Florida Divorce by Publication

The Publication Process

When the other party’s whereabouts are unknown, a Divorce by Publication (also known as a missing spouse divorce or one signature divorce) is used. Divorce by Publication takes the place of the traditional service process. As with all legal matters, please consult a Florida divorce attorney before attempting a divorce action on your own.  Most often, the initial consultation is offered at no charge.

In Florida, you can seek a divorce by Publication if you don’t have any children and don’t want to go to court. This procedure takes about eight weeks to complete.

A divorce with children must follow the standard Florida divorce procedure, which includes a hearing.  Divorce by Publication might take up to 12 weeks, depending on the county.  All timelines are subject to change due to the impact of COVID 19 on our court system.

Step 1 – Gathering Information for a Florida Divorce Through the Publication Process

Getting Started, Initial Intake  – Fill out the Family Law Client intake form found under the Contact and Forms menu on our website.  The completed Family Law Client Intake Form will automatically be transmitted to one of our divorce attorneys. Then, we’ll call you to confirm the details, answer any questions, and set up our initial meeting.

Step 2 – Document Preparation

Brandon Legal Group’s Family Law Attorneys will compile the appropriate Divorce By Publication forms based on the information you supply and review them with you in a timely fashion.

We will examine the forms with you during the review, ensuring that all of the information is correct.

Please let us know if you would like the Publication mailed to you.

Important: We will include a court filing fee waiver with the documents; if you meet the income requirements, the court will waive the court filing fee as well as the publishing fee.

Step 3: Signing the Documents

Signing – The forms must be signed in front of a notary; in Brandon, Tampa, Fishhawk, or wherever convenient for you.   You may come to our Brandon Family Law office, and we provide notary services at no cost to you.

Step 4 – Obtaining a divorce at the local courthouse

Using the online site of the Florida court, we will compile and Efile the divorce forms. If you qualify for a court filing fee waiver, the court will request Publication. If you do not qualify, the Publication will cost you about $100.

The following stages will differ based on the type of divorce you have:

Divorce by Publication (Simple Divorce):

If you qualify for the court filing fee and your divorce is a simple divorce (no children or property), the court will handle the publishing.

We’ll file the rest of the paperwork when it expires, and we’ll be able to skip the procedures above. We’ll submit the final paperwork, and the judge will review and sign it.

The final judgment will be mailed to you straight from the court.

With Minor Children, Divorce by Publication:

Divorce Court Hearing Request

We will submit the remaining documents and request the final hearing once the publication period has passed. Some counties allow you to skip the last court appearance; we’ll let you know if this is a possibility.

Last Chance to Speak

You will get a hearing date in the mail if your county requires a final hearing. This hearing is critical for you to attend.

You will be divorced after the hearing, which usually takes less than 5 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Whenever minor children are involved in a divorce, even a Divorce by Publication, you must attend a parenting class. The lesson is available online in most areas.

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