Florida Divorce Guide – Marriage Dissolution Simplified
A SHORT OVERVIEW – Simplified Divorce
Certain couples may be able to dissolve their marriage through a streamlined procedure. This type of dissolution was created with the intention of avoiding the need for the services of an attorney. Spouses, on the other hand, are responsible for filing all necessary documents correctly, and both parties must appear before a judge together when the final dissolution is granted.
MEASURES TO SAVE MONEY
Even if your case is uncontested, you can hire an attorney to represent you. The cost of such services is typically much lower than the cost of a contested case. You can reduce your attorney’s fees even further if you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all issues that would necessitate the attorney’s assistance.
REQUIREMENTS FOR SIMPLIFIED DISSOLUTION ELIGIBILITY
The simplified procedure is not suitable for everyone. Couples can only use the simplified dissolution of marriage if all of the following conditions are met:
- Both parties have agreed to use this type of dissolution proceeding.
- They do not have any minor (under the age of 18) or dependent children.
- They have no adopted children under the age of 18 in their home.
- Neither party is expecting a child.
- At least one of the parties has spent the last six months in Florida.
- The parties have agreed to divide all of their property (assets) and liabilities (debts).
- Alimony is not being sought by either party.
- The marriage is irreparably broken, according to both parties.
If you and your spouse are unable to meet all of the above requirements, you will be forced to go through the regular dissolution of marriage process.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REGULAR AND SIMPLE DISSOLUTION PROCESSES
There are significant differences between a simplified and a regular marriage dissolution. Each spouse has the right to examine and cross-examine the other as a witness in a regular dissolution. Before a trial or settlement, each spouse has the right to obtain documents pertaining to the other’s income, expenses, assets, and debts. Financial information may be requested by either party in a simplified dissolution, but disclosure of financial information is not required.
GETTING THE FORMS FOR SIMPLE DISSOLUTION PROCEEDINGS
If spouses want to divorce and prefer to use the simplified form of divorce, they should contact the clerk of the circuit court in their county as well as obtain a copy of the booklet titled “Simplified Dissolution Information” for more detailed information and forms. Alternatively, you can go to the Florida Courts website, which is linked above.
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