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Can You Get Divorce in Florida Without Going to Court?

Getting a divorce in Florida is not always easy. It can be costly, time-consuming, and emotional. A lot of people ask themselves this question when they are going through a divorce. It’s essential to know the answer because you want to ensure that you don’t have any surprises during your separation from your spouse.

In Florida, there are two ways for individuals to get divorced without going into court: uncontested and agreed-upon divorces.

Does Florida Require Court Appearance For Divorce?

Rarely, individuals who both agree on all of the terms and conditions surrounding their divorce, including child custody and property division, do not have to appear in court. This is usually done when they file a Joint Petition for Divorce with an affidavit that states why they agree upon the divorce.

The good news is there are some requirements that both spouses have to meet for this type of divorce to be approved. First, you need to find the best divorce attorney in Daytona Beach to assist you with your uncontested divorce. Then you need to make sure that both spouses agree on all of the terms and conditions surrounding their separation, including child custody and property division.

You also have to meet specific financial requirements such as having a tax return for each year since your marriage ended or if either spouse has been unemployed for at least six months during this period. Another requirement is that there can’t be any domestic violence charges against one of the spouses involved in the case; however, it doesn’t matter who filed first.

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When Do You Need To Go In Court?

Most people find themselves going into court because there are aspects of their case which require it. Common reasons include:

  • One spouse wants complete ownership of any bank accounts or real estate holdings.
  • A spouse does not want to pay spousal support even though they have enough income to do so
  • There are questions regarding how much someone should receive from retirement benefits.
  • A spouse wants to remove the other person from their will or trust.
  • If there are children involved, and you need a judge’s help in making decisions about parenting time, education, etc., because you cannot agree on your own.

Contested and Uncontested: What You Need To Know

In Florida, Dissolution of Marriage, or divorce as more commonly called, must be filed in either a contested or uncontested situation. The distinction between the two can seem confusing and difficult to understand without some clarification; however, we will try our best to explain what you need to know about each.

A Contested Dissolution of Marriage

In this type of divorce, both parties have reached an agreement on all issues related to their marriage. Still, they cannot agree on how those terms should be reflected legally through paperwork submitted by lawyers involved in the process.

This means that one party disagrees with the legal documentation being prepared for them, which causes further disagreement because they feel they are not being heard.

Both parties must agree on how to divide their property, any alimony payments that will be awarded if needed for either party, child custody, and visitation schedules, as well as the terms of how they plan to file taxes jointly or separately.

An Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage

In this type of divorce, one party has reached an agreement on all issues related to their marriage, but the other person may not have been made aware or chose not to voice any disagreement they might have had.

An uncontested divorce is much cheaper than a contested divorce, but it can still take up to one year for the judge to sign off on everything.

An uncontested divorce is also much faster since there are no hearings or trials required. Depending upon how quickly the couple agrees upon all terms of their divorce, they could have a finalized agreement within just weeks. 

Most couples choose this route because it allows them more control over their marriage regarding the division of assets, alimony payments/agreements, child custody agreements, etc.

If both parties can communicate effectively together, then an uncontested type of divorce may be right for you. However, suppose communication between spouses has completely broken down. In that case, it might not be possible, especially when complex issues like child support or visitation rights need to be addressed by the court.

How Long Will The Process Take From Filling To Results?

One of the most often asked questions about divorce is “How long will it take?” The answer to this question varies depending on many factors. It can be anywhere from six months to a year or more, but there are some things you need to know before filing for divorce in Florida.

First off, if neither spouse lives in Florida and agrees that one party should file the petition (the paperwork), then only one party needs to live here at least sixty days prior. However, once filed with the court by either party, discovery must begin within thirty days after service upon opposing parties’ attorneys of record.

Discovery means depositions (interviews) under oath as well as written interrogatories (questions). Parties may also seek temporary support (alimony) and require mediation before moving toward trial. This is why it’s essential to consult with an experienced Florida family law attorney if you are considering filing for divorce in the state of Florida.

Final Words

While nobody wants to get divorced, it sometimes becomes necessary. The best thing to do in this situation is to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney who can help you take care of your needs during a tough time. Whether not going to court is the right decision for you and your spouse, it’s best to speak with a lawyer about what options are available.

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by Sushree Swagatika

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