Divorce Florida Law

Understanding Florida Divorce Law

If you have decided to divorce in Florida, it is essential that you are familiar with the state’s divorce law. You should know what can be expected during the process, how assets and debts will be divided, as well as how alimony works here in Florida.

Florida courts apply the equitable distribution rule to divide marital property. Usually, this involves a 50/50 split; however, judges have discretion to make different distributions after considering various factors.

Understanding the Divorce Process in Florida

When a marriage ends, one of the first questions that arises is how divorce works. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your individual situation and where you reside.

The initial step in the Florida divorce process is filing a petition of dissolution with your local circuit court. This can be done either online or at the clerk of court’s office, depending on where you live. The petition will specify grounds for divorce and include requests for child custody, alimony, or property division.

Before filing for divorce in Florida, it’s essential to verify your residency status. You can do this by providing a copy of either your voter registration card or driver’s license. If these documents cannot be produced, then you may have to provide a witness who will swear that you have resided in the state for some period of time.

Next, you must collect financial information. This could include financial affidavits, tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements. Furthermore, any premarital or marital agreements signed during your marriage should also be noted as these can significantly influence how a court decides your case.

Once your assets and debts have been divided, the process of equitable distribution can begin. This involves the judge seeking an equitable balance between each spouse’s share of both marital assets and liabilities. It may seem complex at first glance, but ultimately this step usually works in favor of everyone involved.

How to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Florida

Though ending a marriage can be challenging, it doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Uncontested divorces offer couples an alternative and often save them money in the long run.

Uncontested divorce occurs when both you and your spouse come to an agreement on all issues, such as how to divide marital assets and debts, alimony payments, child support obligations, and custody of children. These matters will then be settled through a divorce settlement agreement which is then submitted to the court for final determination.

Uncontested divorces can take anywhere from four to six weeks, depending on how much paperwork needs to be completed and if legal assistance is required. While you can file for an uncontested divorce yourself, a lawyer may be necessary if there are complex issues or important financial assets at stake.

The initial step in filing for an uncontested divorce is preparing the necessary legal forms. These include a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (also known as a Complaint for Divorce) and Affidavit of Service, proof that you’ve served your spouse with all appropriate documents.

Once all necessary forms have been filed, your case will be scheduled for a hearing before a judge. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether there are any contested issues and what steps should be taken next.

Uncontested divorce in Florida is an ideal way to end a stressful marriage and move on with life. Not only is the process less expensive, faster and simpler than contested divorce, but it can also protect your children from emotional stress that often follows such proceedings.

Step 1: Meet Florida’s Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in Florida, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing. If you do not meet Florida’s residency requirements, you will not be able to file for divorce in Florida.

Step 2: File a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The first step in getting an uncontested divorce in Florida is to file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse lives. The petition must state that the marriage is irretrievably broken and provide information on how you and your spouse will divide property, debts, and other issues.

Step 3: Serve Your Spouse

After filing the petition, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the petition and a summons. You can serve your spouse in person, by mail, or by using a process server. Your spouse will have 20 days to respond to the petition after being served.

Step 4: Complete and File Financial Affidavits

Both you and your spouse must complete financial affidavits that disclose your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. These affidavits must be filed with the court and served to each other.

Step 5: Reach an Agreement

To get an uncontested divorce in Florida, you and your spouse must agree on all issues related to the divorce, including property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. You may need to negotiate and compromise to reach an agreement that works for both of you.

Step 6: Attend a Final Hearing

Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement, you must attend a final hearing in front of a judge. The judge will review your agreement and ask you both questions to ensure that you both understand and agree to the terms of the divorce.


  • Do I need a lawyer to get an uncontested divorce in Florida?
    While you are not required to have a lawyer to get an uncontested divorce in Florida, it is highly recommended to consult with an attorney to ensure that your agreement is fair and legally binding.
  • How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce in Florida?
    The timeline for getting an uncontested divorce in Florida depends on how quickly you and your spouse can reach an agreement. Once you have reached an agreement, you must attend a final hearing, which can take a few weeks to schedule.
  • Can we still get an uncontested divorce if we have children?
    Yes, you can still get an uncontested divorce if you have children. You and your spouse must agree on child custody, visitation, and child support.

Understanding Alimony Laws in Florida

If you’re going through a divorce in Florida, it’s essential to comprehend the alimony laws so that you can obtain the most advantageous outcome. Alimony is financial support awarded by a court during divorce proceedings to one spouse.

Alimony laws in Florida vary based on the length of a marriage. A short-term union is defined as one that lasts less than seven years; a moderate-term arrangement requires at least seven but less than 17 years; and finally, a long-term union lasts more than 17 years.

According to the law, judges have the discretion over awarding or dispensing alimony. There are various types of alimony such as bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, temporary and permanent.

A divorce attorney can assist you in determining the appropriate type of alimony for your individual circumstances. They also offer support during any modification processes necessary to the existing arrangement, should that become necessary.

Alimony has been awarded in the past for various reasons, such as to cover a spouse’s education or training expenses. However, these awards can be limited or capped in certain instances.

Florida’s alimony laws can be complex and constantly changing. If you would like to learn more about alimony, contact a Tampa divorce attorney who can guide you through the process.

Alimony can be an expensive part of divorce, so it’s essential to understand your rights and how alimony is calculated.

Legislation is in the works that could make significant changes to Florida’s alimony laws. But first it must pass both chambers of the legislature and then be signed by Governor Rick Scott; if passed this year, it would mark a major victory for alimony reform in Florida.

Understanding Child Custody Laws in Florida

When parents divorce, they must reach an agreement regarding how they will share parental responsibilities, spend time with their children, and make major decisions for their child. The courts will ultimately decide these custody arrangements according to state child custody laws.

