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What does a regular divorce look like in Florida?

Not that we can really say any divorce is “regular” per say, since every situation is very unique, but there are some basics that most divorces follow when it comes to the actual process.

The divorce process is usually started by the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage. Either spouse can choose to do this. The petition needs to allege that the couple’s marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This petition needs to be filed in the same county where the couple last lived together or in the county where one of the spouses now lives.

The initial petition needs to outline what the person wants in the divorce. Once that is filed, the other spouse needs to file an answer within 20 days of when they were served. Their answer may be a counter-petition that brings up any additional issues that the answering spouse may want the court to hear. Also within 45 days of being served or several days before a temporary hearing, the parties will need to provide certain financial documents.

From this point on, divorces follow their own unique paths. In some cases, spouses are able to agree on all or most things and have the case wrap up in several weeks. In other cases, individuals might go the mediation route. And if that doesn’t work, some couples may end up having to litigate.

It’s understandable that the process can seem a bit confusing. In many cases individuals will work with a lawyer that can guide them through the process and help them reach the best possible outcome.

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