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Filing for Divorce in Florida

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Do I Need Grounds for Filing for Divorce in Florida?

As a no-fault divorce state, Florida only recognizes the following grounds for divorce:

  • The marriage is permanently broken
  • One of the spouses is mentally incapacitated

What Do I Need to File to Start My Divorce Proceedings?

A Dissolution of Marriage form is required to start a divorce. The dissolution should be filed in the county where one of the spouses lives. Either spouse must be a resident of the county where the petition is filed for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

What Do I Need to List on the Petition?

All the issues pertaining to the marriage should be listed on the petition, including:

Do I Have to List the Terms of the Divorce If My Ex-Spouse and I Agree on All of Them?

No. If both spouses agree on all of the terms of the divorce, the petitioning spouse can file a simplified dissolution of marriage. Speak with an attorney before filing a simplified dissolution of marriage. The petitioner gives up rights like cross-examining the other spouse or asking for financial documents. The simplified dissolution also requires a spouse to prepare and sign a divorce settlement agreement regarding property and debt division.

How Will My Spouse Know That I Filed for Divorce?

The spouse has to give, or serve, their spouse with the filed dissolution of marriage petition. The sheriff’s office may deliver the petition on the petitioner's behalf.

Once your spouse receives the dissolution petition, they have 20 days in which to file a response. This response must include a reply to the issues brought up in the dissolution of marriage petition and a discussion of any other issues that the responding party wishes to have addressed by the court.

What If I Cannot Find My Spouse to Serve the Dissolution Petition?

A missing spouse can still be served with divorce papers through constructive service. This type of service is performed when the petitioner publishes a notice in the local newspaper for 30 days.

Should I Hire an Attorney to Resolve My Divorce?

Yes. A divorce attorney will represent you during all phases of your divorce proceedings. The attorney will explain your legal responsibilities during the divorce and how to protect your assets.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 04-29-2015 09:47 AM PDT

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