses must complete a “Financial Affidavit” (written declaration regarding property and finances) and a “property settlement agreement” (an agreement that settles all property issues), even if you and your spouse have no property, and

both spouses are required to attend the final divorce hearing.

If you want to seek this type of divorce, you should contact the clerk of court where you or your spouse live for more information and copies of the forms you will need to file. If you are filing for divorce in Florida without a attorney then you go with simplified dissolution of marriage.

2. Regular Dissolution of Marriage

A “regular dissolution of marriage” (sometimes called a “regular divorce”) may be either an “uncontested divorce” or a “contested divorce.” In either case one, only one spouse asks the court for the divorce - this spouse is the “petitioner”. The other spouse is called the “respondent.”

After showing proper residence in Florida and that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the petitioner spouse will file for divorce with the clerk of court and have the papers “served” (delivered) to the respondent spouse. The respondent spouse is then required to file a written answer to the papers with the clerk of court.

With an uncontested divorce, both spouses must have all issues related to marital property, marital debts, and issues relating minor children from the marriage settled in a signed “marital settlement agreement” (also called a divorce settlement). Both spouses must also complete a financial affidavit within 45 days of serving the divorce paperwork, even if you and spouse have no property. Finally, both spouses must attend the final divorce hearing.

In a “contested divorce” on the other hand, spouses can’t or won’t agree on the division of marital property, marital debt and/or issues involving minor children from the marriage. After one spouse files divorce papers and the other spouse answers the papers, both will go to trial in front of a judge, who will decide all issues in their case. The petitioner spouse must attend the final hearing or trial. If you need this type of divorce, you should seek the assistance of a lawyer.

Summary

Simplified dissolution of marriage proceeds without a attorney and regular dissolution of marriage proceeds without a attorney. In simplified dissolution of marriage both spouses are referred to as the “petitioners”. In regular dissolution of marriage one is petitioner and other is respondent.

Procedure of filing for divorce in Florida without an attorney

Simplified dissolution of marriage have points that are under below:

Brief overview of simplified dissolution of marriage:

Certain couples are eligible to dissolve their marriage by way of a simplified procedure. This type of dissolution was designed so the services of an attorney might not be necessary. Spouses are responsible, however, for filing all necessary documents correctly, and both parties are required to appear before a judge together when the final dissolution is granted.

Cost-saving measures included

You can retain an attorney to represent you even in an uncontested matter. The cost for such services is generally much less than in a contested case. You can further reduce your attorney’s fees if you ensure that you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all issues that would require the attorney’s work.

Eligibility requirements for simplified dissolution:

Not everyone can use the simplified procedure. Couples can use the simplified dissolution of marriage only if all the following requirements are met:

  • Both parties agree to the use of this form of dissolution proceeding.
  • They have no minor (under 18) or dependent children.
  • They have no adopted children under the age of 18.
  • Neither party is pregnant.
  • At least one of the parties has lived in Florida for the past six months.
  • The parties have agreed on the division of all of their property (assets) and obligations (debts).
  • Neither party is seeking alimony.
  • Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

If you and your spouse cannot meet all of the above requirements, you will have to follow the procedure of the regular dissolution of marriage process.

Differences between regular and simplified dissolution proceedings:

There are substantial differences between a simplified and a regular dissolution of marriage. In a regular dissolution, each spouse has the right to examine and cross-examine the other as a witness. Each spouse also has the ability to obtain documents concerning the other’s income, expenses, assets and debts before a trial or settlement. With a simplified dissolution, financial information may be requested by either party, but disclosing financial information is not required.

Obtaining the forms for simplified dissolution proceedings:

If spouses seek a dissolution and prefer to use the simplified form of dissolution, they should both contact the clerk of the circuit court in their county and obtain a copy of the booklet titled “Simplified Dissolution Information” for more detailed information and forms.

divorce without attorney

Procedure for filing for divorce in Florida with an attorney

Regular dissolution of marriage have aspects that are given below:

Beginning the court proceeding:

The regular dissolution process begins with a petition for dissolution of marriage, filed with the circuit court in the county where you and your spouse last lived together or in a county where either party resides. Either spouse may file for a dissolution of marriage.

The petitioner must allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The petition sets out what the petitioner wants from the court. The other spouse must file an answer within 20 days of being served, addressing the matters in the initial petition, and can choose to include a counter-petition for dissolution of marriage raising any additional issues that spouse requests the court to address.

Automatic financial disclosure:

Court rules governing a dissolution of marriage require that each party provide certain financial documents and a completed financial affidavit to the other party within 45 days of the service of the petition or several days before any temporary hearing. Failure to provide this information can result in the court dismissing the case or not considering that party’s requests.

The parties or the court can modify these requirements except for the filing of a financial affidavit, which is mandatory in all cases in which financial relief is sought. A child-support guidelines worksheet also must be filed with the court at or before any hearing on child support. This requirement may not be waived by the parties or the court.

