Florida recognizes three types of divorce. Making the right choice is important.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage:
This is a unique form of divorce that few people qualify for. If you have no minor children from the marriage, and you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce, you may qualify for simplified dissolution of marriage. You may not even need a divorce attorney in Miami to file for this type of divorce. The downside to this one (vs an uncontested divorce) is that both parties need to attend the final hearing in front of the judge.
You can file a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida if all of the following are true:
- You and your spouse agree that the marriage cannot be saved.
- You and your spouse have no minor or dependent child(ren) together, the wife does not have any minor or dependent children born during the marriage, and the wife is not now pregnant.
- You and your spouse have worked out how the two of you will divide the things that you both own (your assets) and who will pay what part of the money you both owe (your liabilities), and you are both satisfied with this division.
- You are not seeking support (alimony) from your spouse, and vice versa.
- You are willing to give up your right to trial and appeal.
- You and your spouse are both willing to go into the clerk’s office to sign the petition (not necessarily together).
- You and your spouse are both willing to go to the final hearing (at the same time).
An uncontested divorce means that both you and your spouse agree on everything. This includes, for example, child support, custody, visitation, division of marital assets and liabilities, and alimony. There are no pending issues. All marital assets and liabilities, if any, have been divided.
Like Simplified divorces, uncontested divorces usually take a short amount of time to be finalized.
A contested divorce is one where the parties cannot agree on terms. This includes issues such as how the parties will divide their assets and liabilities; or whether one spouse will be receiving alimony.
A dissolution of marriage by way of a contested divorce means that the court will decide the issues that are pending such as asset division, time-sharing, parental responsibility, division of debts and property, the award of alimony and child support.
Contested divorces ultimately end the marriage but are often risky because the judge decides on the terms of the divorce. Contested divorces usually take longer than uncontested divorces, lasting anywhere between three months to over a year to be resolved.
If you have questions about what type of divorce is right for you, it’s best to ask a qualified family attorney. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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