If you and your spouse have agreed upon divorce and at least one of you has been a resident of the state of Florida for at least six months, you are going to have to through a series of steps before your divorce, or “dissolution of marriage” is granted. There are aspects that must be addressed before a divorce is finalized, however, if you both have already agreed to separate because of irreconcilable differences, the process might run much faster.


Aside from this, there is plenty more you are going to want to become aware of which is why we are providing you with a few other things to be mindful of if you are thinking about getting a divorce.


  1. If either you or your spouse is opposed to the divorce or children are involved, the court may order either party or both, to go through counseling. Florida state statute 61.052 states that you may be asked to consult with a “marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation.”


  1. The divorce process officially begins when you or your spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the family division of the circuit court in Santa Rosa County. The forms that you will be required to file might vary based on your personal circumstances so be sure you fill out the appropriate forms based on that. You can view a list of these forms that must be filed and they are grouped together in the following categories:


  • Dissolution of Marriage with Children or Dependents
  • Dissolution of Marriage with Property No Children
  • Dissolution of Marriage No Property No Children
  • Simplified Dissolution of Marriage


  1. The Division of Assets- The assets you acquired prior to your marriage, also known as non-marital assets, remain in your possession following a divorce. In most cases, the assets you have acquired with your spouse during the time of your marriage must be split equally [Source: 61.075].


  1. Custody of Children– When two parents cannot come to an agreement on how their time is going to be split with their children, the courts will generally determine the best way to divide up the time based on what the best interests of the child are.


  1. Alimony- Before alimony is awarded, the court will determine if there is an actual need for it and whether the party has the ability to pay it. The court will consider the following factors when determining how much alimony is awarded:
    • The standard of living established during the marriage.
    • The duration of the marriage.
    • The age of each party along with the physical and emotional condition of each.
    • The financial resources of each party.
    • The earning capacities.
    • The contribution of each party to the marriage.
    • The responsibilities each party will have regarding minor children.


Divorces can be unsettling, awkward, and even confusing which is why it is always a good idea to enlist the help Milton, FL divorce attorney Laura S. Coleman can provide you with. Having a knowledgeable professional working by your side who can answer your questions will only help make the process easier for you to go through. So, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Office of Laura S. Coleman, P.A. at 850-626-8520 today to begin receiving the advice and assistance you need.