Basic Steps for Filing Florida Divorce

Filing for divorce can be one of the most stressful and trying times of your life, and because the process can be so complicated it is often difficult to know what steps that you need to take in order to successfully complete a divorce. A family law attorney is your best resource for filing, processing, and finalizing a divorce but here are the basic steps that you must take in order to properly file for divorce in Florida.

Meet the Residency Requirements

Florida state law, Section 61.021, states that “To obtain a dissolution of marriage, one of the parties to the marriage must reside 6 months in the state before the filing of the petition.” This pertains to one of the spouses residing in the state for normal purposes as well as if the spouse has been residing in Florida for military purposes.

State the Proper Grounds

In order to file for divorce, you must also state the grounds for the dissolution of marriage. Florida is considered a “no fault” state, which means that there are no specified grounds for divorce that you have to prove. You can simply state that the marriage has been “irrevocably broken” or show the court that your spouse has been declared mentally incapacitated for at least three years prior to the filing.

File the Proper Paperwork

Next, you must fill out all of the proper paperwork for the court regarding your divorce. Most importantly, these documents include a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage that must be filed with the county courthouse in addition to being sent to your spouse with the proper notice. If your spouse is not served with the divorce documents then the petition for divorce will not be allowed in court. A family law attorney knows all of the forms that must be filed and how to do so properly in order to properly petition for divorce.

Settle the Terms of the Divorce

Finally, you must settle the terms of the divorce with your spouse. If there are no children, marital property, and your spouse agrees to all of the divorce terms then you can file for a simplified divorce with the court. However, if your spouse disagrees with any of the terms or there are children or property involved then you must go through a series of court proceedings to settle the terms of your divorce.

Oftentimes, the judge will order you and your spouse to mediation or counseling to settle the terms of the divorce on your own, and the court prefers that you come to an agreement together. However, if you cannot agree to the terms of the divorce then the judge makes the decisions on your behalf.

Contact a Florida Family Law Attorney

If you or a loved one wishes to file for divorce in the Fort Lauderdale area let the experienced attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman help guide you through the process. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.