Tampa, FL – Divorcing couples often will want to get some basic legal assistance and separate as soon as possible to move on with their lives. One way that this is done in many states is through some kind of simplified divorce proceeding where the couple can agree on many issues and have a judge sign off on an order to end the marriage. This is available in Florida, but there are requirements that must be met and basic legal advice is still recommended to ensure that the process is completed properly.
Who can get a simplified divorce in Florida?
There is a simplified divorce process for some couples in Florida. Some restrictions on who is eligible are based on whether there are children present, the length of time the couple resided in the state and some other factors. At least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to the filing. If there are any minor or dependent children involved, or one spouse is pregnant, the couple is not allowed to get a simplified divorce. Finally, both spouses need to sign a document that is essentially a waiver which says that the couple does not desire to litigate any issues in family court, and all appellate rights are waived as well.
The process for eligible marriages
For couples that are eligible, there is a process to file a petition to dissolve the marriage in the local circuit where their family court sits. In Florida, circuits generally coincide with counties. This will be treated as a formal legal document, so it can be beneficial for couples to get help from an attorney when completing the required petition and other paperwork. There must also be a marital settlement agreement signed and completed that deals with some basic issues related to property division and the couple’s assets. Some situations where there is little or no shared property may be able to skip this step.
When all of these documents are completed, the couple must prove their residency, submit court fees, and file a few other additional documents. There will also be a final court hearing where the marriage is formally ended. The judge has some discretion regarding whether the petition will be granted or not based on the information available at the time.
Experienced family lawyers in the Tampa area
The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet is a firm in Tampa that has been dealing with divorces, child custody, support payments, and other related issues for over 40 years. A consultation with an attorney from the firm is a good way to get started with legal advice and prepare for family court.
Firm contact info:
1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762