Though the stereotype of the process implies otherwise, not every divorce needs to be an arduously drawn-out process. If there are any contention in terms of issue relevant to the divorce, the process of dissolving your marriage can indeed become complicated. However, in many amicable divorces, the couple may pursue what is known as a simple, easy, or uncontested divorce, which is an extremely streamlined divorce process that is contingent upon full agreement of a certain set of criteria to ensure that there are no glaring issues that require mediation. If all of these criteria are met, the marriage can be dissolved with less time investment, reduced costs, and minimal stress.
The Basic Criteria
For an uncontested divorce to become recognized by the state of Florida, there is a variety of criteria your situation must meet in order to utilize the easy divorce process. Not all criteria apply to each instance of divorce; for instance, not every marriage produces children — or said children have grown past the age of majority – so dissolving such a marriage becomes even simpler as any criteria related to minor or dependent children do not apply. The criteria for filing simple divorce are as follows:
- There must be irreconcilable differences within the marriage that makes the union utterly broken; that means that there is nothing that can save the marriage.
- You or your spouse must have been a resident of the state of Florida for six months or more before filing.
- Each spouse must agree with each other in regard to division of any assets or debts.
- Each spouse must completely fill out and sign a financial affidavit, which outlines you and your spouse’s financial profile to provide a thorough view into the finances of each spouse.
- If alimony will be granted to one of the involved parties, the payment amount and duration must be determined and agreed upon.
- Possession of the right to use or sell any homes shared during the marriage must be determined and agreed upon. If a home is sold, each party must agree with the division of the proceeds of the sale.
Additional Criteria for Divorces Involving Children
If you and your spouse are currently raising any minor or otherwise dependent children, there are a few points of agreement that must be met before the divorce may proceed. A minor is defined as any person under the age of majority, which is 18 in Florida and many other states. A dependent child is defined by Florida law as “any person … eligible to be claimed by his or her parent as a dependent under the federal income tax code.” A dependent child is very similar to a minor, except that the range for dependent children is extended to the age of 24 if the child was a full-time student. Just because you do not claim a dependent child on your taxes does not mean he or she will be considered a dependent child in the eyes of the law; if the child is eligible for consideration as dependent, he or she may still be considered a dependent child by the court. You should make sure you and your spouse consider any children who would potentially be considered dependent, or your ability to pursue an easy divorce may be forfeit. The additional criteria imposed when any minor or dependent children are involved are as follows:
- Each parent must agree to a parenting plan, a written document that outlines time-sharing procedures, drop-off and pick-up times, official address of the child(ren) for school district assignment, and summer vacation and holiday arrangements.
- Each parent must complete a parenting class before the conclusion of the divorce process.
- Both parents much complete a worksheet that outlines child support arrangements, which includes agreement on the amount of payment.
If you have any questions about pursuing easy 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.