If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, you need to understand the process. Every step is vital, including what you are doing before actually filing. Here’s an overview of what to expect.
Preparing and filing the necessary paperwork
Gather all the documents relevant to your divorce, like nuptial agreements, investment account statements, income tax returns, etc., before filing a petition to dissolve your marriage. Since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, you can simply end your marriage on irreconcilable differences grounds. You don’t need to prove that one of you cheated unless it comes up during property division, such as if your spouse used marital assets to fund their affair.
It doesn’t matter who files first for divorce. As long as you are in agreement about your separation, one of you will file and serve the other the divorce papers.
Mediation is required in most divorce cases filed in Florida unless one party files an affidavit stating why they do not want it, for example, in a case where domestic violence is involved. The purpose of this step is to help you and your spouse reach amicable terms for divorce without going through trial proceedings where everything is dependent on the judge’s decision.
Possibly attending a hearing or trial
If you cannot reach an agreement through mediation with your spouse and their attorney, you will likely go to court. The judge can make rulings on every issue related to your marriage as per your unique circumstances.
Deciding on how you divide your marital property
In Florida, the court will equitably divide your marital property; this is not necessarily a 50-50 split. The judge will consider things like each spouse’s contributions to the marriage and home, the economic circumstances of each spouse, the length of the marriage and other things.
Every divorce in Florida is unique, and the entire process will depend on the complexity of your marriage. However, on average, the divorce process will last for 3-24 months.