Florida Divorce Steps

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Florida is a state which is quite populous. It has various influences on its culture like Hispanic religion, native American culture, etc. Breakdown of marriage is a common reality in Florida due to modernization and increasing importance to the individual freedom. It is important to know about rules and Florida divorce steps if you want to apply for a dissolution of marriage there.

If one of the divorcing partners is a resident of this state, the petitioner is permitted to file for divorce irrespective without considering other factors related to spouses. If the petitioner desires economical assistance from the other spouse, it is essential that he or she should furnish documents that prove that he or she does not have the income.

Florida Divorce Steps when the Petitioner has no income

  • The petitioner must procure a free sample copy of the petition from the court clerk. This court must exist in that county wherein the petitioner lived with his or her partner

  • The petitioner can take assistance from this free sample copy to draft his or her own petition for dissolution of marriage

  • The petitioner must prove that one of the divorcing partners has been a resident of this state for minimum 6 months by furnishing proof like utility bill, mortgage documents, lease or driver's license

  • The petition demands one of the following two grounds for divorce:
    • The other partner has been mentally incapacitated for minimum 3 years before the divorce was filed
    • The marriage has been irretrievably broken

  • In the petition, it is essential to fill details regarding divorcing partners (names, addresses, dates of birth), the date of marriage and regarding children (names, dates of birth). This is compulsory as it is a way of identifying the parties

  • The petitioner must complete a financial affidavit:
    • In this affidavit, he or she must affirm that he or she has no income
    • In the affidavit, the petitioner must enter the monthly living costs like medical care, food, transportation and housing. If he wishes to add any other expenses, he can do so by consulting a lawyer first

  • If the petitioner is not confident of completing the above procedure by self then, he or she may hire the services of a lawyer, who has been licensed by this state

  • After the documents have been filled (by self or by lawyer), the petitioner must submit them to a lawyer for review

  • For the above services, the private lawyers usually charge an upfront retainer. After the divorcing partner gets the divorce settlement, the balance fees have to be paid

  • If the Petitioner intends to manage the case in the absence of a lawyer but has certain queries regarding filling the divorce documents, the petitioner can feel free to ask such queries to the court clerk. Otherwise, he or she may take help from Internet for having detailed information

  • The petitioner must file the petition and other documents with the court clerk and further serve these documents to the spouse. The serving of petition is necessary as without informing the partner, the process of disintegration of the union would not continue

  • If the Respondent resides in this state, he or she is expected to respond to the documents within 20 days. If respondent fails to file an answer, it is taken as missing spouse case

  • If the Respondent stays outside this state, he or she is expected to respond in 30 days. The respondent has an option to file a response through a lawyer who will present the case in the court

  • When the court receives the petition, the court allocates a court date on which a hearing is scheduled. During the hearing, partners are expected to provide a true and clear information to the court

  • The Petitioner as well as the Respondent must be present at the hearing. They can present their cases or lawyers will do that job for them

  • During the hearing, the divorcing partners must prove marital fault with enough evidences

  • The judge makes a final ruling regarding the petition and support requests

  • If any of the partners is not happy with the court decision, he or she may apply for a relief from such decision and request another hearing to resolve the issue

It is necessary to note that these steps are specifically related to the situation where partner asks for alimony to survive after separation. The procedure and steps for dissolution in other cases will be different where there is issue of child custody or just a simple separation. But, this gives a general idea about Florida divorce steps.

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