The process of ending a marriage can be daunting. Even after deciding to divorce, either spouse may be overwhelmed by the thought of court hearings, custody disputes and asset division.
When a couple files for divorce in Florida, they can pursue a simplified marriage dissolution if they meet certain criteria.
With this process, the state does not require financial disclosure. However, either party can ask for disclosure during negotiation of a simplified divorce agreement. A married couple can request a simplified marriage dissolution in Florida if:
- At least one spouse has lived in Florida for at least six months
- Both spouses agree to waive spousal support.
- They reach an agreement on property and debt division.
- They have no children younger than 18 together and the wife is not currently pregnant.
Couples who do not meet the above requirements must file for a standard divorce in Florida. This process requires full financial disclosure within 45 days of filing. The spouse who initiates the divorce must submit a petition that details his or her preferences for child custody, property division and spousal support as applicable. He or she must serve the other spouse with the petition along with the hearing date scheduled by the court. The responding spouse can submit his or her own petition within 20 days of receiving legal notice.
Florida may require couples who cannot agree on the key issues in divorce to go to mediation. If mediation does not prove successful in helping the couple reach a fair agreement, the judge will make a decision about contentious issues on the couple’s behalf.