How to Begin the Process of Divorce For Florida Residents
Beginning the Divorce Process
Making the Tough Decision
Divorce can be one of the most stressful things you go through in life. The physical, emotional, and mental stresses can take a toll on you. However, the process of going through the divorce can be difficult especially in Florida. There are many steps you need to take to make it happen. It is essential to have a trained lawyer with you in order to complete the process correctly. Here are the steps to starting the divorce process in Florida.
The first thing you should do is to really think long and hard if divorce is right for you. There are a lot of options for counseling and mediation to make the marriage work. Divorce can have many harmful effects on children so it should be thought of as a last resort.
Filing the Initial Paperwork
The complexity of your divorce will depend on the state of your marriage. If you have no children and almost no assets to divide and distribute, then it will be a simple process. In Florida, divorce is known as dissolution of marriage. There is a simple Dissolution of Marriage document you can file if all things above for your particular case. It works if everything is simple and straightforward with no alimony involved and you both want to just end things and move on with your lives.
However, for more complicated cases filing a Dissolution of Marriage document will be more difficult. A regular dissolution of marriage is what you file if you have more things to divide between you and your spouse.
The first step for this is to file the petition to dissolve the marriage. You can do this in the court where you both lived previously or were either of you currently live. Once this document has filed, your former spouse has 20 days in order to respond with an answer. The answer usually talks about what the disagreements were with the filing and your former spouse can their own counterpetition.
If your former spouse files a counterpetition, then you must file your own response to this counterpetition. In general, the more disagreements you and your former spouse have the longer the divorce process will be.
Getting a Response Back
Once these documents have been filed and everything sorted out, it is time to actually go through the process of the divorce. For example, if there are children involved child-support documents and custody agreements most be determined and filed. One person has to be the primary caregiver and the other will be required to pay child support payments. A financial affidavit must also be filed at most 45 days from the time the divorce petition was started.
Once these things have been filed then the process of dissolving the marriage will begin. Usually, this is a regular court case with lawyers and it can be complicated depending on how many assets are involved and whether you disagree with your spouse on anything.
You are also required to go to mediation in some places in Florida.