Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
In the State of Florida some couples are eligible to dissolve their marriage by way of a simplified dissolution process aka simplified divorce. These dissolutions are designed for the "do-it-yourselfer" and are designed so the services of an attorney may not be necessary. Couples are responsible, however, for filing all necessary documents correctly, and the couple is required to appear before a judge together when the final dissolution is granted. If you desire the services of a divorce attorney for this dissolution process, it can usually be completed relatively inexpensively.
There are certain criteria that must be met before the couple is entitled to file for a simplified divorce. The couple must not have dependent children and also have agreed on a division of their property and debts. Therefore, not everyone can qualify.
A husband and wife can use the simplified dissolution of marriage divorce process only if:
- (a) They both agree to the use of this form of dissolution proceeding
- (b) They have no minor (under 18) or dependent children
- (c) Have no adopted children under the age of 18
- (d) The wife is not pregnant
- (e) At least one of the parties has lived in Florida for the past six months
- (f) The parties have agreed on the division of all of their property (assets) and obligations (debts)
- (g) Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and want to end their marriage because of serious permanent differences.
Couples wanting to use the simplified divorce process must meet all these conditions. If not, they must use the regular dissolution of marriage process.
There are substantial differences between a simplified divorce and a regular dissolution of marriage.
In a regular dissolution of marriage, each spouse has the right to examine and cross-examine the other as a witness, and to obtain documents concerning the other's income, expenses, assets and liabilities before having a trial or settlement of the case.
With a simplified dissolution, financial information may be requested but it is not required to be given. In a simplified dissolution there is no trial and no appeal. Also, with a simplified dissolution neither the husband nor the wife can receive support (alimony) from the other.
If the husband and wife agree on a dissolution, and prefer to use the simplified form of dissolution, then they should both contact the clerk of the circuit court in their area and obtain a copy of the booklet titled "Simplified Dissolution Information" for more detailed information and forms.