Florida allows you do complete a do-it-yourself divorce under certain circumstances. This process can save you time and money, but you need to be in the right situation to be eligible. If you have dependent children or expect a legal battle over property or assets, you may need a divorce attorney to effectively negotiate a solution that is favorable to you during your divorce. However, as long as you can come to terms over your differences and reach an agreement with your spouse, you can arrive at an “uncontested” divorce, in which case you can complete a do it yourself divorce.
Getting A Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Florida
Florida allows you to fill in your own forms and present them to the court to begin the dissolution of marriage process. At CompleteCase we can help you to keep this process as simple as possible, providing you with a legitimate online divorce option. This do-it-yourself divorce approach is ideal when you know you and your spouse can come to an agreement to pursue an uncontested divorce.
To complete a do-it-yourself divorce, you will need to take the following steps:
- Verify residency – Florida will only allow you to divorce in the state if one spouse has been a resident for at least six months.
- Determine what kind of divorce you will seek – You have several different option when seeking a divorce in Florida, only some of which are viable for the do-it-yourself divorce approach. The easiest form of divorce in Florida is the simplified dissolution of marriage. If you and your spouse have no dependent children and you can agree on everything that will happen after your marriage – including questions of property division, assets and debts, neither of you is seeking alimony and both of you agree that the marriage needs to end – you can seek a simplified dissolution. In this situation the do-it-yourself divorce approach is ideal. You may also seek a regular dissolution of marriage. If you do not meet the above requirements but still plan on seeking an uncontested divorce – one where you and your spouse agree on all terms – the do-it-yourself divorce approach may still be viable. However, in a regular dissolution of marriage where you and your spouse do not agree and will be arguing for your side in front of the court, the do-it-yourself divorce approach is not recommended.
- Fill out the forms – Now that you know what kind of divorce you want you can fill out the appropriate forms and present them to the courthouse. As long as your divorce will be uncontested, CompleteCase can help you through this process for a quick and easy do-it-yourself divorce. You can also request forms from your local county clerk to fill out yourself. Just make sure you ask for the right forms and fill them all out correctly to avoid complications later on in the process.
- File your petition – In the case of a simplified dissolution of marriage, you and your spouse need to appear together at the courthouse to file your petition. You will both present a valid photo ID and you will need to verify the residency status of you or your spouse – either through a witness or a notarized certificate. The court will then schedule you a final hearing around 30 days from the date you file. As long as you and your spouse still agree to the divorce your marriage will be dissolved.
In a regular dissolution of marriage, you must file your paperwork with the county clerk and then wait for the court to serve your spouse the divorce papers. Your spouse will then have the opportunity to contest the divorce. If this happens you will both need to make court appearances to resolve your differences.
Preferably you and your spouse can come to an agreement about the terms of your regular dissolution of marriage. If you are able to agree and present it in writing – in a settlement agreement – the court can quickly dissolve your marriage. If you are not able to agree, you can expect to go to trial and should probably hire a divorce lawyer to help you defend your position.