The only reason that you have to give for filing for divorce is that your marriage is irretrievably broken. In other words, you must show that your relationship is over and you cannot repair it. Additionally, a spouse being mentally incapacitated for three years is also grounds for divorce in Florida. If you meet the residency requirements for a divorce in Florida, you can move forward with filing in the courts.
One of the two parties to the divorce will need to file a form called the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. The spouse who files the form is the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. After the form is filed, the petitioner must give a copy to the respondent.
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This is known as serving the divorce papers. If your spouse agrees to the divorce, he or she can accept the service of the papers. The spouse will then need to fill out and file a different form called an Answer and Waiver of Service, which must be signed and notarized before it is filed.
Matters may become more complicated if your spouse will not accept the service of the divorce papers.
Average Cost of Divorce: Attorney Fees
In this case, you can get the sheriff from the county in which your spouse resides to serve the papers to your spouse. This is done by paying to place an ad in a local newspaper assuming you can find one in the area where your spouse lives to alert your spouse that you are serving them with divorce.
Within 45 days of filing your petition, Florida requires you to turn over a signed financial affidavit.
This involves disclosing information about your finances, including:. Mediation may be ordered after you file for divorce. During this process, a third party will attempt to help you and your spouse come to a divorce agreement without involving the court. Each side will present evidence and call witnesses, and a judge will make the final decision on all contested issues. Some divorces may be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage. This option does not require a financial disclosure and attorneys may not be necessary. To qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, you must meet the following criteria:.
During a divorce proceeding in Florida, the court only divides marital assets and debts. For the purposes of a Florida divorce, the court considers any assets or debts acquired during the marriage by either party as marital assets.
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The court does not divide separate assets, defined as property and money owned by only one of the spouses. Non-marital assets include anything that either spouse obtained before the marriage or anything that either spouse received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. This does not include gifts between spouses. Adding your spouse to the title of an item such as a car makes it marital property.
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First, the court assesses the value of non-monetary property. In other words, we need to sit down and figure out what you need in your divorce case so that we can come up with a quote before you serve divorce papers. As such, a short-term marriage with no children will have a retainer that is quite a bit less than a long-term marriage with children. We are exhaustive in this consultation, which lasts between 45 and 90 minutes. When applicable, we will work through rough equitable distribution charts, net income analysis, and child support numbers. Uncontested Divorce: An uncontested divorce is one where all of the issues are resolved, or will be resolved informally by the parties, prior to a filing for dissolution of marriage.
Contested Divorce: The retainer cost for a contested divorce depends on the number of issues to resolve. It is imperative to set a consultation with a divorce attorney to get a retainer quote and an estimate for the divorce.
Uncontested divorce without children, debts or property to divide
You will pay an initial retainer that anticipates an estimated cost to get your divorce case through the initial stages of divorce, into formal settlement discussion, and up to or including mediation. If your case cannot get resolved at this stage, you may need to pay a second retainer for the divorce mediation phase. This is a segment of your case with the goal of utilizing third- party mediators to try to broker a deal. After the divorce mediator, a third segment in your case is temporary relief phase. Sometimes we need litigation to resolve stopgap issues while waiting for a trial. The unintended benefit of the temp relief phase is that sometimes the threat of litigation looming facilitates an unreasonable party to become reasonable and work on a resolution.
A fourth and final segment is the trial litigation phase. When a case is set for trial, you and your divorce attorney will discuss a final trial retainer. This is dependent on how many issues are left to be litigated.
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Many times, the real sticking point is only one issue for example, alimony , and we can work out resolutions on all the other issues. In this case, the trial retainer would be substantially smaller than a retainer where all issues were unresolved, because the amount of work needed to bring the case to fruition would be substantially less.
Florida wants the divorce process to be fair. This comes down to a matter of scale.