Mediation:

Mediation is a procedure to assist you and your spouse in working out an arrangement for reaching an agreement without a protracted process or a trial. Its purpose is not to save a marriage but to help divorcing spouses reach a solution and arrive at agreeable terms for handling the break-up of the marriage. Many counties have public or court-connected mediation services available. Some counties require spouses to attempt mediation before a final hearing (also known as “trial”) can be set.

Formalizing settlement terms:

Some spouses agree on some or all of the issues before or after the petition is filed. Issues may include the division of property, a parenting plan, spousal support, child support or attorney’s fees. Parties who have reached an understanding as to their desired outcome(s) enter into a written agreement that is signed by both parties and then presented to the court.

Parties who do not yet have a written agreement but have reached an understanding also may appear for a final hearing with a suggested settlement that they ask the court to accept and incorporate into a final judgment. In such uncontested cases, a dissolution of marriage can become final in a short amount of time. Reaching an agreement empowers parties to create terms with which they are more likely to comply rather than leaving decisions up to a judge.

Contested final hearing:

Finally, some spouses cannot agree on all issues, so a final hearing (or “trial”) is required. Each party will present evidence and testimony to the judge during the final hearing, and then the judge makes the final decision on the contested issues.

Summary

In Simplified dissolution of marriage spouses are responsible, both parties are appear in court in final hearing. Simplified dissolution of marriage is less costly instead of regular dissolution of marriage because in this dissolution they don’t need a attorney. Regular dissolution of marriage included terms like, division of property, a parenting plan, spousal support, child support or attorney’s fees. Without solving these terms regular dissolution of marriage cannot be proceeds.

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Parenting plan considerations

In most cases, parental responsibility for a minor child will be shared by both parents so that each retains full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child. Shared parenting requires both parents to confer so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly. You and your spouse may agree, or the court may order, that one parent have the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child’s welfare, such as education, religion or medical and dental needs.

Factors the court consider for alimony award

Some of the factors the court considers when determining the type and amount of the alimony award include, but are not limited to:

  • The parties’ prior standard of living.
  • Length of the marriage.
  • Age and physical and emotional condition of both spouses.
  • Each spouse’s financial resources and income-producing capacity of the assets they receive.
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment.
  • The services rendered in homemaking, child-rearing and the education and career-building of the other spouse.

The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses.

Divorce attorney

A divorce attorney is an attorney that specializes in family law, and has experience in issues of divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support. A divorce lawyer specializes in civil law. This field can be saturated with emotions and life-changing decisions. Therefore, a divorce lawyer must delicately yet justly handle a wide variety of family law issues from divorce, marriage annulment, and legal separation to child custody, child support and visitation rights. They are also called divorce attorneys or family practice lawyers.

Best divorce attorney

Best divorce attorney specialize in family law, and has experience in issues of divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support. Divorce attorney have ability to interact with you and understand what you want in your proceeding. Best divorce attorney an attorney that have ability of getting results of your interest.

Divorce attorney for men

Divorce attorney for men totally depend on criteria of choosing a divorce attorney. You must choose expertise and experienced divorce attorney, who must have complete knowledge about family law and civil law. he must have ability of personality meshing then he achieve what you want.

Frequently ask question

Peoples have many question in their mind about filing a divorce in Florida without a attorney and have relevant question about Florida divorce some are given below:

How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce in the state of Florida?

Only ONE of the parties to the marriage must have resided in the State of Florida for 6 months prior to filing for divorce.

Can you get divorced in Florida without going to court?

Any divorce petition filed in Florida must be filed in the county where one of the parties lives. If all agreements can be reached, you may not have to go to court and the divorce can proceed to the final hearing.

Do both parties have to appear in court for divorce in Florida?

In Florida, a hearing to finalize your uncontested divorce will be scheduled by the clerk at the earliest possible date depending on the court’s schedule… In a contested divorce proceeding, both parties MUST attend the final hearing or trial.

How much does it cost to file divorce in Florida?

It costs $409.00 to file your petition but you may qualify for a payment plan if you are indigent. You can get all of the forms online on the Florida Courts website. In addition to asking for a divorce, you may also ask the court to change your name back to what it was before you were married.

Can you file for divorce online in Florida?

Florida divorce online. The Florida court system has the e-filing portal where Floridians can file their divorce papers online without having to go to the family law court. When you go for the no-court divorce option, your hearing process will most likely be final in less than 30 days.

Conclusion

There are two types of divorce in Florida. This first is a “simplified dissolution of marriage,” The second is a "regular dissolution of marriage”. You need attorney in regular dissolution of marriage and simplified dissolution of marriage without an attorney completed. Simplified dissolution of marriage completed when both spouses are agree, no one seeking for alimony, one of them resident in Florida for last six months, neither party is pregnant. Regular dissolution of marriage costly because one of spouse meets with their all requirements like children custody, property division, alimony, debts and assets therefore without an attorney it cannot be proceeds.

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