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According to Chapter 61 of the Florida statutes, the state refers to divorce as a “dissolution of marriage,” and there are two basic types: simplified and regular.
However, before you can file for divorce in the circuit court division, you must establish a few things. First, you must be able to prove there was a marriage. Also, one of the spouses must be a resident for at least six months before filing in Florida. Finally, the statutes require the filing spouse to show the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
In this type of divorce, you and your spouse approach the court as a couple and petition the court for the dissolution of marriage. Both of you must file all the forms correctly and appear before a judge at the final hearing.
You can apply for a simplified divorce if:
– the wife is not pregnant at the time of the filing
– there are no minor children from the marriage or through adoption
– both of you agree on the division of assets and debts
– neither of you is seeking alimony
Many times this type of divorce can be carried out without attorneys. However, you do have rights, and a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate toward the results you want.
In this type of divorce, one spouse (known as the petitioner) files for the dissolution of marriage, and papers are served on the other spouse (the respondent), who must file a reply with the court within 20 days.
From here the case can go one of two ways: uncontested or contested. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse hammer out the division of assets, debts, child custody, etc., and then you sign a divorce settlement before appearing at the final hearing.
Obviously, in a contested divorce, you and your spouse are at odds and having issues determining one or more issues. After the filings, the case goes before a judge. You present evidence, and the judge issues his or her decisions on each issue. Only the petitioner needs to attend the trial and/or final hearing. These cases require great attention to detail, and the guidance of an attorney is paramount.
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