You can learn how to file for divorce and do it yourself if you and your partner agree to an uncontested divorce. The “Simplified Dissolution of Marriage” makes it possible to get divorced in as little as 30 days without the added expenses of divorce attorneys.
The filing of divorce papers can seem a bit daunting or confusing, and the government’s website does not always simplify the process. The attorneys at Brodzki Jacobs & Brook can help you navigate the process with simplified instructions for how to file for divorce in Florida.
You can start by looking at the checklist below to ensure you meet the requirements for a do-it-yourself divorce:
- One spouse is a Florida resident with a minimum of six months residency
- You both agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken
- Both partners agree to the divorce and all terms
- There are no children under 18 or dependent children, and no one is pregnant
- No alimony is involved
- Both parties agree to waive all rights to a trial or appeal
What Forms Are Necessary When Filing for a Simplified Divorce?
Divorce advice can be invaluable. Before filing, you may wish to speak with a divorce attorney to ensure that all necessary forms are properly completed in a timely fashion.
The necessary documents that must be filed when beginning the process of filing for divorce include:
- Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage signed by both parties
- Civil Cover Sheet for Family Law Cases
- Written Settlement Agreement (or parties may choose only a verbal agreement, or choose to keep their written agreement private and not filed with the Court at their option)
How and Where Do I File for Divorce?
You will file for divorce in the county in Florida in which you reside. The first step in the process is the completion of the “Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.” The individual who files the papers will be referred to as the “petitioner.” The spouse is the “respondent.”
You may download and complete online divorce papers before filing them with the court. Include your name and address, spouse name and address, residency statement, and statement of the fact that the marriage is irretrievably broken with your petition.
Since Florida is a no-fault state, divorce laws do not require a reason for the dissolution of the marriage. All that is required is stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The other grounds for the divorce is the mental incapacitation of one spouse for at least three years.
After you and your partner have discussed and agreed to all terms of the divorce, you will prepare a signed settlement agreement that details any and all debt and property division, or you may have only a verbal agreement if you choose. It is always advisable to put even the simplest agreements in writing, signed by both parties. However, you are not required to file a written agreement with the court and you may elect to keep even a written agreement private.
The local circuit court clerk in your county of residence can provide exact instructions for how to file for divorce. The divorce petition you present to the court must be signed and notarized, and you will pay the filing fee at that time. Always keep copies of the petition for you and your partner. Every Circuit in Florida participates in an electronic filing system, which can be found at www.myflcourtaccess.com.
Getting divorced does not have to be difficult, but you must be aware of a few facts. Once you file the divorce papers with the court, they cannot be changed without Court permission. That is why we recommend having a divorce attorney, or at least a registered paralegal, look over your forms before filing. The small expense up front can save thousands of dollars in the long run if you make a mistake that a lawyer must later be hired to fix.
If you contemplate getting a divorce, we can help. Whether you are looking for a simplified, do-it-yourself divorce or require the services of an attorney, Brodzki Jacobs & Brook is here to provide answers to your questions. Contact us at (954) 344-7737.