The Divorce Process in Florida

concept%20of%20divorce.jpgIn Florida, anyone who wants to divorce must have been a resident of the state for at least six months and wait for a period of 20 days before a final judgment can be entered. A roadmap of the Florida divorce process includes:

Gathering financial information. Pull together all recent tax returns, bank statements, retirement accounts and other important business documents. These will be used for making property division and support decisions.

Discussing property division. Try to hash this out with your spouse early on if possible. Even if you cannot come to an agreement, you will have a better understanding of what your spouse’s position is regarding the division of marital property.

Filing a petition for divorce. Even if the decision to divorce is mutual, only one spouse files a petition for divorce.

Do you have minor children? If so, then a temporary order of child support and child custody will be filed.

Proof of service. The spouse who filed for divorce files a statement that the other spouse has received the petition for divorce.

Response to the petition. This is filed by the other spouse, and can address a number of divorce-related issues including a dispute of the divorce, setting forth a defense against any of the statements in the original petition, child custody, child support, spousal support, and more.

Negotiation. Except in cases of abuse, it is usually best for both spouses if their divorce can be settled via mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce.

Trial. If issues cannot be resolved through negotiation, then the case goes to trial.

Order of Dissolution. The Order of Dissolution details the court’s decisions regarding alimony, child support, child custody, visitation, property division, etc. A judge finalizes the divorce after both parties have agreed on the final order.