separated couple

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to Get a Divorce in Florida?

Coming to the decision that a divorce is what is best for you and your family is usually not an easy one. Once you have reached this decision, you may be more than ready to jump in and get the process started. There are, however, formalities that must be observed prior to this happening.

Is there a mandatory waiting period before filing for divorce? 

Some states have a mandatory waiting period in place when parties file for divorce. This waiting period varies between states, but it usually falls around 6 months to over a year. The intention behind this type of waiting period was to give the parties to the divorce time to reflect on whether or not divorce is truly something they wish to pursue. The same intention is behind some state requirements for spouses to go through a period of separation prior to being able to obtain a divorce.

Florida, however, has no required wait time or required period of separation prior to getting a divorce in the state. The only timing question that really will impact your ability to seek a Florida divorce comes from Florida Statute 61.021. This statute requires that one of the parties to a dissolution of marriage case must reside in the state of Florida for at least six months prior to filing the petition for divorce. Please be sure to note that only one spouse needs to fulfill the residency requirement. This means that the other spouse does not even necessarily have to live in Florida at all and the Florida resident spouse can successfully file a divorce petition.

In sum, the real issue in seeking a Florida divorce is not how long you need to be separated in order to seek a divorce, but how long you or your spouse have lived in the state. The overall length of time it takes to navigate the entire divorce process will largely rest on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested divorce. It will also depend on how many issues relating to the divorce you and your soon to be former spouse are at odds about and your ability to work with your former spouse on reaching mutually agreeable resolutions. Really, it will depend on just how contentious the divorce proves to be. The more central issues that you and your spouse disagree on, the longer the divorce process is likely to take. Other complicating factors in divorce can be children and high net worth as well as complex asset holdings.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Orlando Family Team is committed to providing our clients with divorce counsel they can count on. We are here not only to help ensure that the technical requirements of a Florida divorce are observed but to serve our clients by providing them with trusted legal counsel. We will always work to pursue and protect your best interests. Contact us today.