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Dissolution of Marriage


What is a simplified divorce?
It is a simple method to end a marriage, if all requirements are met.
What are the requirements that MUST BE MET for a simplified divorce?
You and your spouse:
1. Agree that the marriage cannot be saved.
2. Have no minor or dependent child(ren) together and no party is now pregnant.
3. Must have worked out:
a. How you will divide the property/joint assets.
b. Who will pay what part of the money that you both owe (liabilities).
c. You are both satisfied with this division.
4. One of you must have lived in Florida during the last six (6) months prior to filing.
5. Agree that there will be no alimony support.
6. Do not want any financial information other than that provided in the financial affidavits.
7. Agreed to give up your right to trial and appeal.
8. Are willing to go to the Clerk's office, at the same time, to sign the petition.
9. Are willing to go (together) to a final hearing.

After the dissolution becomes final, neither party has any right to expect money or support from the other (except for what is included in the property settlement agreement).

You give up certain legal rights by using the Simplified Dissolution of Marriage procedure.
Are we required to have an attorney?
No. However, if you have any legal questions about the process, property rights, tax consequences, etc., you should consult with an attorney prior to filing for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
Where do we get the forms to file a Petition for Simplified Dissolution?
You can purchase and prepare forms online. View either the General, or the Forms tab

Download them for free from www.flcourts.org
What information do we need to bring with us to file with the court?
1. Picture Identification (such as a driver's license)
2. Certificate of Corroborating Witness form. See forms.
3. Financial Affidavit.
4. Notice of Social Security Number (each of you must complete a separate notice).
5. Marital Settlement Agreement (you will complete one agreement together)
What is a corroborating witness?
Someone that is swearing that the person (either party) has been a resident for at least 6 months prior to filing.
What does it cost to file for a simplified divorce?
Please see Fees for the current filing fee.
How long will it take for my divorce to become final?
A hearing to finalize your divorce will be scheduled at the earliest possible date depending upon the court's schedule. You and your spouse must both appear before the court on the scheduled hearing date.
What if we do not meet the requirements for a Simplified divorce?
There are 2 options available:
1. Hire a private attorney who would file all the necessary paperwork, or
2. Act as a Pro Se Litigant (self-represented)
If I am a Pro Se Litigant where would I get the forms?
Forms can be purchased online, at the Office of the Clerk of Court or purchased through online forms service for a nominal fee.
Once I have completed the forms, what do I do?
The forms must be filed at the Office of the Clerk of Court. Once the case has been processed by the Clerk's office, a case management conference will be scheduled.
What is a case management conference?
A Case Management Conference is a meeting with a Case Manager, prior to the case going before a Judge. Both parties will meet with a Case Manager on the designated date, and have their case reviewed to ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been filed.
What is the filing fee?
See fees for the current filing fee.
What is mediation?
An attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement or compromise through the objective intervention of a neutral party.
What is family mediation?
This is a procedure to assist people who are separating, divorcing or dealing with matters arising after a divorce, paternity, support or related matters to reach an agreement without the court making the decision for them.
Why is mediation used?
Advantages include:
1. An opportunity to cooperate for the best interests of all parties.
2. A less expensive resolution than a trial since expenses involved in trial preparation (such as witness and evidence subpoenas and other fees) can be avoided or minimized.
3. Disputes can be resolved in a timely manner with only one court meeting. The agreement is final when both parties agree that the settlement is fair.
4. This agreement must be signed and will be incorporated into a Final Judgment.
5. Privacy for both parties is protected by avoiding the publicity of a trial.
What cases can be mediated?
Florida laws define the cases that can be mediated. Issues my include:
1. Parenting plans, time-sharing and child support.
2. Alimony or spousal support.
3. Divisions of assets and liabilities.