The Process of Divorce in Florida, Explained

Were you surprised to learn that your marriage was ending? Are you wondering how to get a divorce in Florida?

Getting a divorce is never easy. If you’re wondering about the divorce process, it’s critical to understand everything involved.

The burden should not fall on your shoulders. Seeking legal representation gives you a professional advocate to help during the proceedings.

Not sure what to do? Take a look at this guide to learn more about the process of divorce in Florida.

Residency Requirements

Residency requirements are an essential aspect of the divorce process in Florida.

Before starting the divorce process, either partner must have lived in the state for at least six months. It is very important to meet this requirement because it creates jurisdiction and makes sure that the divorce is filed in the right court. The first step in getting a divorce in Florida is to make sure you meet the residency standards.

Attending A Parenting Class

In Florida, attending a parenting class is mandatory for divorcing parents with minor children. These classes provide valuable information and guidance on co-parenting, communication, and child development, aiming to promote the best interests of the children involved. An online parenting class offers convenience and flexibility, allowing parents to access the necessary education and resources from the comfort of their own homes.

Filing for Divorce

In Florida, the first step in getting a divorce is to fill out a “petition for dissolution of marriage.” This paper explains why the person wants a divorce and gives important details like how to divide money and property, take care of children, and deal with other important problems.

The petition is then given to the clerk of the court in the county where either person lives. This is the first step in starting the divorce process and getting things moving legally.

Serving the Petition

Serving the petition is a crucial step in the process of divorce in Florida. Once the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, it must be served to the other spouse. Proper service ensures that both parties are informed about the divorce proceedings and have the opportunity to respond.

The service of the petition follows specific rules and guidelines to ensure its legality. It is important to adhere to these requirements diligently to maintain the integrity of the divorce process and to ensure that both parties have a fair chance to participate and present their arguments or concerns.

Response and Counterpetition

After the petitioner files the initial petition, the respondent has 20 days to file a response to the petition. The response allows the respondent to address the issues raised in the petition and present their own requests or counterclaims.

Additionally, the respondent can file a counterpetition, which is a separate legal document that outlines their desired terms for the divorce. This includes matters such as child custody, alimony, and division of assets.

The counterpetition essentially serves as a response to the original petition and allows the respondent to assert their own rights and interests in the divorce proceedings.

Discovery Process

The discovery process is when both sides exchange important information and documents. It helps to gather evidence and figure out how much money and property each person has.

This step is important because it helps the court make fair decisions about things like property division and support payments. It ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of each other’s financial situation. The discovery process is an important part of the divorce process in Florida.

Mediation and Settlement

When going through a divorce in Florida, couples often engage in mediation to try and reach a settlement agreement. Mediation is a process where a neutral person helps both parties talk and find solutions. This person, called a mediator, listens to each person’s concerns and helps them come up with a compromise that works for everyone.

Mediation is required in most divorce cases in Florida, and it gives couples a chance to work together and avoid going to court. It can be a helpful way to resolve disagreements and make important decisions about child custody, property, and other matters.

Parenting and Child Custody

Divorce in Florida involves parents making decisions about their children. The court considers what is best for the child when deciding who will have custody and visitation rights.

Parents must create a parenting plan that outlines important decisions and schedules for spending time with the child. The goal is for both parents to be involved in raising their child and for the child’s well-being to be the top priority.

Property Division

When getting a divorce in Florida, couples need to understand how property division works. Property division means deciding how to split up things like houses, cars, and money.

In Florida, the court tries to divide property fairly, but not always equally. They consider things like how long the marriage lasted, each person’s financial situation, and who contributed what. It’s important for couples to know their rights and get legal help to make sure they are treated fairly in the property division process.


In Florida, when couples get divorced, they sometimes have to deal with a thing called alimony. Alimony is when one person has to give money to their ex-spouse for support. The court looks at different things to decide if alimony should be paid, like how long the couple was married and how much money each person has.

There are different types of alimony, such as temporary or permanent. It’s important for people going through a divorce in Florida to understand alimony and how it might affect them.

Final Judgment of Divorce

Once all the important decisions are made and agreements are reached, the court will issue a Final Judgment of Divorce. This paper officially ends the marriage and settles matters like:

  • child custody
  • support
  • property division
  • alimony

It’s crucial to follow the instructions in the judgment to make sure things go smoothly and the agreed-upon terms are respected. Getting a divorce can be tough, but this final judgment brings closure and the chance for a fresh start. 

Learning the Process of Divorce in Florida

A divorce in Florida can be daunting and difficult. However, it is possible to navigate the process with the help of experienced legal professionals. Having a good understanding of the procedure is essential to ensure a smooth process.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, contact a qualified divorce lawyer that can provide additional insight and guide you through the process.

We have plenty of informative articles available to you throughout our site. Check them out!


Related Posts

Leave a Reply