Typically, child custody decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind and take into account various factors like their preference, whether or not they live with both parents, and any history of domestic violence.

In Florida, various custody laws can be utilized in these situations. Some are based on statutes while others are created from court decisions.

Custody laws in Florida prioritize the “best interests of the child.” This means judges will make decisions that reflect what’s best for each child, taking into account their preferences and relationships with family members and friends.

A judge will also take into account how a custody arrangement affects the children’s education, healthcare needs and other aspects of life. For instance, they might order one parent to provide medical treatment or education for the kids.

Once the children reach adulthood, they may have a say in their custody situation. This could be done through an informal interview or testimony at court hearing.

Custody laws in Florida are primarily based on Florida statutes and past court decisions. These rules exist to safeguard the rights of children while guaranteeing both parents receive equal treatment in such cases.

Understanding Adultery and Divorce Laws in Florida

Infidelity is often the cause of marriage dissolution in Florida, but it doesn’t have to be the only reason. Many couples are surprised to learn that the spouse who committed adultery has more power than they initially believed.

Due to this, it’s essential to comprehend the laws pertaining to adultery and how they may influence your divorce proceedings. For instance, adultery could influence a judge’s decisions regarding property division and alimony payments during divorce proceedings.

It is essential to know that a court can consider the fact that one party engaged in an affair before divorce. However, it must be proven that it had an effect on their finances; thus, judges must take this evidence into account when dividing property, allocating alimony payments and awarding child custody.

The court will also assess whether the cheating spouse squandered any of the marital assets. For instance, if funds from marital funds were spent on gifts or trips for their mistress, then that person may receive less of their share in assets.

Given these factors, it’s essential to understand how adultery may impact your divorce and take steps to protect yourself. If you have

filing for divorce in Florida


questions about the law and its application to your case, reach out to an experienced family lawyer in Florida who specializes in divorce cases and related legal matters.


How Domestic Violence Affects Divorce in Florida

Domestic violence can be a complex issue, especially when it comes to divorce proceedings. In Florida, domestic violence can have a significant impact on how a divorce case is handled, and it’s important for those who are going through a divorce to understand how it may affect their case. In this article, we will discuss the various ways domestic violence can impact divorce proceedings in Florida, including the impact on child custody, property division, and alimony.

Divorce is already a difficult process, but when domestic violence is involved, it can become even more complicated. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain power and control over another person in a domestic relationship. It can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. In Florida, domestic violence is taken very seriously, and it can have significant implications for divorce proceedings.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can have a devastating impact on a victim, both physically and emotionally. It can also have long-lasting effects on children who witness it. In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.

Domestic Violence and Child Custody

When domestic violence is present in a divorce case, the safety and well-being of any children involved must be taken into consideration. Florida courts will always prioritize the best interests of the child, and if domestic violence is present, the court may decide to award sole custody to the non-abusive parent. In some cases, the abusive parent may be granted supervised visitation or no visitation at all.

Domestic Violence and Property Division

In Florida, property division is based on the principle of equitable distribution. This means that marital property is divided in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal. However, when domestic violence is present, the court may deviate from this principle and award a greater share of the marital property to the victim. Additionally, if the abusive spouse dissipated marital assets, such as spending marital funds on their affair partner or gambling, the court may award a greater share of the remaining assets to the victim.

Domestic Violence and Alimony

Alimony is awarded in Florida to provide financial support to a spouse who is financially dependent on the other spouse. When domestic violence is present, the court may decide to award a greater amount of alimony to the victim, particularly if the abuse resulted in a loss of earning capacity or if the victim needs additional funds to cover therapy or medical expenses.

Protection Orders and Domestic Violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence in Florida, you can seek a protection order or restraining order from the court. A protection order is a legal document that orders the abuser to stay away from you and may prohibit them from contacting you or coming within a certain distance of you. If the abuser violates the protection order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime.

Domestic Violence and Divorce Proceedings

If you are filing for divorce and there is domestic violence present, it’s important to inform your attorney of the situation. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your safety and well-being are protected throughout the divorce process. Additionally, if the abuse is ongoing, your attorney may be able to help you obtain a temporary restraining order or protection order.

The Role of Attorneys in Domestic Violence Cases

Attorneys play a crucial role in domestic violence cases, particularly in divorce proceedings. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights and options and work with you to develop a plan that prioritizes your safety and well-being. Your attorney can also help you gather the necessary documentation to prove the abuse, such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements.

Seeking Help for Domestic Violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence in Florida, there are resources available to help you. The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) is a statewide organization that provides support and resources to victims of domestic violence. Additionally, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 to provide support, resources, and safety planning to victims of domestic violence.

The Importance of Documentation

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to document any incidents of abuse. This can include taking photos of any injuries, keeping a journal of incidents, and saving any threatening or harassing messages. Documentation can be crucial in proving the abuse in court and obtaining a protection order.

The Impact of False Accusations

False accusations of domestic violence can have serious consequences, including legal and financial repercussions. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it’s important to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can help you defend yourself and protect your rights.

Moving Forward After Domestic Violence

Recovering from domestic violence can be a long and difficult process, but there is hope. It’s important to prioritize your physical and emotional health and seek support from friends, family, and professionals. Remember that healing takes time, and it’s okay to take things one day at a time.

Domestic violence can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings in Florida, particularly when it comes to child custody, property division, and alimony. It’s important for victims of domestic violence to seek help and support and to prioritize their safety and well-being throughout the divorce process. With the help of an experienced family law attorney and resources like the FCADV and National Domestic Violence Hotline, victims of domestic violence can take the necessary steps to protect themselves and move forward.