Monday, February 11, 2008

Divorce in Florida

I get a lot of calls about divorce in general and one of the most frequent questions is “what do I have to do to get divorced?” I guess this is to be expected considering the high divorce rate so I thought I would present a general explanation of the divorce process. The first step is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court. This petition starts the lawsuit for divorce, lists the facts of your case, and asks the Court to grant the requested relief. The relief requested in a divorce case is the dissolution of the marriage. The second step is for your spouse to file and answer to the petition, sometimes they don’t file an answer. The answer is where your spouse states the facts as seen from the opposing side. In the answer, your spouse can also request dissolution of the marriage. The third step is where the process gets tricky and the road to divorce comes to a major fork. If there is agreement between the spouses as to all issues, the case can proceed to a final hearing. If there are issues which the parties do not agree upon the case is contested, this is where a divorce can get very expensive. Your attorney may file motions, conduct depositions, interrogatories, requests to produce, and requests for admissions among other things. If the issues are worked out the case proceeds to a final hearing, but if there are issues remaining to which the spouses cannot agree upon, the case will proceed to trial. It all depends on which fork in the road your case proceeds down. An uncontested divorce can be granted in rather short order but a contested divorce can drag on.

But before you can even walk up the courthouse steps, you must first satisfy several requirements to obtain a divorce in Florida, these requirements are:

1. The marriage is irretrievably broken, this means there is no way you two are getting back together.
2. You or your spouse must have resided in Florida for at least six months prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
3. If you meet the first two requirements, you and your spouse must file financial affidavits with the court.
4. If you and your spouse have property, assets, liabilities, or children you and your spouse must enter into an agreement to settle these issues.

There you have it, a very simplified and general description of the divorce process in Florida. If you have any questions about divorce in Florida please feel free to ask me.

1 comment:

kerry james said...

Good info, many thank you to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the particular usefulness and importance is overpowering. Thanks again and good luck!

South Florida Divorce Attorney