A Brief Guide to the Divorce Process in Florida
The divorce process in Florida is a lengthy one with many different elements that need to be understood and accounted for if it is to be navigated through correctly and successfully. Part of that involves knowing exactly what to expect from the different steps in the process, and therefore one of the most important predicates to a successful divorce case is to familiarize yourself with the divorce process in Florida.
Phase One of the Divorce Process in Florida
First you have to make sure that you qualify to enter the divorce process in Florida based on the residency requirement. It states that at least one of the spouses must have lived in Florida for the six months prior to the divorce. Divorce can be filed in either county in which any spouse either of the spouses claims residence.
Phase Two of the Divorce Process in Florida
The next crucial step, which truly gets the ball rolling on the divorce process in Florida, is one spouse filing a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition will ask for the names and addresses of the partners, their addresses, and the reason for the divorce, though a variant on irreconcilable differences is fine. If child support or alimony is requested, financial information will also need to be given at this time.
Phase Three of the Divorce Process in Florida
Once the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage is filed, the petitioner will receive a Writ of Summons form that they will fill out and then serve to the spouse. A process server may need to be used to do this. After receiving the Writ of Summons, the spouse has 20 days to respond to it. At that time, they may also file a Request for a Hearing or Proceeding.
Phase Four of the Divorce Process in Florida
This is actually several steps, but they are all part of the divorce proceedings as rung in the ladder of the divorce process in Florida. First comes the Discovery phase in which both parties, the Petitioner and the Respondent, will share information concerning their fitness as parents and their financial abilities. From their, the divorce process in Florida moves on to the actual trial, in which the legal representation from both the Petitioner and the Respondent will present their side of the divorce story, arguing for greater rights in regards to child support or visitation. After both sides have spoken their peace to the utmost of their abilities, the judge will decide on an equitable division of property in a manner which will likely satisfy no one but which means principally to be fair.
Phase Five of the Divorce Process in Florida
Florida only has a 60 day waiting period from the filing for divorce until a divorce may become official, so it is likely that by the time you reach Phase 5 of the divorce process in Florida that you’ll have passed the waiting period.