The divorce process, as some Florida residents will find, includes several steps from start to finish. Signing the divorce papers, though it might seem final, is not the last thing you will need to have a legal dissolution of your marriage.
Reaching an agreement
To get to the point where you are ready to sign divorce papers, you must first reach an agreement on the many issues related to the divorce. If you are in an uncontested divorce and have been able to work with your estranged spouse and have resolved all the issues that have come up, you can both sign this agreement and submit it to the court. The court will issue the final divorce decree and your marriage will be officially over. In contested divorces, this process could last several months or even years as the two parties go to court over the issues they cannot resolve. Some of the issues you will need to consider include:
- Child custody and child support
- Division of assets and debts
Filing with the court
Once you have reached an agreement with your spouse, you are ready to file with the court. The time that you will need to wait for the final decree to be issued can vary from state to state and can depend on each situation as well. Uncontested divorces can be finalized in a relatively short time, sometimes between 6 weeks to 3 months. More complex divorces might end up taking over a year. But once you sign the divorce papers and file with the court, you are ready to request the final divorce decree.
The final divorce decree
The final divorce decree is the document that officially states that your marriage has ended. Once you receive this, you and your ex-spouse can begin your independent, single lives.