Understanding a Simplified Divorce
In Florida, as in other states, the law provides a way to dissolve a marriage more easily, known as a simplified divorce. A simplified divorce is faster and easier than a standard divorce, however, couples must meet the stringent qualifications. Those who meet the criteria may save time and money with a simplified dissolution of marriage. And, to be sure, in order to file for any type of divorce in Florida at least one party must be a resident for the last six months.
Qualifications for a Simplified Divorce
In order to proceed with a simplified divorce couples must meet certain criteria. This includes:
- both parties agree that the marriage cannot be reconciled;
- the parties do not have any dependent children or any children under age 18;
- the woman is not pregnant;
- both spouses agree regarding division of assets and debts;
- neither party is requesting maintenance;
- both spouses agree to relinquish their right to a trial; and
- both parties must attend a final court hearing.
Those who do not meet these qualifications cannot file for a simplified divorce and must instead file a standard petition for dissolution of marriage.
Submitting the Petition
A petition is necessary to begin the process of a simplified divorce. The application must be signed in the presence of the deputy clerk, at the clerk’s office. Both parties must sign the petition, although it is not necessary for both people to be present at the same time. In addition to the petition, each person must provide proof of identification with a photo id. Your driver’s license will be sufficient for this purpose. A fee must be paid at the time you submit the form. You will receive a court hearing date and time.
A marital settlement agreement is a written document that provides for how assets and debts are to be distributed as part of the dissolution of marriage. Both parties are required to come to an agreement as to how to distribute their marital property. Marital property consists of any assets that were acquired during the marriage. Generally, those who qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage are those who have few assets and debts to allocate. You can agree to the settlement orally, which should be noted on the settlement form.
How a Divorce Attorney Will Help
While the simplified divorce is designed to be easy to complete, it may be helpful to seek assistance from an experienced divorce lawyer. It is important to note that if you have someone other than an attorney assist with filling out the forms, this person must provide you with a disclosure from non-lawyer, a requirement by law. The person filling out the forms must provide his or her name, address, and telephone number on the last page of every form. Simplified divorce assistance may be provided by an attorney at a flat fee. To learn more about a simplified divorce and to begin the procedure, contact the Tampa divorce and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+