What is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage Under Florida Law?
Florida has developed a simplified dissolution of marriage process that is designed to help eligible couples avoid some of the protracted litigation that often comes with filing for divorce. When individuals meet certain conditions and agree on all issues related to their divorce, Florida law allows them to undergo a simplified process in order to finalize their dissolution of marriage.
Eligibility for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
In order to qualify for the simplified dissolution of marriage process under Florida law, at least one of the parties must have lived in the state of Florida for a period of six months or more. The couple also must agree that their marriage is unsalvageable and irretrievably broken. Only couples who have no minor children who are under the age of 18 together are eligible for a simplified dissolution, and the wife must not be pregnant. One spouse cannot seek alimony from the other spouse in a simplified dissolution, and the couple must agree on how to divide all marital property, including personal property and real estate, if any, as well as how to allocate the payment of marital debts. Each spouse must file the appropriate financial affidavit with the court, or the spouses must agree that they have no need to complete the financial affidavits. Disclosure of financial information from spouses is not required, although one spouse may request it. Finally, both spouses must agree to the simplified procedures and waive their rights to a trial on issues related to the dissolution, as well as their rights to appeal the court’s decision.
Procedures for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
From a procedural standpoint, a couple who wishes to seek a simplified dissolution of marriage under Florida law must file a petition for simplified dissolution of marriage with the clerk of court, as well as a marital settlement agreement that both parties have signed. There is a fee that all Florida courts charge in order to file for a simplified dissolution. The couple then must appear in court before a judge, who may require the parties to testify about the marital settlement agreement that they have submitted to the court. If both spouses do not appear for their court hearing on the petition for simplified dissolution of marriage, the court may dismiss the petition. Thereafter, assuming that the parties do appear for their court hearing, the judge must enter a judgment of dissolution, so long as the parties have met all of the requirements for a simplified dissolution of marriage in the state of Florida.
Contact Your Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyers and See How We Can Help
Divorce cases are often difficult, emotional, time-consuming, and expensive. If you qualify for simplified dissolution of marriage, you may be able to avoid some of these common issues. Whether you are eligible for a simplified dissolution or must pursue a more traditional dissolution action under Florida law, you need the advice and guidance of an experienced Florida divorce lawyer to help you successfully navigate the legal system. Contact the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, and learn about the different options that may be available to you as you seek dissolution of your marriage.