The procedure for obtaining your divorce can be simple, if you and your spouse have come to an agreement about all of the issues for the divorce or there are no issues to resolve, and all you need is to get the court papers for your divorce prepared and filed, and receive the divorce order dissolving your marriage. There is also a procedure for obtaining your divorce if you cannot locate your spouse, which is described at the end of this page.
There are a number of documents that need to be filed with the Court – the most important are the Marital Settlement Agreement, and also a Parenting Plan if you have minor children. Even when there are no property or debts to dissolve, a Marital Settlement Agreement is still required to complete your Uncontested Divorce. The signed Agreement can be simple, but it is what confirms for the Judge that you and your spouse have resolved all of the issues, and (with a few limited exceptions) it is required to go before the Judge to obtain your uncontested divorce.
The final hearing in an uncontested divorce is very brief. The Judge or your attorney will ask you a few questions – is the marriage irretrievably broken; were you a resident of Florida for the six months prior to filing for divorce; do you have a signed Settlement Agreement resolving all the issues in the divorce and dividing all property and debts; along with questions regarding the Parenting Plan if there are minor children. The hearing truly is quick – many times not much longer than a minute. There are a few additional questions at the final hearing if a party is looking to change their name as part of the divorce.
Other than for a type of divorce called a “Simplified Divorce”, each spouse is required to file a Family Law Financial Affidavit in order to obtain a divorce. In a Simplified Divorce, both parties must sign the divorce petition at the Courthouse and each is required to attend the Final Hearing. In other divorces, only the Petitioner must attend the final hearing, with the exception that a party seeking to change their name must also attend.
You can complete your Uncontested Divorce by filling out and filing all of the forms yourself or hiring someone to assist you with the forms, and then scheduling your Final Hearing – usually by contacting the Judge’s Judicial Assistant. Or you can hire an attorney to prepare the required pleadings for you, and to schedule and go with you to your final hearing.
The easiest and quickest way to obtain your divorce is if you have contact information for your spouse and he or she is willing to sign the divorce papers. There is also a procedure called “Constructive Service” or service by publication, which allows you to get your divorce if you cannot locate your spouse.
Call me at (954) 636-7498 or use the contact form on the website, and we can discuss how you can complete your Uncontested Divorce.