DivorceWriter logo
Home About Us
Woman Computer

Florida Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Florida divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
 
Search Categories (check the categories to include in your search)
General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
STATE PROCEDURES
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Florida? 632
In Florida, no Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage may not be entered until at least 20 days have elapsed from the date of filing the original Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. See Florida Statute 61.19. The time required to get a final hearing date scheduled varies from county to county. It also depends on how many other pending cases the Judge assigned to your case has at that time. Contact the Circuit Court Clerk in the county of filing to determine the average time for obtaining a final hearing date in your county.

A simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida can often be finalized in a month or less.
How much is the filing fee in Florida? 52
The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The fee for filing for divorce in Florida varies from county to county, but is typically $350.00-$410.00.
What is a Florida simplified divorce? 57
A Florida simplified divorce requires less paperwork and fewer steps to file and complete. To be eligible to file a simplied divorce, the spouses must have no minor children together and have agreed that neither spouse will receive alimony/spousal support.

While in a standard Florida divorce only the spouse who files (Petitioner) must attend a hearing, in a simplified divorce both spouses must attend a hearing together.

If the spouses qualify and are both willing to attend a hearing together, they will receive DivorceWriter documents for a simplified divorce. If not, they will receive DivorceWriter documents for a standard divorce.
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 915
With a regular dissolution, only the spouse that files (Petitioner) must attend the hearing.

With a simplified dissolution, both spouses must attend the hearing together and both spouses must go to the Clerk's office to start the process. They do not have to go to file at the same time, but each will have to to the Clerk's office at some point before the process can begin.

If both spouses are not willing to go to the Clerk's office and also attend a hearing together, a regular (non-simplified) dissolution will be required.
How is my spouse served with the divorce papers in Florida? 660
The Summons included in the self-prepared Florida DivorceWriter package commands the Sheriff in the county of filing to serve the Summons and a copy of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on the non-filing spouse. The address listed on the Summons will be the non-filing spouse's home address. If this is not suitable, other arrangements for service can be made through the Circuit Court Clerk's office.
What are the basic steps to getting a simplified dissolution in Florida? 656
1) Each spouse must go to the Circuit Court Clerk's office. If you go separately, the first spouse will pay the filing fee and leave signed documents with the Clerk so that the documents are available for the second spouse to sign later.
2) The Clerk will schedule the hearing for a date when you are both able to attend together.
3) Attend the final hearing and receive the Final Judgment of Dissolution signed by the Judge.
What are the basic steps to getting a regular (non-simplified) dissolution in Florida? 658
1) File the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Summons with the Circuit Court Clerk and pay the filing fee of approximately $350.00-$410.00.
2) The county Sheriff (or a private process server if you prefer) serves the Petition and Summons on your spouse.
3) File the remaining documents with the Clerk after they have been signed by you and your spouse.
4) The spouse who filed for dissolution attends the final hearing, at which time the Judge signs the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
5) Mail a signed copy of the Final Judgment of Dissolution to your spouse.
Is there a difference between divorce and dissolution? 906
In Florida, the term "dissolution" is used to describe the process of ending a marriage. The terms "divorce" and "dissolution" are often used interchangeably since there is no difference between the two in Florida.
What is the difference between regular dissolution and simplified dissolution? 907
Some couples prefer simplified dissolution because it requires fewer documents and generally can be finalized sooner than a standard uncontested dissolution. However, not everyone qualifies for simplified dissolution.

Each of the following requirements must be met to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage:
  • The parties do not have minor children under 18 or dependent or adopted children under 18.
  • The wife is not pregnant.
  • One of the parties, either husband or wife, must have lived in Florida for the past six months.
  • Both parties have made provisions for the division of property and the payment of obligations and both parties are agreeable to the provisions.
  • Both parties want to end the marriage because of irreconcilable differences.
  • Both parties have agreed to use the simplified dissolution of marriage procedure instead of a regular dissolution of marriage procedure.
  • Both parties understand that certain legal rights are waived because you have used the simplified dissolution of marriage.
  • Both parties must sign the forms together in front of a Deputy Clerk.
  • Both parties must appear before the judge together for the final hearing.
  • Both parties must have proper identification at the time of filing (driver's license or identification with a signature).

