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A Simple Divorce Process
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Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court (instantly review & print your forms online or have them sent US Priority Mail at no additional charge).

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QUICK TIPS FOR FILING YOUR FLORIDA DIVORCE PAPERS

Online Divorce Tips for Florida
1. Things to Remember for Filing Florida Divorce Documents

  1. Keep a dated record of when each step was completed and retain a copy of all receipts.
  2. Make several copies of the completed documents for future use and reference.
  3. Be sure you have the "Case Number" filled in before filing any documents.
  4. Be sure you have the "Court Title" filled in before filing any documents.
  5. Be sure all the criteria/information is correct to the best of your knowledge.
  6. Be sure all the documents are signed, dated, and if necessary notarized.
  7. Be sure all documents are filed in the correct order according to the instructions below.
  8. Do not hesitate to ask questions at the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court. The employees there are the ones who will be facilitating your divorce. They fully understand the divorce process, and should answer your questions. Do not expect them to answer legally related questions, because they are not lawyers and they will immediately tell you that they do not provide legal advice.

MISSING SPOUSE DIVORCE IN FLORIDA

Depending on whether or not you can locate your spouse will determine which path you will follow. The documents associated with Missing Spouse (where you cannot locate your spouse) would need to be filed with the courts. If you cannot locate your spouse (your spouse is missing) you will be required to follow some unique procedures, often known as a "divorce by publication". This type of divorce requires you to prove to the court that you are unable to locate your spouse after diligent efforts have been made.

Before you can divorce a "missing spouse" you must prove to the court that you have made every possible effort to locate him or her. A Judge will grant a divorce if you cannot locate your spouse, but he or she will not do so until it is transparent that the proper location efforts have been made. To prove you have made exhaustive efforts to locate your spouse, you want to complete the "Affidavit of Diligent Search" document. This document will outline to the Court exactly what tasks you have performed in attempt to locate your spouse.

Affidavit of Diligent Search. This document must show that court that you have made every attempt possible and still no matter all your efforts, you have not been able to locate your spouse.

The Affidavit of Diligent Search should be filled out and filed with the court along with the following documents:

Next you want to mail (certified so you have proof of service) a copy of the following to the last known address or addresses of your spouse:

In a perfect situation, your spouse will receive them and respond by making contact with you and/or by signing the paperwork. Chances are this will not happen, so after the Court reviews the "Affidavit of Diligent Search" you filed earlier, the court will determine whether or not sufficient efforts by you in locating your spouse have been made. If your efforts pass the test, the Clerk will send the "Notice of Publication" to the local newspaper of the county in which you are filing for divorce.

The "Notice of Publication" will be published several times according to the rules of service in your county. Your spouse will have a set number of days to respond to the Notice. Once this time has elapsed without a response, the court will proceed and grant the divorce by the default method.

If your spouse does not respond to the "Notice of Publication" you will file the following documents with the court:

Once these documents are filed, a Judge will review each and the Judge will sign the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage and your divorce will be granted. Your signed Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage will grant you your divorce, but keep in mind when you divorce a "missing spouse", the court will not order any property/debt distribution or support. From one perspective a "Divorce by Publication" is more simplistic that a typical uncontested divorce, but it tends to take a bit longer and also requires extra money for the search process and "Notice of Publication".

UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN FLORIDA WITH SPOUSE'S PARTICIPATION
1. Family Law Financial Affidavits

The purpose of the Family Law Financial Affidavit is to provide the court with ample proof of income and expenses of each spouse. Depending on the amount of income and expenses you and your spouse have will determine the time you will need to spend completing the Family Law Financial Affidavit.

REMINDER: you should attach to the Family Law Financial Affidavit a copy of your last 3 pay stubs or a W-2 statement to provide proof of your income. Also attach copies of any other documents that will help substantiate any other income recorded.

ATTENTION: you must choose which Family Law Financial Affidavit applies to you and your spouse. We have provided both versions, one for annual income under $50,000 and one for annual income over $50,000. You each only need to complete the one or the other.

2. Completing the Florida Child Support Worksheet

Second, you must complete a "FL Child Support Worksheet". The "FL Child Support Worksheet" must be completed because it is often required to be submitted with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and presented along with the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage at the time of the short hearing. Calculating child support involves addition and subtraction and should be carefully reviewed once the obligation amount has been determined. Please keep in mind, that you may deviate from the results of the worksheet if you and your spouse agree to do so, but the judge will have final say as to what the monthly support amount will be.

At this point you probably feel a little overwhelmed. Take a deep breath and just be happy that you and your spouse are in agreement and that the more difficult documents (the ones that typically cost a lot of money and are time consuming) are complete.

