Rarely is divorce a simple process. It is not just the emotional toll it can take, but it is also facing the logistics of it all and the mere thought of being involved in the legal system. For those who have not experienced the legal system in the past, filing for divorce can be particularly daunting. You want everything to be done right, but you are probably also anxious to get everything finalized.
Fortunately, Florida offers several different types of divorce that may apply based on factors such as whether you and your spouse agree to all the terms of the divorce and whether or not you have children resulting from the marriage. In some limited instances, you may be able to get a divorce without ever having to go to court.
Divorce Without Going to Court: Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
Florida law refers to divorce as “Dissolution of Marriage.” There are several different types of dissolutions that can be pursued.
First, there is a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, you and your spouse are not in agreement for at least one of the key terms in the divorce. You may disagree on:
In a contested divorce, both spouses are required to appear in court. There will be a trial and a final hearing that will decide all contested issues of the divorce.
There is also an uncontested divorce. In the case of an uncontested divorce, there is the option of a standard uncontested dissolution of marriage or a simplified dissolution procedure. A simplified dissolution procedure is available in cases where:
- Both spouses agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”;
- There are no children resulting from the marriage;
- Both spouses agree to all central issues of the divorce;
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony;
- Neither spouse wishes to have financial information above and beyond what is provided for in the financial affidavits;
- Both spouses are willing to waive the right to trial and appeal; and
- Both spouses must appear before the court at the final hearing.
In a standard uncontested dissolution of marriage, both spouses have agreed on all issues central to the divorce and have signed a Marital Settlement Agreement. Both spouses must also complete a financial affidavit within 45 days of having the divorce paperwork served. In cases of standard uncontested dissolutions of marriage, only one spouse is required to appear at the final hearing. This means that one of you will never have to go to court to actually be granted a divorce.
Florida Divorce Attorneys
While there is the option of seeking a simplified divorce in Florida, divorce is rarely ever simple. The trusted divorce attorneys at Orlando Family Team are dedicated to helping clients navigate the rough terrain of divorce and protect their best interests at every turn. Contact us today.