Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that no one has to prove anything about the reasons behind the divorce. Either party in the divorce can file for divorce, as long as at least one has been a Florida resident for at least six months. The divorce begins with a petition that says that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and lays out what the petitioner (or the person who is filing) wants from the court. Once served with this petition, the other spouse will have the opportunity to file an Answer, which responds to the requests of the petition. Some spouses will agree on nearly everything, which makes ending a marriage much easier. If spouses do agree on things like property, custody, child support, and spousal support, they submit an agreement to the court and the divorce can be finalized in a few weeks.
Uncontested or Simplified Divorce
When certain criteria are met, a marriage can be dissolved far more simply using less paperwork, fewer court dates, and far less time. In Florida, this type of divorce is called a simplified dissolution of marriage. In order to qualify for this type of divorce, couples have to be married a short time, have no children, have no significant property (i.e. no house and less than $35,000 not including cars), and agree on no spousal support.