A Do It Yourself Divorce in Florida Guide
If you’re a resident in Florida seeking to petition a divorce with your wife or husband, here’s what you need to know about the process.
A Divorce Petition
A do it yourself divorce in FL always begins with a ‘divorce petition,’ a document typically offered by any legal aid service from within the state. The petition generally is filled out by the spouse wanting to petition for divorce. He or she is commonly referred to as the Petitioner or Plaintiff. Upon completion of the petition, the Petitioner then must serve those papers to the other spouse.
Once the other spouse has received it, an exact copy is then sent out to the circuit court in the state in the county from which either spouse is a resident.
What Is Included in a Divorce Petition?
Any do it yourself divorce in Florida would include all the names of the issue in question – the husband, the wife, any children. If there is a separate property involved, that must also be named in the petition. Stipulations on child custody and support are also listed, and if necessary alimony is also discussed.
Steps Toward Serving the Petition
For a do it yourself divorce in FL, the process of delivering the petition, known as the “service of process,” is simply handing the “divorce papers” over to the other spouse, who will then be known as the Respondent or Defendant in the matter. The next common step is for the Respondent to sign the papers, stating that he or she has received them. Of course, he or she can refuse to sign or even be difficult for the Plaintiff to locate, in which case a professional server can be hired to deliver the papers.
Once the Petition Is Served….
Upon signing the papers, a waiting period commences in the state to settle every issue – whether it’s child custody, support, property distribution. It’s stipulated that restraining orders are issued for both spouses as well as the knowledge that either spouse cannot take children outside of the state for any reason. In addition, no property or assets can be sold or borrowed against for any reason; and health insurance obtained during the marriage can’t be borrowed or sold.
Additionally, the Respondent can file an actual “response” to the petition to either agree or disagree to the petition. This may make the petition move a lot faster if it’s an agreement, possibly never even entering into court.
However, when a Respondent writes to disagree….
What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Agree With the Terms of the Divorce?
A do it yourself divorce in Florida involving one spouse who doesn’t agree with the divorce may specifically have issues with the divorce itself, or even something as little as a piece of property distributed.
In any case, the next step would be a court hearing to determine the validity of the issues, to discuss the issues, and to come to an appropriate decision.
Once a do it yourself divorce in FL makes it through all debates about the relevant issues at hand, the waiting period continues to move forward until the court date when the judge comes to the decision about whether to sign on the petition or not.