Florida provides some information for people who may be thinking about formally separating. A divorce can be obtained as long as the couple meets some basic residency requirements and follows a simple process. However, the complexity of the divorce process can vary greatly based on the length of the marriage, if the couple had any children, and property issues.
Advice from the state
According to the Florida Bar, the formal term for a divorce is a dissolution of marriage proceeding. The three requirements to file are proof of a valid marriage, at least one spouse to say that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” and at least one spouse must have resided in Florida for at least six months prior to the end of the marriage.
While these initial steps are simple, couples need to be prepared for the possibility of child custody and support disputes if necessary, property division, alimony payments, other specific points related to their marriage that need to be sorted out. These matters are always fact intensive, and there is no way to guarantee that a divorce will end a certain way. Your lawyer should be able to give you more information as your case progresses.
Florida also offers various kinds of collaborative divorce procedures. This means that the husband and wife can negotiate in the presence of trained professionals and come to an agreement that will become a legally binding divorce decree when they are finished. This makes the process easier when couples are willing to negotiate and settle their differences with minimal outside help.
What is the best way to get divorced in Florida?
All states that have adopted no fault divorce laws have already simplified the process to get divorced. It is best to contact a family law attorney and explain that you are ready to file. Remember that you only need one spouse to say that they believe the marriage has broken down beyond the point of repair to start the process.
There is no requirement for adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, or other grounds that were a part of fault based divorces decades ago. Over time all states eventually did away with the requirement to have one of these grounds demonstrated before the divorce can be finalized.
How long will the divorce process last?
This depends a lot on factors such as the length of the marriage, the amount of property and assets the couple owned, and how much the couple can agree upon. If the marriage is short term, which is three years or less under Florida law, it should be fairly simple to walk away without alimony payments or other long term entanglements. If the couple was together for decades and had shared finances, property, bank accounts, and investments, plan on the process taking much longer. As always, the specifics of your case should be discussed with a lawyer before any assumptions are made.
Contact an experienced divorce attorney
If you need help with a divorce in the Tampa metro area, contact The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet. They will assist you with the process of ending a marriage and moving on with your life.