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You are eligible to file for divorce in Florida if either you or your spouse has resided in the state for at least six months prior to filing. You should file in the county circuit court where you reside. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that all you have to do in your filing to prove your “grounds” for the divorce is state that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. You will also have to state what you are looking for with respect to asset division, custody of any minor children, and child or spousal support if relevant to your situation. In addition, you are required to submit a financial affidavit to the court within 45 days of filing detailing your income, assets, and debts. You may be required to attach tax returns, pay stubs, or property records as proof of what you state in your affidavit.
What happens next depends on you and your spouse. If you are able to agree on all the major aspects of your separation, you can move forward with an uncontested divorce. The simplest path forward is for both spouses to meet with an independent, unbiased mediator, in order to work out the details of their marital separation agreement. Each spouse can also retain an attorney to review the agreement to ensure it is proper and in the best interests of that spouse and their children, if applicable. Or if you prefer, you and your spouse can simply retain attorneys who work in a collaborative manner instead of using a mediator. This is the most cost-effective way to proceed during divorce, and provided that you and your spouse can approach custody and financial matters reasonably, may be the best approach.
If you and your spouse have significant disagreements and your attorneys cannot bridge the divide through negotiation, you may have to proceed with a contested divorce. Your attorney will file motions with the court and your spouse’s attorney will do the same, and while you wait for a final hearing or “trial” you may have to appear in court so a judge can make temporary decisions related to custody of your children, child support, or spousal support. Ivette is experienced both in mediated divorce and in appearing in court on behalf of divorcing clients. If you are considering divorce, call our office today at (308) 358-8003 for a consultation.
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