Fort Lauderdale Dissolution Of Marriage Attorney
There are many steps to obtaining a divorce in Florida, the first of which is to file an official request asking for a divorce. Here, we provide specific information about state’s Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, as well as other documents necessary to start the divorce process. Contact our Fort Lauderdale dissolution of marriage attorneys today.
Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
In Florida, the divorce process is started when one spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the county circuit court where he or she lives. A simplified dissolution is also available, but only if the parties have no dependent children. If you have dependent or minor children together, or if the wife is pregnant, you must file Form 12.901(b)(1), the official Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
After completing the form, you must sign it before a notary public or deputy clerk. Then, you file the original with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where you live, and keep a copy for your records. During any subsequent proceedings, the person filing the petition may be referred to as the “petitioner” and the other spouse may be referred to as the “respondent.”
With your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage you must also file the following documents:
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit
- Child Support Guidelines Worksheet (if you are asking that child support be ordered in the final judgment)
- Affidavit of Corroborating Witness (or photocopy of a current Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, or voter’s registration card)
- Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children (if you and your spouse have reached an agreement on any or all of the issues)
- Notice of Social Security Number
- Family Law Financial Affidavit (if you seek to establish child support; otherwise, it must be filed within 45 days of service of the petition)
- Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure (if not filed at the time of the petition, it must be filed within 45 days of service, unless you and your spouse have agreed not to exchange these documents)
- Parenting Plan (if you have reached an agreement, the plan should be signed and notarized; if not, a proposed plan may be filed)
For your case to proceed after you file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, you must properly notify your spouse. If you know where he or she lives, you should use personal service, in which case, your spouse has 20 days to answer after being served the petition. In the answer, he or she may agree or disagree with your petition. For more information about what happens next, please see our page describing the divorce process in Florida, as well as our pages explaining uncontested and contested divorce.
Contact Us for Help with a Florida Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
It can be overwhelming to prepare all of the legal documentation necessary to obtain a divorce in Florida. We can help. Contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale to schedule a consultation.