Simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida offers a streamlined process for couples looking to end their marriage quickly and with minimal court involvement. Here are the main points you need to know about simplified dissolution:

  • Both spouses agree on asset division and potential liabilities.
  • There are no minor or dependent children from the marriage.
  • Neither spouse is seeking alimony.
  • Both parties waive their rights to trial and appeal.
  • At least one spouse must have been a Florida resident for the six months prior to filing.

This process can significantly reduce the time and emotional stress usually associated with traditional divorce proceedings.

In the current legal landscape, simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida is designed to offer a quicker, less costly alternative to traditional divorce that bypasses many of the procedural complexities. If you and your spouse are considering parting ways amicably and meet the specified conditions, this may be a practical option. It’s crucial to understand the requirements and process to ensure it aligns with your situation, especially since both parties must show complete agreement not only on the dissolution itself but also on all related matters such as division of assets and debts.

Infographic detailing the key requirements and steps for filing a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, including no minor children, agreement on asset division, at least one spouse being a Florida resident, and mutual waiver of trial rights. - simplified dissolution of marriage florida infographic pillar-4-steps

Understanding Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Florida

Eligibility and Requirements

Simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida offers a streamlined process for couples looking to end their marriage quickly and with minimal court involvement. However, not everyone is eligible for this option. To qualify:

  • Residency: At least one spouse must have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months before filing the petition. This must be verified by a Florida driver’s license, state ID card, or a corroborating witness.

  • Agreement on Marriage Termination: Both parties must agree that the marriage cannot be saved.

  • No Minor Children: There should be no minor or dependent children born from the marriage, and the wife must not be pregnant.

  • Property and Debts: You and your spouse must have agreed on how to divide your assets and liabilities. This agreement must be documented and signed by both parties.

  • No Alimony: Neither spouse is seeking alimony from the other.

  • Waiver of Rights: Both parties must be willing to give up their rights to trial and appeal.

  • Joint Filing: Both spouses must file the petition together and appear in court for the final hearing.

Simple Checklist for Eligibility - simplified dissolution of marriage florida

Meeting the Requirements

To proceed with a simplified dissolution of marriage, you must prepare several key documents:

  1. Marital Settlement Agreement: This document outlines how you and your spouse have agreed to divide your assets and liabilities. It must be completed and signed by both parties.

  2. Financial Affidavits: Each spouse must complete a financial affidavit, which provides a detailed account of your financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and debts.

  3. Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage: Both parties must complete and sign this form, which is then filed with the court.

It’s important to ensure that all documents are filled out accurately and completely to avoid delays or issues in the dissolution process.

Why Choose Simplified Dissolution?

Choosing a simplified dissolution can significantly reduce the emotional and financial strain typically associated with divorce. This process is generally faster, less expensive, and less complicated than a traditional divorce, making it a suitable option for couples who meet the eligibility criteria and are in mutual agreement about ending their marriage.

By understanding these eligibility requirements and preparing the necessary documents, you can navigate the process of simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida more effectively, ensuring a smoother transition into the next chapter of your life.

Steps to File for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Filing for a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida involves a few clear steps. This process is designed to be straightforward, allowing couples to dissolve their marriage without the complexities of a traditional divorce.

Filing the Petition

  1. Prepare the Petition: Start by downloading or obtaining Form 12.901(a), the Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. This form is available on the Florida Courts website.
  2. Complete the Form: Fill out the form accurately. Both parties must agree on all aspects listed, including the division of assets and liabilities.
  3. File the Petition: Submit the completed form at the circuit court clerk’s office in the county where either spouse resides. Both parties must sign the petition in the presence of a court clerk or notary.

Court Procedure

  • Schedule the Court Appearance: After filing, you’ll receive a date for your court appearance. Both parties must attend.
  • Prepare for the Appearance: Organize all necessary documents, such as your financial affidavits and the marital settlement agreement, if applicable.
  • Attend the Hearing: During the hearing, the judge will review your documents to ensure everything is in order and meets legal standards. Be prepared to answer basic questions about your filing.

Final Hearing

  • Receive the Judge’s Decision: If the judge is satisfied with the petition and supporting documents, they will issue a final judgment of dissolution of marriage.
  • Obtain Certified Copies: After the judgment, obtain certified copies of the dissolution from the court. This document legally ends your marriage and outlines the terms agreed upon.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage your own simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida. The process is designed to be quick, often concluding within 30 days from filing to finalization, provided all paperwork is completed correctly and both parties are cooperative.

Costs Associated with Simplified Dissolution in Florida

Filing Fees:
When pursuing a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, you’ll encounter specific costs. The filing fee for this type of divorce is typically $409. This fee is mandatory and covers the administrative costs of processing the divorce documents in court. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid when you file your petition.

Financial Affidavit:
Both parties are required to complete a Financial Affidavit. This document provides a detailed account of each spouse’s financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. The goal is to ensure transparency and fairness in the division of assets and responsibilities. Florida law mandates that this affidavit be filed to proceed with the dissolution, ensuring that all financial disclosures are accurate and up-to-date.

Payment Plans:
For those who might find the upfront cost of filing fees challenging, some courts may offer payment plans. It’s advisable to check directly with the court where you are filing to see if such options are available. This can provide some financial relief by spreading the cost over a period, making the process more accessible.

By understanding these costs and preparing for them, you can manage your simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida more effectively. The goal of this process is to provide a quicker and less costly alternative to traditional divorce proceedings, helping both parties move forward with minimal stress and financial burden.

In the next section, we’ll explore the required documents and information needed to ensure a smooth process in your simplified dissolution.

