What is a simplified divorce / Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?
A Simplified Divorce is a simple, inexpensive means of ending a marriage for those couples who meet the eligibility requirements.
Where can we file for a simplified divorce?
A Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage may be filed with the Clerk of Court's Family Law Division on the second floor of the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Center (map).
What do we need to bring with us?
You and your spouse must come to the Clerk's Office to file the paperwork (not necessarily together). You will need to bring a form of identification that includes your picture (such as a driver's license). You will need a Certificate of Corroborating Witness, this form is included in the simplified dissolution packet, and can be signed in the presence of a notary. Forms for filing a Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage are available in the Clerk's Family Law Office for a fee or online here.
Do we have to have an attorney?
An attorney is not required with the Simplified Dissolution procedure. If you or your spouse have any doubt in your mind regarding legal questions, you should consult with an attorney prior to filing for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
What does it cost to file for a simplified divorce?
The filing fees for a simplified divorce are set by Florida Statute and are subject to change as a result of new laws passed by the legislature each year. The current fees for filing a Simplified Divorce is $408.00
plus a $10.00 summons fee (please refer to the Fee Schedule available online).
How long will it take for our divorce to become final?
A hearing to finalize your divorce will be scheduled at the earliest possible date dependent upon the court's schedule. There is a mandatory 20 day waiting period before a hearing can be held. You and your spouse must both appear before the court on the scheduled hearing date.
What happens after the Judge signs the Final Judgment?
You will need to take the Final Judgment to the Clerk's Family Law Division to be filed in your case file. Your case is now final.
Can we change our mind after we have filed for a simplified dissolution of marriage?
If, after filing for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, you believe your marriage can be saved and the divorce avoided, you and your spouse may file a Voluntary Dismissal to dismiss the case.
Do we have to file for a divorce in the county where we reside?
No. If either you or your spouse has met the residence requirement of residing in the State of Florida for at least the past six months, you may file in any county within the state. If there is any doubt in your mind or your spouse's concerning a legal question about either your right to divorce or any property rights or tax consequences, it is strongly recommended that the services of an attorney be obtained. If you do not know an attorney, you should contact the Lawyer Referral Service listed in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book. If you arefinancially unable to afford the service of an attorney, you should contact the Legal Aid Office in your area or ask your local bar association for a referral to an appropriate person or agency.