divorceWhen dealing with a damaged relationship, the bureaucracy involved in seeking a divorce can severely exacerbate an already stressful situation. Being unprepared for any of the matters related to a divorce will only complicated matters and may even result in additional time spent on completing the divorce and additional associated costs. If a couple going through divorce have any children, it is almost certainly impacting their lives as well. Sifting through paperwork can only add to your headache as you try to come to terms with a broken relationship. Fortunately, certified family attorneys in the Tampa Bay area can help you ensure that your documents are in order to make the divorce process as painless as possible.

Dissolution of Marriage

Couples who wish to file divorce, or “dissolution of marriage” as it is referred to by Florida law, must file in the county in which they reside and must have lived in that county for six months or more. The state of Florida also does not provide for fault-based divorce. It must be proven that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one partner of the marriage is mentally incapable. Fault for may still be considered in certain aspects of the divorce, such as child custody, alimony, and division of debts and assets; issues such as these should be clearly outlined in the first form required to file divorce, which is the “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.”

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

In certain cases, you may have the option to pursue what is referred to as a “simplified dissolution of marriage.” Also known as “uncontested divorce,” a simplified dissolution of marriage is ideal for couples who fit a certain set of criteria. If neither spouse requests alimony payments, both spouses have agreed on debt and asset division, and there are no children of the marriage under the age of 18, you and your spouse are eligible to pursue a simplified dissolution of marriage. It is advised that make sure all issues of the divorce are agreed upon by both spouses if you are choosing to pursue a simplified dissolution of marriage. Couples who file for a simplified dissolution of marriage also forfeit many rights they would have in a standard dissolution of marriage, such as the right to request financial documents or cross-examine each other during the court proceedings. Debt and asset division will also not be handled through the courts in a simplified dissolution of marriage; debt and asset division is previously agreed upon and should be outlined in the settlement agreement for a simplified dissolution of marriage. An uncontested divorce should only be sought by you and your spouse if you are absolutely sure that both of you agree on each issue of the divorce.

Financial Affidavit

In standard dissolutions of marriage, Florida law requires each spouse to submit a signed and completed financial affidavit to the other spouse within 45 days after the initial serving of the petition for dissolution of marriage. This financial affidavit should include information about assets, debts, income, tax returns, personal financial documents, credit card statements, or any other documents that contain significant financial information that should be recognized by the court.

If you have any questions about how to file divorce in Florida, please contact North Tampa Law Group at (813) 518-7411 or complete a free online case evaluation. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.