You may be wondering how long the divorce procedure will take in Florida, if you and your husband have begun talking about divorce or if you’ve recently filed for divorce.
Every situation is unique, and it depends on the family and their particular circumstances. Some divorces are completed in a matter of weeks, while others take a year or longer to complete. Read the article to know more.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?
A simple divorce can be completed in as little as four to five weeks. It can take six months or longer if the matter is challenged, the court decides on any of these problems. It can easily take a year or more in areas where the courts are particularly busy.
– The Length of the Divorce
Furthermore, the length of the divorce also depends on whether the election is disputed or not. Both couples agree on child support, custody, visitation, property and debt division, and alimony, if any, in an uncontested divorce. Most couples don’t go to court over their divorce; instead, they settle their differences amicably or with the aid of a mediator.
Every divorce is different, just like every marriage is. While the specifics of your case will differ from those of others, there are some deadlines and time constraints that must be adhered to. In addition, specific measures must be performed in order to arrive at a final ruling.
Thus, Divorce in Florida differs according to the circumstances. There are other factors also like the involvement of children (child support/ child custody) or property division which might escalate the divorce process. Some of the factors are mentioned below.
– Circumstances Affecting the Timeline
The duration to complete a divorce case is determined by a number of circumstances, including whether the divorce is contentious or uncontested.
- Is your divorce case complicated by children (child custody and child support)and/or assets?
- Do you and your partner agree on all or almost all issues?
- Are both spouses prepared to make concessions in order to achieve an amicable agreement?
- Do you have an experienced divorce attorney on your side?
- A knowledgeable divorce attorney can assist you in navigating the Florida divorce procedure to get the best possible outcome.
The Type of Divorce Impacts How Fast the Process Takes in Florida
There are different types of divorces in Florida which contributes to expediting or delaying the process of divorce in Florida. These types are as follows:
– A Simplified Divorce
The quickest divorce is a basic divorce. It isn’t for everyone, but it is the most expedient way to dissolve your relationship. It only works if you don’t have any children under the age of 18, don’t have any dependents, and neither spouse wants alimony. At least one partner must have resided in Florida for the preceding six months, and the wife cannot be pregnant.
Furthermore, you must both consent to the divorce in the first place. You must agree on the distribution of your assets for it to operate. The court will appoint a hearing roughly 20 days after you both submit a petition with financial affidavits.
If everything you provided was right, the divorce will be completed at that hearing. The procedure is known as a “Simplified Dissolution of Marriage” in Florida. From start to finish, the procedure takes around 30 days and removes all rights to a trial or appeal.
– An Uncontested Divorce Case/Uncontested Divorces
In an uncontested divorce case, both spouses are in perfect agreement on every element, akin to a streamlined divorce. There must be no disagreements or inconsistencies.
Both parties must agree on any child support or alimony to be paid, as well as child custody, liability and asset split, tax exemptions, and any other issues. There can’t be any squabbling, unsolved issues, or contests in an uncontested divorce.
Both couples must work together to resolve any paperwork issues and sign all documents in a timely and efficient manner. Uncontested divorce and streamlined divorces are both rapid. With the assistance of an attorney, they can be even faster because attorneys have the ability to regulate the schedule.
The filing process is instantaneous, but the documentation preparation might take several weeks. The divorce procedure takes around four months to complete since the final hearing usually happens three months after the paperwork is submitted.
– An Initially Contested Divorce
The most prevalent forms of Florida divorces are those that are first disputed. They’re prepared in a typical way, with documents filed with the court and then served on the other spouse.
Overall, the paperwork will be individually delivered to the other spouse by a private process server, they could or might not be ready for that situation.
The circumstances of Contested Divorce might vary greatly from one spouse to the next. The one thing they all have in common is that something is up for debate. It makes no difference how many matters are in dispute or if both couples wish to divorce.
If there is even a single point of contention, the case is considered disputed. One of the most prevalent reasons for Contested Divorce is financial constraints. Most of the time, both parties agree on the divorce but disagree on how the money will be divided.
Fortunately, most Contested Divorce cases settle around a “halfway point” throughout the process. Mediation is frequently used at this phase to help the couples reach an agreement on their differences. The case becomes an “uncontested divorce case” if those problems are resolved.
Process of Contested Divorce in Florida
Though you can file for divorce right away, your spouse must be served with divorce papers, which can take anywhere from one to three weeks. You have the option of paying extra money to have the Petition and Summons served more quickly.
The spouse has 20 days from the date of service to submit a response. The discovery procedure is as follows: Each spouse will be required to reveal their financial situation and give extensive financial paperwork. The mandatory Financial Disclosure paperwork must be exchanged 45 days after they are served.
Mandatory mediation or parenting classes: If you have children in Florida, you must attend a four-hour parenting course. Before authorizing a lawsuit, the state also compels the parties to try mediation. The majority of divorces are settled through mediation, however, some cases may end up in court.
– Final Trial
Keeping in mind that each case is unique, your final trial might last anywhere from four hours to several days. Trial preparation, on the other hand, will take substantially longer – on average, five months. Cases that are more controversial or complex might take longer up to a year.
