Although divorce is common in Florida, the divorce process will vary depending on a couple’s unique situation and lifestyle. Short-term marriages where children aren’t involved often result in a less complex divorce than long-term marriages with minor children and significant debt. Couples who are able to work together to negotiate the terms of the divorce will most likely experience a less costly and less stressful divorce. Following are a few basic steps of the divorce process.
Filing a divorce petition
One of the first steps involved in the divorce process is filing the divorce petition or divorce papers. In this step, one spouse must file a legal petition that includes:
- A legal reason for the divorce
- A statement that demonstrates to the court that at least one spouse meets the residency requirements to petition for divorce
- Additional statutory information required by the state
Serving your spouse
After filing for divorce, you’ll need to provide a copy of the document to your spouse and provide proof that your spouse has been notified to the court. If you fail to provide your spouse with a copy of the paperwork or fail to provide proof of service to the court, you won’t be able to proceed with the divorce case.
If you and your spouse have differing opinions on matters such as child support, child custody, visitation agreements or the division of assets, you’ll need to work together to reach an agreement. The court may schedule a mediation appointment where a neutral third-party individual will attempt to resolve disagreements between both parties.
Who can you contact for help with the divorce process?
Divorce can seem overwhelming, especially when emotions are running high. A divorce attorney may help you navigate each step of the process with greater clarity.