In a standard (non-simplified) dissolution, only the spouse that files (Petitioner) is required to file the documents and attend the hearing. In a simplified dissolution, both spouses must go to the Clerk's office to beging the process, although not necessarily together, and both spouses must attend the hearing together.
What is considered to be the date of separation in Florida? 870
The term "separation date" refers to the date when at least one of the spouses decided to end the marriage with no intent to reconcile. This date is often a matter of interpretation. It is sometimes the date the spouses stopped living together although not always. Moreover, even spouses that live apart might not be considered separated if they are maintaining the marital relationship, attending marriage counseling, and/or holding themselves out as a married couple.

A separation date is required information on the Florida Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Consider this date carefully as it can affect property division and spousal support if you and your spouse are ever unable to agree about matters pertaining to the dissolution of your marriage at a later time in the process.
What documents are included in the regular (non-simplified) self-prepared Florida DivorceWriter package? 1342
In addition to Florida filing procedures, your self-prepared Florida DivorceWriter package will include:
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Summons
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Answer, Waiver, and Request for Copy of Final Judgment
  • Notice of Social Security Number
  • Certificate of Compliance of Disclosure
  • Marital Settlement Agreement (not included for customers with no property, no children, and no spousal support)
  • Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage
Customers with minor and/or legally dependent children will also receive:
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Parenting Plan
  • UCCJEA Affidavit
How do we prove that the residency requirement is met? 664
The spouse who files for divorce is required to prove that either he/she meets the six month residency requirement or that his/her spouse meets the requirement by presenting a valid Florida driver's license, Florida ID card, or Florida voter registration card of one of the spouses.

If you are unable to present one of those forms of identification, it is also possible to prove residency with either the sworn affidavit of corroborating witness or testimony from someone who will say that you have lived in Florida for at least six months. If you have additional questions on using one of these two methods, contact the Circuit Court Clerk for the county of filing. The Clerk cannot provide legal advice, but can give information on county filing procedures.
What happens after I receive my self-prepared Florida DivorceWriter package? 1632
Along with your self-prepared Florida DivorceWriter package, you will receive written proc... more
Can I change my name in Florida the divorce proceedings? 657
If you select the name change option, you will be prompted to enter a former name that the wife wishes to have her name restored to and the request will be automatically added to your documents at no additional cost.
Who can file for divorce in Florida? 651
To obtain a divorce in Florida, one of the parties to the marriage must reside for six months in Florida before the filing of the petition. As long as one spouse meets the residency requirement, either spouse is entitled to file for divorce in Florida.

An action for a dissolution of marriage can be filed either in the Circuit Court for the county where the parties last lived together or in the Circuit Court for the county in which the responding (non-filing) party resides.
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Florida? 582
The two grounds for dissolution of marriage in Florida are: (1) the marriage is irretrievably broken or (2) one of the spouses has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years. See Florida Statute 61.052.
Where do I file the divorce documents in Florida? 653
In Florida, a divorce is filed at the Circuit Court Clerk's office.
Part of the Summons: Personal Service on an Individual I received is written in Spanish and French as well as in English. Is this a error? 2585
The standard Florida Summons: Personal Service on an Individual shows information written in English. That information is then repeated in Spanish and in French to accommodate Spanish and French speaking persons. The rest of the Florida documents are entirely in English.
Ready to Begin now?
CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT
Is child support required in Florida? 49
Yes. Even when parents agree to very little or no child support, courts may reject the terms because parents have a duty to support their children both before and after a divorce.
What if my spouse and I have agreed to a child support amount that is different from the standard amount? 909
See Florida Statute 61.30(1)(a), which states that "[t]he [Judge] may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus 5%, from the guideline amount, after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent. The [Judge] may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5% from such guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.

