Florida Divorce – What You Need to Know

Divorce laws differ from state to state. For instance, in Florida, which is a no-fault state, a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage. As a no-fault state, Florida only requires that marriage be “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, Florida does not recognize legal separation or common law marriage.

If you are contemplating a divorce in Florida, it is important to seek advice and/or representation from a legal professional specializing in matrimonial and family law. Much of the information you will find on the internet is generalized information that may or may not apply to your specific situation.

With that being said, here are a few important things to know about dissolution in Florida:

Important Facts about Divorce in Florida

  • One spouse must live in Florida for at least six months before filing the divorce proceeding. If the spouse living in Florida cannot locate the other spouse after a reasonable search, the filing spouse may obtain a divorce by publication. This means the divorce is posted in a local printed publication for a required number of weeks in an attempt to notify the other spouse of the divorce proceeding. If the other spouse does not respond pursuant to applicable rules, the dissolution can be obtained without the missing spouse’s consent or knowledge.
  • If both parties do not file the required financial affidavits, the court may have the power to dissolve the marriage but cannot make a binding decision concerning the assets and liabilities.
  • Divorce paperwork must be filed either in the county where the couple last lived together as an intact married couple, or in the county where the defendant resides.
  • Uncontested divorces, which are when the spouses agree on division of marital property, require minimal cost and can generally be completed within 30 days of the parties signing the marital settlement agreement.
  • Florida requires equitable distribution of marital property. Each spouse typically keeps the property and debts they brought into the marriage. Each spouse typically keeps any property received as a gift or inheritance. This is because the majority of the time property acquired before the marriage or that was received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage is not considered marital property. This can get tricky depending on the facts of your case, so be aware that this general answer may not apply to you.
  • In order to qualify for alimony, the requesting spouse must prove financial need and that the paying spouse has the ability to meet that need.
  • If alimony is awarded and the paying spouse does not make timely payments, the court can order that alimony be automatically taken from the spouse’s pay or take additional action such as suspending the paying spouse’s driver’s license.
  • When minor children are involved in the dissolution, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act Affidavit must be filed.
  • Divorcing spouses with children must complete a parent education and family stabilization class to prepare them to deal with and minimize emotional trauma their children might face as a result of the parents’ divorce.

Don’t Guess! Always Seek Divorce Law Advice

Many of these answers are general in nature. Some of the answers may change depending on your specific situation. It is highly recommended to seek legal advice prior to making any decisions so you are educated on your rights and obligations for Florida divorce.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation so you are always aware of your rights!

Tagged with: