Selecting the Correct Divorce Type for You
Type 1: Simplified Divorce
Do you want to know how to file for divorce in Florida? Deciding to divorce can be a stressful experience. To complicate things, Florida law provides several types of divorce:
- Simplified Dissolution or Divorce
- Dissolution of Marriage with no minor children or property.
- Dissolution of Marriage with Property, but no Minor Children
- Dissolution of Marriage with Minor Children.
What divorce you choose depends on your situation. In this post I’m going to show you how to file for Simplified Dissolution (Divorce). I call this divorce the simplest because it requires the least amount of paperwork, hearings and court time.
Simplified Dissolution-when you agree on all issues.
Under Florida Divorce Laws, if you and your spouse can come to an agreement as to the division of assets and liabilities, you can qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage. If the following are true:
- You agree how all assets and liabilities should be divided and all you need is the judge’s approval.
- Neither spouse is requesting and spousal support or alimony.
- Either you or your spouse has been a Florida resident for at least 6 months before filing the petition.
- There are no minor children of the marriage and neither spouse is pregnant
- You are willing to give trial and appeal.
- You are willing to go to a final hearing.
If you meet these conditions then you qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage.
Lets go over the basic parts of dividing up your property.
How to Complete the Petition for Simplified Dissolution (Divorce)
In all divorce types you must complete a petition which then must be filed in the family court of the county you live. To file the petition you must pay a filing fee and then serve via process server on your spouse. Lets take a look at what goes into the petition for simplified divorce.
The petition must contain the following information:
- Both your and your spouse’s full legal name.
- The date you were married
- Where you have lived and for how long.
- A statement that your marriage is irretrievably broken.
- A statement that you have no minor children and that neither spouse is pregnant.
- A statement that you have signed the petition without any pressure and of your own free will.
- That you and your spouse have agreed on how to divide up your assets. Here you have the option of either keeping your property agreement private or you can submit a marital settlement agreement. See the next section for more on this.
- Whether the wife wants to change her name back to her maiden name.
For a free blank form, go to the Florida Courts website here.
Marital Assets vs. Non-Marital Assets
Under Florida Divorce Laws, any asset acquired from the time you were married until the date you filed the petition for divorce is considered marital property. Marital assets include:
- Real Property
- Cash in hand and in the bank.
- Promissory notes
- Retirements plans like 401k.
- Life Insurance
- Other assets acquired during the marriage.
If you decide to create a marital settlement agreement, make sure you include everything you want because its difficult to change the agreement once its approved by the judge.
Filing your petition and going to court
Once you have completed the petition and possibly created a marital settlement agreement you’re ready to file. Filing for simplified dissolution usually costs about $ 400 throughout Florida.
If you file in person at the clerk’s office, the clerk will give you a list of available dates. If you file electronically you or your spouse will have to call the clerk to and agree on a date.
Your court appearance is called the final divorce hearing. Its will only last a few minutes. The judge will ask you if you really want to be divorced and have you signed of your own free will. Finally, he will state that you are divorced. He might have the order ready and give both you and your spouse a copy right there or mail you a copy in a few weeks.
I hope you learned how to file for divorce in Florida. If you and your spouse agree on all issues and meet all the other aspects discussed above, simplified divorce or dissolution is the best, easiest and most cost-effective divorce in Florida. If you don’t agree on all the issues, or you have minor children you will have to file for one of the three other types of divorce available in Florida.
If you have questions about what divorce works best for you feel free to call me for a free consultation at 727-643-8964 or complete the form below.