Who can File for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?
Florida residents who are considering separation may be able to streamline the divorce process by filing for a simplified dissolution of marriage. Although this type of divorce cuts down on processing time, requires fewer in-court appearances, and can save the parties a significant amount of money in fees and court costs, only individuals who satisfy several specific requirements are eligible to file. If you have questions about whether you fulfill these requirements, it is important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can address your concerns.
Florida law only allows certain individuals to file for a simplified divorce. For example, both spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing and be able to establish proof of residency, which requires one of the following:
- A valid Florida driver’s license or identification card;
- The statement of a third party who is willing to testify in court and who knows that the parties have resided in Florida for six months; and
- An affidavit signed by a third party in the presence of a notary public, attesting that the parties are residents of the state.
Additional Filing Requirements
After establishing residency, the parties must be able to fulfill the following requirements:
- Both spouses agree that the marriage cannot be salvaged;
- The parties do not have children together;
- No children were born to the woman during the marriage;
- The woman is not pregnant;
- The parties have decided how their assets and liabilities will be divided;
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony from the other;
- Both parties have agreed to give up their rights to a trial and an appeal;
- Both parties are willing to go to the clerk’s office to sign the petition for divorce; and
- Both spouses agree to attend the final hearing.
When a couple satisfies these criteria, they must then provide the court with financial affidavits listing their income, assets, and debts, submit a copy of the property division agreement, pay all appropriate filing fees, complete the necessary forms, and schedule a final hearing date. At this point, the parties will be able to obtain a dissolution of their marriage.
Advantages of a Simplified Divorce
Obtaining a divorce by filing for a simplified dissolution of marriage can save the parties involved a significant amount of time and money, as they will not be required to make a number of court appearances or go through the hassle of trying to distribute assets. Unfortunately, most couples do not qualify for a simplified divorce, either because they have children, have not been residents of the state long enough, or disagree about how property should be divided. Although they may not be able to obtain a simplified dissolution, it is still possible for parties in this situation to amicably reach a solution that is best for the whole family.
Contact a Dedicated Family Law Attorney Today
If you are considering filing for divorce, you need the advice of a compassionate and experienced Fort Lauderdale family law attorney. Please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today for an initial consultation.