How long does a florida divorce take

Uncontested divorce can be finalized in as little as six weeks. This includes the time it takes to negotiate any decisions with your ex, file the necessary paperwork, and have the state process your divorce. If, however, you and your spouse are unable to agree and decisions must be left up to a judge, the divorce becomes a contested one. Contested divorces are going to take longer, especially if your estate is large. Separate property and assets now. The more tangled your finances are with your ex, the more complicated your divorce proceedings will be. Work hard to come to an agreement with your ex.

Contested divorces take a longer amount of time because a judge has to go through and settle any disputes between spouses.

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The more decisions a judge has to make, the longer it will take for everything to be settled. This could include the division and distribution of property and the larger your estate, the longer a divorce will take, , child support and custody rulings, and alimony payments that must be made after the divorce. Hire a mediator or lawyer. Counties that are especially busy will have to schedule your court date for months from now, and tensions may continue to build up until that trial.

The simplified form should be used when a husband and wife are filing for a divorce and meet all of the following criteria:.


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If you do not meet the criteria above, you must file a regular petition for dissolution of marriage. Depending on your situation, there may be several other forms you will need to complete. These may include:.

Simplified Divorce

The State of Florida has a complete list of forms that cover all circumstances related to divorce. To view those forms, go here. After completing the appropriate forms, you will need to file them with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where you live and keep a copy for your records. Residence can be proved by:. It may be signed in the presence of the clerk of the court or in the presence of a notary public, who must affix his or her seal at the proper place on the affidavit. You must pay the appropriate filing fees to the clerk of the circuit court. If you and your spouse cannot afford to pay the filing fees, you may request a waiver when you file.


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  5. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may either obtain a date and time for a court appearance from the clerk of court, or a date and time will be provided to you by the court. After you file your forms with the court, you must also provide your spouse with those forms so that they can have a chance to respond.

    You will need to provide information about where to find your spouse at that time, including a home or work address so that your spouse can be personally served. If the judge accepts the affidavit, then you can file an Affidavit for Service by Publication. You will then be required to advertise in a local newspaper for four weeks in the county where you filed for divorce. At the end of the four weeks, if there is no response, then the judge will grant your divorce.

    You will not be able to collect alimony or child support by this method because a spouse must be personally served for the court to have jurisdiction over your spouse. If you are able to find your spouse at a later date, you can reopen your divorce and resolve these types of matters.

    Florida State Courts maintain a Self-Help Center which is an online guide that helps direct people through the court system. The self-help website will allow people to access resources they need to represent themselves, access the courts and also provide a directory of local self-help centers, along with links to free and low-cost legal aid and other related resources.

    5 Things to Know About Divorce in Florida

    Although you will still need to print out all your forms and file them at an appropriate court location, using the online self-help center will expedite your process. Staff will be able to help you in filling out forms, but they will not be able to act as your lawyer or give you any legal advice. To access the Self-Help Center, go here for an overview of the system.

    This works best when you have an uncontested divorce and agree on all the issues with your spouse. You can file for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage as long as you meet all qualifying criteria. It should only take about 30 days from filing to finalization. On the other hand, if you have several contentious issues that you cannot work out with your spouse, you should probably seek legal advice from a good family law lawyer to protect your rights.

    You may obtain this form from the clerk and he or she will determine whether you are eligible to have filing fees waived. You will also need to pay some sort of a retainer up front to start the process. When you are seeking outside help, one of the important issues you need to discuss during the vetting process is what all anticipated costs will be.

    You should be given an itemized list that will help you start to figure out costs of the actual divorce process.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Divorce in Florida

    If you qualify for a Simplified Divorce, there is a mandatory day waiting period before a hearing can be held. In contested divorces, especially those where there are many debts or assets to unwind, or if there are major child custody challenges to negotiate, a divorce may take as long as one to two years to complete. When you have a large amount of assets, hiring a certified asset dissolution professional to assist you may be the best course of action to determine fair market value and which spouse should get a particular asset.

    Florida law requires that one or both spouses must have lived in Florida for at least six months before filing for a divorce. You must be able to legally prove residency before a court will hear your divorce case. Residency can be established by proving that you were either physically present in the state for six months or that you had the intention during that time to make Florida your primary residence. Only visiting Florida from time to time or maintaining a vacation property are not sufficient grounds to prove residency.


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    If you are going through a financially complicated divorce, you may need someone who can assist you with an accurate and objective analysis of the financial and tax implications of your decisions. This will help you make the right decisions now when it comes to reaching a settlement with your spouse. While some people with simple situations may only need a family law attorney to help them with this process, many others will benefit from working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst CDFA , and preferably someone who is also a Certified Financial Planner CFP.

    Divorce is complicated enough without trying to reach critical decisions when you may not understand all the consequences of your actions. To help you better understand the benefits of working with a divorce financial specialist, take a look at our article What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst? Bifurcation means that both parties in a divorce can legally declared as a single person while the other issues in their divorce are still being worked out. It does not affect things such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or become major sticking points that are keeping the divorce from being finalized.

    States throughout the country treat bifurcation differently. Some states permit it while other states do not. Florida will grant bifurcation in some instances and will only postpone decisions on property issues. Laws regarding bifurcation tend to be complicated, so it is best to check with an attorney who will be able to best advise you on the legal ramifications and requirements of bifurcation in Florida. If you are granted a bifurcation, and you took the last name of your spouse, you can legally restore your name to your maiden name.

    Another thing to be aware of is that if a spouse maintains health insurance for the other, then he or she must continue to provide coverage, when possible. If your divorce has already been finalized, you cannot stop or cancel a divorce in Florida.

    Florida Law Help: Solve Your Legal Problem

    Decisions made as part of the divorce decree are final and legally binding. However, if you decide only part way through a divorce that you want to stop or cancel a divorce, you can file a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal if you are the one who petitioned for the divorce. If your spouse filed a counter-petition, they may also need to file a voluntary dismissal form as well. If your divorce becomes final in Florida and you do reconcile with your ex-spouse, you do have the option of getting married again. Florida has no waiting period for remarriage after a divorce. If you are considering this option, you may need to consult an attorney to see how this can impact your existing divorce decree.

    In Florida, this is known as a Final Judgment.