How long does divorce take in florida

One spouse must be a Florida resident for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for divorce. If you are temporarily living out of state, the judge will decide whether or not you are still a Florida resident. If the court determines that you have no intention of coming back, you probably will not be considered a Florida resident. If you are in the military, being stationed outside of Florida does not affect your residency.

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Yes, after you conduct a diligent good faith search as required by Florida law. There is a list of steps you must take, such as contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles and talking to family and friends who may know where your spouse is. You must also publish a notice in an appropriate newspaper for a certain period of time. The court cannot order any division of property or alimony until your spouse is found and served with the papers.

Can one lawyer represent both spouses, and does each spouse have to have a lawyer?

How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce in Florida | Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer

Even if you think your goals are the same, lawyers are ethically prohibited from representing both parties in a divorce. If your income is very low, you may qualify for free representation from Legal Aid. Many, many cases are resolved through divorce mediation.

It is a lot cheaper to have a mediator--a trained, neutral third party--help you and your spouse negotiate than it is to pay lawyers to argue and prepare for trial. Mediators cannot force a settlement on anyone, but they can show people what would be a reasonable settlement, and advise them as to what the court may do if there were a trial.

Sometimes it is just good to have a neutral person, who both sides will listen to, help with the settlement negotiations. Check out our section on Divorce Mediation to find out if it will work in your divorce case.

Even before you file for divorce, you can get a restraining order from the court, without notifying your spouse. Consult the clerk of court or a lawyer. If the court issues a restraining order on this basis "ex parte" , there will be a court hearing within a number of days where your spouse can argue against the order. Once the divorce process begins, the court can order your spouse to leave the house especially if you have children and stay away from you. Domestic violence cases have priority in the court system and are heard quickly.

Learn more about Domestic Violence. What if I need temporary alimony or child support before the final hearing in my case? You can go to court after you have filed your petition and ask for an order of temporary child support, alimony, visitation rights, or custody.

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Florida Divorce Laws - FAQs | Cordell & Cordell

Yes; in the petition for divorce, request that your former name be restored. You can learn more about how it works here. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site.

The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service.

Here are the answers to some common questions about divorce in Florida.

Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. The divorce filing must be made in the county in Florida where either of the two parties to the divorce resides.


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Florida is a no-fault divorce state. The only reason that you have to give for filing for divorce is that your marriage is irretrievably broken.

Divorce FAQ's

In other words, you must show that your relationship is over and you cannot repair it. Additionally, a spouse being mentally incapacitated for three years is also grounds for divorce in Florida. If you meet the residency requirements for a divorce in Florida, you can move forward with filing in the courts. One of the two parties to the divorce will need to file a form called the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage.


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  7. The spouse who files the form is the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. After the form is filed, the petitioner must give a copy to the respondent. This is known as serving the divorce papers. If your spouse agrees to the divorce, he or she can accept the service of the papers. The spouse will then need to fill out and file a different form called an Answer and Waiver of Service, which must be signed and notarized before it is filed. Matters may become more complicated if your spouse will not accept the service of the divorce papers.

    In this case, you can get the sheriff from the county in which your spouse resides to serve the papers to your spouse. This is done by paying to place an ad in a local newspaper assuming you can find one in the area where your spouse lives to alert your spouse that you are serving them with divorce. Within 45 days of filing your petition, Florida requires you to turn over a signed financial affidavit.

    This involves disclosing information about your finances, including:. Mediation may be ordered after you file for divorce. During this process, a third party will attempt to help you and your spouse come to a divorce agreement without involving the court. Each side will present evidence and call witnesses, and a judge will make the final decision on all contested issues. Some divorces may be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage.

    This option does not require a financial disclosure and attorneys may not be necessary.

    To qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, you must meet the following criteria:. During a divorce proceeding in Florida, the court only divides marital assets and debts. For the purposes of a Florida divorce, the court considers any assets or debts acquired during the marriage by either party as marital assets.

    The court does not divide separate assets, defined as property and money owned by only one of the spouses. Non-marital assets include anything that either spouse obtained before the marriage or anything that either spouse received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. This does not include gifts between spouses.

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