Dissolution of Marriage
To obtain a dissolution of marriage in the State of Florida, at least one of the partners must have been a resident of the state a minimum of six months prior to filing for divorce. Petitioners are not required to be a resident of the county where the case is filed.
There are two types of dissolution of marriage cases: regular and simplified. In either instance, when a dissolution case is filed, it becomes public record and the information is available to the public. News media, in accordance with their policies, may choose to publish this information.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
A regular dissolution is required when the partners have a dependent minor child together, or if the wife is pregnant, or if one spouse is not in agreement with the divorce. Issues regarding paternity, custody, visitation, and spousal support and child support must be resolved prior to the dissolution being granted.
Other legal issues and tax-related consequences might affect your actions. For these reasons, you may choose to hire an attorney to represent you in this type of case.
Both partners in the marriage must complete a Court-required course related to divorce and children before a final hearing is set. Failure to complete the course may cause the Court to dismiss the action, or take other action against either spouse. Information regarding this course will be provided after the case is filed.
If the petition for dissolution of marriage is contested by either spouse and the issues cannot be resolved, both sides are required to attend a mediation hearing to settle the disputed issues before the Court will allow a final hearing to be scheduled.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
A Simplified Dissolution of Marriage action may be filed when all the following circumstances exist:
- Each spouse agrees the marriage cannot be saved.
- There are no minor children of the marriage and the wife is not pregnant.
- Each spouse has agreed upon how the property and debts are to be divided.
- Neither spouse is seeking support (alimony or maintenance).
- Neither spouse is seeking financial information other than what is provided in the standardized financial affidavit.
- Both spouses are willing to surrender their right to a trial and their right to appeal the outcome and all previously agreed-upon matters.
- Each spouse is willing to come to the Clerk & Comptroller's Office to sign the petition on the day of filing.
- Each spouse is willing to attend the same final hearing.
The Clerk & Comptroller cannot provide legal advice or assistance with the completion of forms in a Dissolution of Marriage action. Those who choose to represent themselves are required to prepare their own legal documents, schedule hearings, and otherwise proceed according to Florida law and Rules of Court. Supreme Court forms are available for purchase at the Legal Resource Center located within our Court Operations locations.
You may also visit the Florida State Courts System's Self-Help Center.