3. Reviewing the Florida Divorce Documents

Each one of your documents should be reviewed for accuracy and completeness. The documents are legal binding documents, so once they are signed you are obligated to what is stated by a court of law. Do not sign any of the documents unless you completely understand what they are conveying and what you are bound to by law.

When reviewing the documents you will notice the Marital Settlement Agreement is the longest of them all. This document outlines and resolves the issues of your divorce. It is a legal binding agreement between you and your spouse and must be signed and notarized. If you do not understand something or cannot come to agreement (after lengthy negotiating) with your spouse, it is a wise choice to consult a lawyer in your area, because it would appear that your divorce is no longer uncontested.

4. Having the Documents Notarized and Getting Organized

You DO NOT want to have the Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage document signed and notarized at this point in time. This document will have to be signed by the Respondent and notarized at a later date after the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Marital Settlement Agreement, Parenting Plan, and other documents have been initially with the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court. The Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is a document that states to the court that the matter is uncontested and that the Respondent agrees to what is asked for in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. For this reason it must be dated and signed AFTER the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been filed.

You want to sign, date and notarize the Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan (if you have minor children). All of the other documents should also be dated and signed (except for the Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, for reasons stated above).

Make four (4) copies of each of the following documents after they are dated, signed and or notarized:

Take one of each and staple them together in the upper left corner in the exact order above. Do not use a paper clip, because if they do fall apart, it may get a little confusing. You now have four packets of the documents: one for you, one for your spouse, one to file with the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court, and one extra copy just in case you need it!

Florida Divorce Online Process
5. Filing the Documents With the Court

The originals (not the photocopies) will be filed with the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court. You may also be required to file a copy of your "Marriage License", so be sure to have one ready.

When filing your documents, you will be assigned your Case Number and this must be included on all the documents you file. Also ask for the Judge's (Master's or Referee's) name, so you can also include it on all the documents. If they do not have the Judge's name or it is not required in your county, then just leave it blank. Sometimes, due to case load, the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court will not know who will be assigned to your case.

If for some reason you are requested to complete a few other standard forms or make minor changes or additions to your existing forms, be sure to comply, do not get upset or frustrated, because you only have these people to help you. These additional forms will be short and can often be completed in the office at the time of filing.

There is a fee for filing and that fee varies from county to county and depending upon your divorce situation. Your situation typically yields a lower filing fee, because you and your spouse are in agreement and the Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage document eliminates the process of serving the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the Respondent.

After you have filed the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the other documents, you will be waiting for a hearing date. Sometimes they are able to give you a date immediately, but if you have not received any correspondence from the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court within 60 days, be sure to give them a call and always reference your Case Number.

6. The Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage

The next step is to have the Respondent sign, date and notarize the Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage and file it with the court (make sure the Case Number is filled in). This should be taken care of at a Notary Public, UNLESS the county you are filing in requires that the Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage be signed and dated in front of them. If this is a requirement, and the Respondent resides a good distance from the County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court, there is typically alternative options that accommodate for this type of situation and eliminates the need for unnecessary travel.

ATTENTION: when your spouse files the Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, you want to make sure he or she also files the following documents as well:

7. The Hearing

On your hearing date you will be given a location to go to and a time to appear in front of a Judge (Master or Referee) of the Family Court. The Judge will have everything pertaining to your case that has been filed on hand. It is at this hearing you will present the following documents (make sure you also have a copy of all previously filed documents with you):

The Judge, after careful review, will grant you your divorce under the conditions of the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage presented. You may be required to give short testimony at the hearing. Giving testimony can be a stressful experience, so a step-by-step outline to follow on paper is always recommended. Do not be alarmed if the Judge begins to ask you questions. He or she should do so in order to make sure you are in full understanding of the legal issues at hand. The Judge will know that you and your spouse are not represented by legal counsel, so he or she will want to make sure you understand everything. Remember you are "pro se", which means you represent yourself.

8. Finalizing ta Florida Divorce

Once the Judge has agreed to sign your Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage you are officially divorced! If for some reason the judge does not agree with the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage (this almost never happens in an uncontested divorce) do not worry, the Judge will discuss the issues at hand and request a few adjustments to be made. You simply leave the hearing and make the minor adjustments and file the modified Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, at which time the Judge will sign it at a later date and grant your divorce.

A Simple Divorce Process
Step 1 See if you qualify & create account!
Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court (instantly review & print your forms online or have them sent US Priority Mail at no additional charge).

START HERE

Only $299 (flat-fee)

or 2 monthly payments of $157
or 3 monthly payments of $109
or 4 monthly payments of $84
Payment Options Do Not Delay Divorce
Instant Delivery - Instant Changes
100% Guarantee of Court Approval
or Your Money Back
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Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help online divorce solution. The 3StepDivorceTM Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. 3StepDivorce does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. This online divorce software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation, we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more. There may also be other pro se divorce options available by contacting your court.

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