Florida Uncontested Divorce Information
One of the most common and inexpensive ways to get a divorce is to file for an uncontested Florida divorce. Your Florida divorce is uncontested if both you and your spouse agree to divorce, and you privately negotiate most or all of the details of your divorce without much court intervention.
When Is an Uncontested Florida Divorce Appropriate?
There are several types of situations in which an uncontested divorce is the appropriate route to pursue.
First, consider an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse are on good terms despite your decision to split up. Uncontested divorces don't work well for couples who have a lot of hostility, resentment or anger toward one another.
Also, uncontested divorces work well if neither you nor your spouse is greedy. If one of you is selfish, the other one will probably get an unfair settlement. If you think your spouse might take advantage of you, talk to an attorney before agreeing to an uncontested divorce.
Finally, an uncontested divorce is appropriate if you have relatively simply custody and property issues. If you have a child with special needs, or if you have a significant amount of community property and debt, an uncontested divorce may not be your best option.
When Is an Uncontested Florida Divorce Inappropriate
There are certain circumstances where an uncontested divorce is not advisable. An uncontested divorce probably isn't the best option if:
- You and/or your spouse have a high net worth
- There is a history of physical or verbal abuse in your marriage
- You and your spouse are unable to communicate with one another in a civil manner
- You and your spouse do not agree on child custody issues, the division of property and the issue of spousal support
- You or your spouse has not yet accepted the idea of getting a divorce
What Are the Steps to File for a Florida Uncontested Divorce?
Once you and your spouse have agreed to divorce, you'll want to sit down with one another and negotiate the details of your divorce. These would include:
- How will your assets be divided between you and your spouse?
- Who will be responsible for which debts?
- What steps need to be taken to legally remove one person's name from the title to jointly owned property, such as cars and homes?
- Will one parent have sole custody of the children or will both parents share custody?
- How will you and your spouse handle parenting issues?
- What is the visitation schedule?
- Will one spouse be paid alimony, also known as spousal support?
- If one spouse gets alimony, will this be paid in a lump sum or will payments be spread over time?
- When will alimony payments terminate?
If you can agree on the big issues, but are still having difficulty reaching agreement on some of the fine points, you may want to engage the assistance of a divorce mediator, who can help you and your spouse negotiate the rest of your divorce agreement (which, in Florida, is also known as a marital separation agreement). You may want to hire a divorce attorney to review the agreement and advise you on any potential problems with the agreement.
As part of your Florida divorce filing, you'll also have to submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. After submitting the necessary documentation, the court will schedule a brief hearing where a judge will review your marital separation agreement. From start to finish, the entire uncontested Florida divorce process can take less than 5 weeks.