The DivorceWriter online interview shows you the child support calculation under the guidelines. Then, the customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount as well a reason for using a different amount.
Will we be able to customize our documents to fit our specific custody and visitation arrangement? 1444
DivorceWriter accommodates parents who want to share joint legal custody while designating... more
How is child support calculated in Florida? 1625
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing the Florida online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet is automatically created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package. See Florida Statute 61.30 for additional information on child support calculation in Florida.
When can a child support order be modified in Florida? 614
To modify child support, the party seeking the modification must prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Generally, the difference between an existing monthly child support obligation and the amount provided for under the child support guidelines shall be at least 15% or $50.00, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances. See Florida Statute 61.30(1)(b).
What if none of the children conceived or born during the marriage are the children of both spouses? 3817
The DivorceWriter online interview is designed for situations where at least one child born during the marriage is the child of both spouses. This is because our automated system requires the customer to enter at least one child's name as well as information concerning custody and parenting time preferences, all of which may by inapplicable if one spouse is not the parent of any of the minor children born during the marriage. When no minor children are common to both spouses, the customer must still enter "dummy information" in the child's name portion as well as complete the custody and parenting time section in order to complete the interview without errors and receive a document package. Note that entering no income information in the child support section should not create an error, but will still result in a minimum child support amount being calculated.

By entering "yes" to having minor children, the customer will receive a Florida Petition for Dissolution that includes a section for listing children born during the marriage that are the biological children of only one spouse. However, the customer will also have to self-customize applicable DivorceWriter forms by downloading them in Microsoft Word to change the sections where the erroneous "dummy information" transferred by our automated system has caused the forms to be incorrect. Namely, this means moving children's names to the correct section and replacing the current language in the child support, child custody and parenting time sections to reflect that those portions are inapplicable because the other spouse is not the parent of the children. While you should be prepared to file the UCCJEA form, you should not need to file the Parenting Plan or any separate child support documents.
Ready to Begin now?
PROPERTY AND DEBTS
Can we customize our documents to fit our plans for our real estate? 597
The DivorceWriter online interview allows customers to list not only the street address, c... more
Do DivorceWriter documents accommodate the splitting of one or more debts between two spouses? 53
Yes. The DivorceWriter online interview allows spouses who have agreed to split a debt to make one entry for each spouse for each debt that is to be split, and then indicate the agreed percentage of responsibility for each spouse.

Ready to Begin now?
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
What if one spouse is living in a foreign country? 871
The self-prepared DivorceWriter package contains a Summons that commands the Sheriff in the county of filing to serve a copy of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on the non-filing spouse. If your spouse is living outside of the U.S., you will need to make alternate arrangements for service. Contact a lawyer for further assistance.
What if one spouse is in the military? 803
If both parties are willing to sign the papers, ending your marriage when a spouse is in t... more
What if I have an out of state driver’s license or no license at all? 916
The spouse who files for divorce is required to prove that either he/she meets the six month residency requirement or that his/her spouse meets the requirement by presenting a valid Florida driver's license, Florida ID card, or Florida voter registration card of one of the spouses.

If you are unable to present one of those forms of identification, it is also possible to prove residency with either the sworn affidavit of corroborating witness or testimony from someone who will say that you have lived in Florida for at least six months. If you have additional questions on using one of these two methods, contact the Circuit Court Clerk for the county of filing. The Clerk cannot provide legal advice, but can give information on county filing procedures.
Ready to Begin now?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Where can I find the full-text version of the Florida divorce statutes online? 633
Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. Click on Part I for information on residency, grounds, division of property, child custody and child support, and spousal support. Click on Part II for information on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
Ready to Begin now?
CUSTOMER SERVICE
If unable to find help on this page, issues of a non-legal nature may be directed to customer service.
© 2016 Pro Se Planning, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | 100% Guarantee | Privacy | Help Center - Contact | Sitemap
DivorceWriter.com™ is the leading self-help divorce document web site.
However, this site does not provide legal advice and use of this site is
not a substitute for hiring an attorney licensed to practice in your state.