It is commonly believed that the process of divorce is hostile by nature. A significant amount of divorces are what are known as “uncontested divorces” or simple divorce, in which both partners of the marriage are able to agree on the terms of divorce. Because each spouse agrees on the major issues of the divorce, there is likely to be no resistance as the case progresses, which greatly expedites the divorce process. Simple divorces are not only less costly and time-consuming than contested divorces but are also much less stressful for the couple involved. Dealing with a failing marriage is never easy, but if you and your spouse agree with each other in regard to the terms of the divorce, pursuing a simple divorce can take some of the stress out of an already stressful situation.
Qualifying for Simple Divorce
The process of uncontested divorce is officially referred to in the state of Florida as a “simplified dissolution of marriage.” To pursue a simple divorce, there are a few requirements that must be met:
- Both spouses must agree to dissolve their marriage via simple divorce.
- Both spouses must agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken and therefore cannot be repaired.
- They must have no minor children (under the age of 18) or otherwise dependent children, including adopted children.
- The couple must not be expecting a child.
- At least one spouse must have lived in the state of Florida for at least six months.
- Division of property/assets and debts/obligations must be agreed upon in advance.
- Neither spouse seeks alimony.
If even one of these requirements cannot be met, you and your spouse will be required to dissolve your marriage via contested divorce. Contested divorces allow you to examine or cross-examine your spouse as a witness and obtain financial documents before the trial begins. With an uncontested divorce, financial information may still be requested by either spouse, but disclosure of such information is not required by the court.
Though simple divorces were designed to allow the possibility of litigation without the aid of an attorney, it is recommended in most cases to seek attorney representation for a simple divorce. Attorney fees for a simplified dissolution of marriage are much more affordable than an equivalent contested divorce case. If you and your spouse have already agreed on all issues relevant to the divorce proceedings, you may be able to reduce your attorney’s fees even more as your attorney will need to perform less work to prepare your divorce. Even in the simplest legal cases, the specifics of law can often dwell beyond the layperson’s understanding, in which case it is recommended to seek the aid of a certified attorney who specializes in family law. When dealing with legal situations as sensitive as divorce, it’s much better to ensure the process goes smoothly than risk causing great financial or emotional damage. Divorce is almost always difficult, but a skilled attorney can help alleviate some of the stress and help you create a new beginning.
If you have any questions about uncontested divorce, 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.