How to Get Divorce Papers in Florida

How to Get Divorce Papers
in Florida

Coping with the emotional ups and downs of divorce is not easy. Still, this process can get even more complicated when spouses have a poor understanding of the legal aspects of marriage dissolution. This article will outline specific features of preparing divorce paperwork in Florida and the best ways to apply for divorce in this state.

Where to Get Divorce Papers in Florida

Currently, residents of Florida have the opportunity to get divorce papers in several ways.

  • You can find and download the basic list of divorce documents on the Florida Court System's Self-Help Center.
  • You can obtain divorce forms from the county clerk's office where you or your spouse resides.
  • You can hire a divorce law attorney who will select and fill out divorce papers based on the information you provide.
  • You can use online divorce services. For example, Online Florida Divorce assists divorcing spouses in preparing state-specific documents that comply with local laws and requirements.

Printable Divorce Papers in Florida

With Online Florida Divorce, you can complete divorce forms and print them in the privacy of your home or office. After signing these papers, you can bring the paperwork to the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.

Keep in mind that you'll need to have your divorce petition notarized before filing with the court. Thus, make sure to sign your documents in the presence of a notary.

Uncontested Divorce Forms

There are two types of uncontested divorce approved in the state: simplified dissolution of marriage and a traditional one.

Requirements for a simplified dissolution include:

  • spouses agree that the marriage is broken;
  • spouses have no minor children together, and neither of them is now pregnant;
  • spouses have decided how to divide marital assets;
  • alimony isn’t requested;
  • both spouses are willing to sign the petition and go to the final hearing.

If you meet the requirements for the first type of an uncontested divorce, you will be required to prepare and submit the following documents:

  • Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 12.901(a)).
  • Family Law Financial Affidavit.
  • Marital Settlement Agreement for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 12.902(f)(3)).
  • Notice of Social Security Number.
  • Final Judgment of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 12.990(a)).

If you do not qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, you can still file for a regular uncontested divorce by submitting the following forms:

  • Civil Cover Sheet (Form 12.928).
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Family Law Financial Affidavit (Long Form, Form 12.902(c)). If your annual gross income is less than $50,000, you can prepare a shorter version (Short Form, Form 12.902(b)).
  • Affidavit of Corroborating Witness (Form 12.902(i)).
  • Notice of Social Security Number (Form 12.902(j)).
  • Service Forms.
  • Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Answer, Waiver, and Request for Copy of Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage (Form 12.903(a)).
  • Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
  • The Final Disposition Form (Form 12.999).

Divorce Papers Without Children

If no minor children are involved, divorcing spouses will not be required to submit additional papers. The divorce paperwork outlined above works for divorce without children.

Divorce Papers with Children

Even though each case is unique, most soon-to-be-ex spouses with minor children will need to prepare divorce papers, such as:

  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Affidavit (Form 902(d)).
  • Parenting Plan (Form 12.995(a)). If supervised visitation is requested, make sure to prepare a specialized parenting plan (Form 12.995(b)).
  • Child Support Guidelines Worksheet (Form 12.902(e)).
  • Income Deduction Order (Form 12.996(a)).

Free Do-It-Yourself Divorce Forms

In Florida, a DIY divorce is a 100% legit way to terminate the marriage. As mentioned above, people applying for an uncontested divorce can find and download the basic list of free DIY divorce documents on the Florida Court System's Self-Help Center.

However, people filling out divorce paperwork on their own have a high risk of making mistakes, missing fields, or leaving out certain forms by accident. To complete the necessary forms correctly, you need to have a solid legal background or do deep research in the area of family law.

Divorce Papers Online

To save money and time preparing divorce paperwork, you can use online divorce services. For instance, with Online Florida Divorce, residents of Florida can generate appropriate documents from the comfort of their homes for as little as $159. All you need to do is go through a simple marriage-related questionnaire on our website and follow further instructions. Within two business days, partners can download ready-to-sign divorce forms along with a step-by-step filing guide.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What happens after divorce papers are filed?

After the divorce papers are filed in Florida, the petitioner must serve the documents on the respondent, go through a mandatory waiting period, and appear in court on a scheduled date to finalize the dissolution of marriage.

What happens if your spouse won't sign divorce papers?

If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers after being served, the judge can still review your case with your partner absent and grant the dissolution of your marriage. It is called "a default divorce" in Florida.

How to fill out divorce papers?

To fill out divorce papers without mistakes and inaccuracies, you should follow the instructions attached to each form. After finishing, it is recommended to proofread the completed papers several times. Alternatively, you can use online divorce services to fill out up-to-date divorce documents free of stress.

What happens after divorce papers are served?

Once divorce papers are served in Florida, you must complete a mandatory 20-day waiting period starting from the date of filing and appear before the court on the scheduled hearing date to finalize the divorce.

Who serves divorce papers?

It can be done (a) by asking any person over 18 years old and not a party to the case to deliver divorce papers personally to the respondent, (b) by hiring a private service processor, (c) through a public notice published in the local newspaper.

How can I get a copy of my divorce papers?

To get a copy of your divorce papers, you can visit the Clerk of the Circuit Court website in the specific county where the case was heard.

How long does it take to serve divorce papers?

Mainly, it will depend on the court caseload and how fast you go through the necessary court processes. This process can take from several days to around eight weeks (if your spouse cannot be located).
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