Required Documents and Information

When pursuing a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, it’s crucial to have all the necessary documents prepared. This preparation helps streamline the process, making it as quick and straightforward as possible. Here are the key documents you’ll need:

Financial Affidavits

Both parties must complete financial affidavits which detail your incomes, expenses, assets, and debts. This document is vital as it provides a transparent picture of each party’s financial situation. In Florida, there are two types of financial affidavits:

  • Short Form: For individuals with an annual income of less than $50,000.
  • Long Form: For individuals with an annual income of $50,000 or more.

These affidavits must be filed within 45 days of serving the divorce petition, ensuring that all financial information is up-to-date and accurate.

Property Division Agreement

If you and your spouse own property together, a written agreement on how to divide these assets must be prepared. This agreement should be fair to both parties and clearly outline who gets what. It’s important to agree on this beforehand to avoid any disputes or delays in the process.

Marital Settlement Agreement

This comprehensive document includes not only the property division but also any other agreements you and your spouse have made regarding the dissolution of your marriage. It may cover topics such as debt division and any other pertinent issues. Both parties must complete and sign this agreement, which helps ensure that there are no misunderstandings or disagreements later on.

By having these documents prepared and agreed upon, you can significantly simplify the simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida. This preparation not only speeds up the process but also minimizes the emotional and financial strain often associated with divorce. In the next section, we’ll address some common questions that arise during the simplified dissolution process in Florida.

Common Questions about Simplified Dissolution in Florida

When considering a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, you likely have several questions about the process, costs, and requirements. Let’s address some of the most common queries to help you navigate this path more smoothly.

How much does it cost?

The cost of filing for a simplified dissolution in Florida is generally $409. This fee is required to process your dissolution paperwork through the court system. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid when you file your petition. Payment can be made via cash, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card (Visa, Discover, MasterCard, or American Express). Personal checks are not accepted.

Is a financial affidavit required?

Yes, a financial affidavit is a mandatory document in the process of a simplified dissolution. Both parties must complete and submit this affidavit, which details each person’s financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. This document ensures transparency and fairness in the division of assets and responsibilities. The requirement for a financial affidavit holds true even if you believe your financial situations are straightforward or previously agreed upon.

Do both parties need to appear in court?

For a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, both parties must appear in court for the final hearing. This joint appearance is crucial as it confirms to the court that both parties agree to the dissolution terms laid out in their marital settlement agreement and other filed documents. The final hearing is typically scheduled about 30 days after the filing date, ensuring the process moves forward swiftly.

By understanding these aspects of the simplified dissolution process, you can better prepare for what to expect and ensure that you meet all necessary requirements. This preparation helps facilitate a smoother and faster resolution, allowing both parties to move forward with clarity and mutual agreement. In the following section, we will explore how to navigate legal representation and support, focusing on the resources available through Cynthia Hernandez Law and other supportive services.

Navigating Legal Representation and Support

Navigating the legal landscape of a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida can seem daunting, especially without legal representation. However, several supportive options are available to help guide you through this process smoothly and affordably.

Self-Help Projects

Many courts in Florida offer Self-Help Projects aimed at assisting individuals who choose to represent themselves in legal matters. These projects typically provide access to necessary forms, basic guidance on court procedures, and sometimes workshops or one-on-one help sessions. While they do not offer legal advice, they are invaluable for understanding the steps you need to take and ensuring your paperwork is correctly filed.

Paralegal Assistance

Hiring a paralegal is a cost-effective option to help fill out forms and manage court documents. Paralegals can offer assistance in preparing your paperwork accurately, which is crucial as any errors can delay the process. They understand the specifics of legal forms and can ensure that all submissions comply with court requirements. However, paralegals cannot provide legal advice or represent you in court.

Cynthia Hernandez Law

For those who feel overwhelmed by the process or have specific legal questions, consulting with a specialized law firm like Cynthia Hernandez Law can be a wise decision. This law firm understands the nuances of family law in Florida and can provide comprehensive support and legal counsel, ensuring your rights and interests are protected throughout the dissolution process.

Cynthia Hernandez Law can guide you through the complexities of the legal system, help negotiate terms of agreement, and offer peace of mind by handling all legal formalities. Whether you need full legal representation or just legal advice to make informed decisions, their expertise can be a significant asset.


By leveraging these resources, you can navigate your simplified dissolution with greater confidence and support. Understanding each option helps you choose the right level of assistance according to your needs and budget. In the next section, we’ll delve into the specific costs associated with a simplified dissolution in Florida, helping you prepare financially for this process.

Conclusion

At Cynthia Hernandez Law, we understand that the journey through a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida can be both emotionally and legally challenging. Our goal is to make this process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Simplified dissolution is a viable option for couples who meet specific criteria and wish to finalize their divorce amicably and efficiently.

While simplified dissolution can expedite the divorce process due to its less complex nature, it requires both parties to be in complete agreement on all terms. This includes asset division, debt responsibilities, and the waiver of rights to alimony and trial. It’s crucial that both parties fully understand and consent to these terms to avoid complications later on.

If you’re considering a simplified dissolution, it’s wise to consult with legal professionals who can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your unique situation. At Cynthia Hernandez Law, we’re dedicated to supporting you through this significant life transition, offering expert advice and ensuring that all legal requirements are meticulously managed.

Navigating a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right support and a clear understanding of the process, you can move forward confidently towards a new chapter in your life. Our team is here to help you achieve a resolution that respects both your emotional well-being and legal rights, ensuring a smooth and dignified closure to your marriage.

In conclusion, while the end of a marriage marks a significant change, it also opens the door to new beginnings. Let us help you close this chapter with ease and start the next phase of your life with peace and optimism.