How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?

Getting married is supposed to be the start of a lifetime of love and happiness. Unfortunately, circumstances change. Sometimes, the Journey of marriage has to come to a close in order for new doors to open. That is why there is always the option is getting a divorce. If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Florida, you are not alone.

Unfortunately, as many as 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. If you have questions about the divorce process, a legal professional can help you answer them. One of the most common questions people ask is, “how long does a divorce take in Florida?” There are several factors that are going to play a role.

The Reason Behind the Divorce Will Play a Role

One of the most important factors involved in the timeline of a divorce is the reason for the divorce. The three most common reasons why people get a divorce in Florida are incompatibility, infidelity, and financial problems. Overall, the divorce process in Florida can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.

The reason behind the divorce is going to dictate the divorce process itself. There are several types of divorces that could unfold in Florida.

The Fastest Divorce Process: A Simplified Divorce

Without a doubt, a simplified divorce is the fastest divorce process in Florida. Even though this is not going to be appropriate for every couple, it is the fastest way to bring a marriage to a close. In order to qualify for a simplified divorce, the following circumstances have to be met:

  • There are no children under the age of 18
  • The couple is not claiming anyone as a dependent
  • Neither spouse is seeking alimony from the other spouse
  • The wife cannot be pregnant
  • One of the partners must have lived in the state of Florida for at least 6 months prior to the divorce

Furthermore, both members of the marriage have to agree to the divorce. This means that the couple has to agree on exactly how they are going to divide their property. Once financial affidavits and a petition are submitted, the court will set a hearing for the divorce about 20 days in the future. At that hearing, the divorce will be finalized as long as all of the information submitted to the court was correct. Overall, from beginning to end, this process will take about a month. Furthermore, this process will eliminate any appeals processes or trials.

couple divorcing

An Uncontested Divorce

Another relatively straightforward divorce option is called an uncontested divorce. This is similar to a simplified divorce because both spouses have to agree on every detail of the divorce. There cannot be any discrepancies or disputes. Furthermore, both members of the marriage have to agree on any alimony, child support, division of liabilities, tax exemptions, and child custody agreements. This means there cannot be any arguments between the spouses.

Both members of the marriage have to work together to make sure that all paperwork is completed. These divorces are quick, similar to simplified divorces; however, they are a little bit more complicated because there may be children involved. The court has to make sure that the rights of the children are put first. In order to expedite this process, it is a good idea to work with an experienced attorney. Because there is more paperwork that has to be filed, this process will take a few months to conclude.

An Initially Contested Divorce

Perhaps the most common type of divorce in Florida, an initially contested divorce begins in the traditional manner. Paperwork is filed with the local court and the other spouse gets served with the papers. Usually, there is a process server who is responsible for delivering the paperwork to the other spouse.

There is a wide range of issues that have to be addressed in an initially contested divorce. Even if there is a single, solitary issue on which the spouses cannot agree, the divorce falls under this category. This divorce process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on the range of disagreements. Eventually, the spouses have to come to an agreement. Or, the issue is resolved at trial (during a fully contested divorce).

Some factors that will play a role and how long the process takes include:

  • The factors on which the spouses cannot agree
  • The number of discovery motions that are filed
  • Whether there are children involved
  • Whether mediation is required to help the members of the marriage come to an agreement
  • Whether the case is settled or goes to trial
  • Whether the documents are accurate
  • Whether all necessary procedures are followed
  • How quickly an available judge can be booked

In general, the final hearing is initially scheduled about six months after the beginning of the case; however, it is not unusual for this final hearing to be delayed and pushed back. Attorneys usually have connections with judges and can expedite this process.

Work With an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Florida

Even if you and your spouse are able to agree on every circumstance regarding your divorce, it is still a good idea to work with an experienced divorce attorney in Florida in order to expedite this process. Partner with a trained lawyer and make sure that your rights are defended during your divorce process.

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