hNot all divorces are tedious and unpleasant. For some divorce cases, an uncontested divorce, also known as a “simple divorce,” may be the best option and the easiest way to finalize a divorce. To pursue this method of divorce, both parties involved in the divorce must agree on each and every issue relevant to the divorce; otherwise, pursuing a simple divorce is not an option, even if the parties disagree on only one issue. Despite the seemingly fragile nature of simple divorces, achieving a simple divorce is much more likely than one would assume.

Qualifying for a Simple Divorce

To start, both parties involved in the marriage must want a simple divorce. There must be irreconcilable differences that render the marriage absolutely broken. For Florida simple divorces, you or your spouse must be an official Florida resident for at least six months prior to filing divorce papers. Division of assets and debts must also be agreed upon in every simple divorce case; this includes agreement regarding which involved party will retain right to usage and ownership of the marital home. If the home is to be sold instead, both parties must agree upon how the proceeds of the sale will be distributed. If any alimony is to be paid, both involved parties must agree on who is paid, the amount paid, and the duration of payment. Finally, both spouses are required to complete a financial affidavit.

Cases Involving Children of Marriage

If there are any minor and/or dependent children of the marriage, Florida simple divorces include additional conditions that must be agreed upon. Both parents are required to attend and complete a parenting class before the final hearing of the divorce. A written parenting plan must be created, which should include but is not limited to custody, planned time-sharing, drop-off and pick-up times, holidays, and summer vacations. Child support should be agreed upon and determined via the child support guidelines worksheet.

Do I Need an Attorney?

While many divorce cases can be settled without legal aid, the assistance provided by a family law attorney is still remarkably valuable. Uncontested divorces are based on both parties agreeing on all issues relevant to the divorce, but even in this cases, it is best to allow an attorney well-versed in family law to represent you in your divorce. Despite the fact that simple divorce is contingent upon both involved parties agreeing on every issue, all divorces are considered adversarial contests according to the law. An attorney can ensure that the divorce proceedings are fair for both parties, but due to simple divorce’s status as an adversarial contest, an attorney may only represent one party in a divorce. Both parties involved in a divorce should have representation by an attorney to ensure both spouses are treated fairly. Divorce can be difficult on its own. Attempting to handle your own divorce without legal aid is rarely recommended; doing so runs the risk of impeding upon rights and entitlements that you would otherwise deserve.

If you are considering an uncontested divorce, speak with an attorney. Consultations at the North Tampa Law Group are free. Learn your rights before signing any divorce documents. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (813) 518-7411 or e-mail us.