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Florida Residency Requirements
To obtain a dissolution of marriage, one of the parties to the marriage must reside 6 months in the state before the filing of the petition. The dissolution of marriage can be filed in the county in which either or both spouses reside. (Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.021)
Florida Divorce Grounds:
(1) The marriage is irretrievably broken.
Florida Property and Debt Division
The court will consider the following factors, including: (1) The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker. (2) The economic circumstances of the parties. (3) The duration of the marriage. (4) Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party. (5) The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse. (6) The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party. (7) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties. (8) The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party (9) The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition. (10) Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties. (Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.075 and 61.077)
Florida Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be rehabilitative or permanent in nature. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. In determining a proper award of alimony or maintenance, the court shall consider all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to: (1) The standard of living established during the marriage. (2) The duration of the marriage. (3) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party. (4) The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each. (5) When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment. (6) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party. (7) All sources of income available to either party. The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties. To the extent necessary to protect an award of alimony, the court may order any party who is ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such alimony award with any other assets which may be suitable for that purpose. (Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.08)
Florida Custody and Visitation:
The court shall have jurisdiction to determine custody, not withstanding that the child is not physically present in this state at the time of filing any proceeding under this chapter, if it appears to the court that the child was removed from this state for the primary purpose of removing the child from the jurisdiction of the court in an attempt to avoid a determination or modification of custody. The court shall determine all matters relating to custody of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It is the public policy of this state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. After considering all relevant facts, the father of the child shall be given the same consideration as the mother in determining the primary residence of a child irrespective of the age or sex of the child. (Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.13)
Florida Child Support:
The court has the right to order child support according the Florida Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are based on the income of each parent along with applicable deviation factors that may exist. If the parents can not come to a reasonable agreement on the child support amount the court will use the support guidelines located in the Florida Statutes. The court may adjust the minimum child support award, or either or both parents' share of the minimum child support award, based upon the following considerations: A. Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses. B. Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income. C. The payment of support for a parent which regularly has been paid and for which there is a demonstrated need. D. Seasonal variations in one or both parents' incomes or expenses. E. The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children. F. Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though the fulfilling of those needs will cause the support to exceed the proposed guidelines. G. Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child. H. The impact of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order the primary residential parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the noncustodial parent is current in support payments. I. When application of the child support guidelines requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order. J. The particular shared parental arrangement, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 40 percent of the overnights, with the noncustodial parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the primary residential parent; or the refusal of the noncustodial parent to become involved in the activities of the child. K. Any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt which the parties jointly incurred during the marriage. (Florida Statutes - Chapters: 61.13 and 61.30)
How Do I Know if I Should File in Florida?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.
If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.
If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Cannot Locate My Spouse?
Yes. The system for Florida will provide the required paperwork and the filing procedure for divorcing your missing spouse. This is referred to as a "divorce by publication".
How Much Are the Florida Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in Florida?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in Florida?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in Florida?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.
Florida Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Florida divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.Florida Divorce Forms List
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A total of 51 people have started their divorce through 3StepDivorceTM in the last 24 hours and 868 in the last 10 days. The streamlined and user-friendly process, instant document delivery, and unlimited free support makes us the go-to solution to do your own divorce. Our simple and inexpensive process provides you with all your completed divorce papers in as little as 20 minutes. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times.
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Florida. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in the
Florida divorce courts
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Florida divorce papers (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step procedures to file your own Florida divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce in Florida, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement Form or learn more about the uncontested divorce process in Florida. .
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Florida.
Florida 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Florida 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Florida has two basic requirements to file for divorce (or “dissolution of marriage”) in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
In order to get divorced in Florida, you or your spouse must have lived in the state during the six-month period just before you filed your divorce papers. (Fla. Stat. § 61.021 (2022).)
Florida law allows two legally acceptable reasons (or “grounds”) for dissolution of marriage in the state:
that your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” or
your spouse has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years, as determined under a court judgment of incapacity.
(Fla. Stat. § 61.052 (2022).)
As you might guess, the second ground applies in very few cases. The vast majority of Florida couples who are getting divorced simply declare that their marriage is irretrievably broken, essentially meaning that there’s no reasonable prospect that they’ll get back together.
Many Florida residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
You may use Florida 3StepDivorce™ as long as you meet the state’s residency requirement, you and your spouse agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken, and your divorce is uncontested. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement, signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Florida 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Florida 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Florida 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the marital settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Generally, you can use Florida 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Florida 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Florida 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Florida with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Fla. Stat. §§ 61.503(7), 61.514 (2022).)
In Florida, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Florida has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Florida Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. Florida law requires that any time the amount of child support is more than 5% higher or lower than the amount under the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances. (Fla. Stat. § 61.30 (2022).)
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
After your divorce in Florida is final, you (or your ex) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there’s been a change in the circumstances, such as a change in the parenting schedule, either parent’s income, or the child’s financial needs. Generally, any change must be substantial, permanent, and involuntary (for instance, not because the parent paying support chose to quit or take a lower paying job).
If the Child Support Program in Florida’s Department of Revenue has been providing enforcement services in your case, you may ask them to review your current support order to see if it should be changed, based on current circumstances. If they decide it should, they’ll start a court proceeding to modify support.
No matter who files the petition for modification of child support, a judge will review the request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order. (Fla. Stat. §§ 61.14, 409.2564(11)(a); Fla. Fam. Law Rules Proc., form 12.905(b) (2022).)
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. However, you’ll still need to submit a modification petition, along with your agreement, for the judge’s review.
When you fill out your questionnaire for Florida 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
selling the house and splitting the proceeds
transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
In your Florida 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Florida divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
When you get your completed forms with Florida 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to take the paperwork to the circuit court clerk's office in the county where you and your spouse last lived together as a married couple. (Fla. Stat. § 47.011 (2022).)
You also have the option of filing your divorce papers electronically through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal.
The court’s fee to file divorce papers in Florida is usually about $400, but it can be slightly different from county to county. You can find out the exact amount, as well as any limits on the payment method, from the court clerk’s office.
You can apply for a waiver of the filing fee by submitting an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status. You’ll need to give information about your income, other assets, and debts. The court clerk will decide if you qualify for the waiver.
After you file for divorce in Florida, there’s a minimum 20-day waiting period before the judge may enter your final dissolution judgment. But it usually takes longer than that, because you need to build in time to serve your spouse with the divorce the papers and give your spouse time to respond.
Typically, it takes about two to four months to complete the process of getting a final, uncontested divorce in Florida. (By way of comparison, contested divorces can take a year or more.)
Florida 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Florida Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Florida law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.
3StepDivorce TM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
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