17 Dec Four Questions You Should Ask if You’re Procrastinating on Filing for Divorce
Have you and your spouse decided to split up, but you haven’t filed for divorce? This is common because many couples believe that getting a divorce will be a long and expensive process. But, a divorce can be relatively simple depending on the circumstances. When both spouses agree on property division, alimony, child custody, and child support, you can obtain an “uncontested” or “simplified” divorce.
If you know your marriage is over, but you’ve been procrastinating on filing for a divorce, ask yourself:
- Do I qualify for an uncontested divorce?
In Florida, only certain couples qualify to get an uncontested divorce, formally known as a “simplified dissolution of marriage.” You must meet the following requirements:
- no children of the marriage under the age of 18, adopted or otherwise
- wife is not currently pregnant
- at least one spouse has lived in Florida for at least six months
- spouses agree on division of property and division of debts
- neither spouse is seeking alimony, and
- both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and want a simplified dissolution of marriage.
- Is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage the best option for me and my spouse?
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage is best for couples that want to end their marriage amicably and are willing to cooperate with each other to finalize their divorce. In a contested Florida Dissolution of Marriage, each spouse is required to turn over financial information to their spouse and their attorney, which can prolong the process and cause additional issues. In a simplified dissolution of marriage, the requirement of filing a financial affidavit can be waived, saving both parties time and resources.
- How to do I file for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?
To get a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Florida, you must submit a “Petition for Simplified Dissolution” to the circuit court clerk’s office for the county where either you or your spouse lives. You will have to pay filing fees at the time that the petition is filed. Your local county clerk can tell you how much those fees will be.
You and your spouse may have already agreed on how your property and debts will be divided, and you may have already divided them between the two of you. Although this agreement may be working for you both, it’s best to formalize your agreement.
- I filed the petition for a simplified dissolution of marriage, now what?
In Florida, both you and your spouse will need to appear before the court for a hearing before you can be divorced, even with a simplified dissolution. The hearing can usually be set a short time after you have filed your petition for simplified dissolution.
At the hearing the judge will also make sure that all requirements for a simplified dissolution of marriage are met, and ensure that all necessary paperwork has been completed. Once the judge is satisfied that all paperwork is in order, he or she will sign your final judgment and you will officially be divorced.
Attorneys are not required for simplified divorces, but some people find the legal system cumbersome and difficult to navigate. Simplified divorces are far less expensive than contested divorces. If you have additional questions about uncontested divorce in Florida or would like to talk to us about whether hiring an attorney is right for your, contact Sara Jones Law, P. A. to set up a free consultation. We will be happy to assist you with all of your Family Law needs.