Florida Divorce Guide
Divorce is a difficult and complicated time. No one plans on getting a divorce, but divorces happen nonetheless. To make matters worse, filing for divorce can be complex if you don’t understand how the process works. At McDonald & McDonald we strive to make the process easier so you can move on with your life and begin to heal. Below we offer a simple guide to Florida Divorce.
Grounds for Divorce
Florida, like many other states, is a no-fault state. This means that you do not need to prove that your spouse engaged in a specific behavior that destroyed your marriage. Either spouse can file for divorce on the grounds that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” The other ground for divorce is mental incapacity of one of the parties. The spouse suffering from mental incapacity needs to be adjudged incapacitated for the previous three years.
In order to be eligible for a divorce in Florida, you or your spouse must be a resident. In order to qualify as a resident, one or both of you must have lived in Florida for six months prior to filing the divorce petition.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
In Florida there are two type of divorce, a simplified and a regular dissolution of marriage. The simplified divorce is designed to be quicker and easier. You must meet the following criteria:
- One or both parties have lived in Florida for the previous six months
- Both parties agree that the marriage cannot be saved.
- There are no children under 18
- The wife is not pregnant
- Both spouses agree on the division of assets
- Both spouses agree to give up the right to a trial and appeal.
Both spouses are responsible for fling the documents and appearing together before the judge who will sign the divorce petition.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
If you do not meet the requirements for a simplified dissolution of marriage, you will need to file a regular divorce petition. The difference is the petitioner files the terms of the divorce that he or she wants in regards to property division, alimony, custody and child support. The other spouse must answer the petition and file it in court. Each spouse has the right to examine and cross-examine the other spouse and obtain documents regarding the other spouse’s income, assets, and expenses before going to trial or settling the case.