Residency Requirement for a Florida Divorce
According to family law, for the six months (waiting period) immediately before the filing of the divorce case, one spouse must have resided in Florida. If you are temporarily residing outside of Florida, the judge will determine if you are still a Floridian. You will most likely not be regarded as a Florida resident if the court concludes that you have no intention of returning. Being stationed outside of Florida does not impact your residence if you are in the military.
Getting a Divorce in Florida With a Child
If both couples agree on custody, child support, and parenting arrangements, they can have an uncontested divorce that takes four to six weeks to complete. If the couples disagree on their children, the case may be classified as a disputed divorce case, which might take six months, a year, or even several years, depending on the nature of their disagreement.
Mediation as a Way Out of a Lengthy Divorce Process
In mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third person who will help you and your spouse reach an equitable conclusion by facilitating dialogue rather than advocating for either party. Meditation has been found to help couples not only negotiate, but also to save time and money by avoiding a court appearance. Domestic abuse victims are not obligated to attend mediation.
It will be required to go to court for a trial if you are unable to address the issues in your divorce case through mediation or other out-of-court discussion tactics. A disputed final hearing is one in which both parties have the chance to present evidence and witnesses in order to persuade the judge to decide in their favor.
If young children are involved, the judge will approve or construct parenting arrangements if necessary. While you and your spouse can come up with a parenting plan before the trial, the court will ultimately decide what is best for the kid.
The divorces that require the parties to appear in court and decide their case before a judge take the longest to complete. A contested divorce can take anywhere from 10 months to two years or longer, depending on the number of disputed topics, the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement, and the skill of their divorce attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce That Goes From Contested to Uncontested?
If the receiving party hides from the process server during an initially contentious divorce, it might take longer. Many couples who aren’t ready to embrace their spouse’s wish for divorce may avoid receiving divorce papers.
This might add a month to your divorce. Process servers, on the other hand, are quick and inventive, therefore a spouse’s strategy of avoiding the server must be devious.
The opposite party has 20 days after receiving the Summons and Petition to file an answer. The next step is the discovery phase, which takes around three months and includes financial disclosure. Both parties must provide a set of financial records to the other, including pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and retirement account statements.
Fully disputed cases involve more time-consuming criteria, which means the procedure may take longer. Nonetheless, if there are children involved, the state of Florida requires both parties to complete a four-hour parenting course before a divorce may be finalized.
If mediation is necessary, it will normally take place four to five months after the divorce case is filed. At this time, the majority of contentious cases reach a decision.
All contentious divorce cases in Florida must go through mediation, which can be done privately or in the courtroom. Choosing a private mediator might help you save time throughout your divorce.
In an originally disputed matter, the last hearing normally takes place four to six months after the divorce case begins. It’s the final stage of the divorce procedure, so it might be completed in less than six months.
– How Long Do You Have To Be Separated in Florida To Get a Divorce?
To apply for divorce, a couple must live separately and apart. In Florida, however, there is no requirement for a waiting period or separation prior to filing for divorce. The sole stipulation for obtaining a divorce is that at least one of the parties must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing.
While Florida family law does not require couples to wait a set amount of time or be separated before filing for divorce, both spouses must fulfill the residence criteria.
Before filing for divorce in Florida, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months. Note that you can file a divorce petition even if one of you has not lived in Florida for the previous six months.
As a result, Florida courts are more concerned with how long the spouses have resided in the state than with how long they have been separated prior to filing for divorce.
– How Much Does the Average Divorce Cost in Florida?
Depending on the issues, a Florida divorce might cost as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as $100,000 in legal expenses.
A filing fee is required in every county court in Florida for those seeking to dissolve their marriage. This is the cost of having your divorce processed (or registered) by the court, which makes it legal.
In Florida, filing costs range from $350 to $410, depending on the county. To find out the precise amount, go to the county clerk’s website in the county where you want to file. There may be additional charges for copies and having the divorce papers served on the other party.
You can fill out an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status if you are concerned about being able to afford the filing fee and any connected court expenses. The form is available online or via the Clerk of the Court in your county. There may still be a $25 administrative charge, and you may be put on a payment plan rather than having your expenses eliminated completely.
Furthermore, depending on their experience and location, a divorce lawyer in Florida often charges between $260 and $330 per hour. Divorce Attorneys in major cities typically charge more than those in other states.
Given that some divorces are more difficult than others, there is no way to accurately forecast how long your divorce will take. Further, we conclude the following:
- In Florida, however, there is no requirement for a waiting period or separation prior to filing for divorce. The sole stipulation for obtaining a divorce is that at least one of the parties must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing.
- Your involvement in the process and the decisions you make along the way are two of the most crucial elements that will determine the length of your divorce. Hiring an expert divorce lawyer can considerably enhance your prospects of a quick divorce with minimal stress.
- If there are children involved, the state requires both parties to complete a four-hour parenting course before a divorce may be finalized and If mediation is necessary, it will normally take place four to five months after the divorce case is filed. At this time, the majority of contentious cases reach a decision.
- Before filing for divorce in Florida, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months. Note that you can file a divorce petition even if one of you has not lived in Florida for the previous six months.
- In Florida, filing costs range from $350 to $410, depending on the county. To find out the precise amount, go to the county clerk’s website in the county where you want to file. There may be additional charges for copies and having the divorce papers served on the other party.
We hope after reading this article you may have a better understanding of how to pursue your divorce and what is the timeline for your divorce case.
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