- posted: Jun. 28, 2023
In Florida, the stages of divorce typically involve the following steps:
1. Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage: One spouse initiates the divorce process by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the local court. They need to state the grounds for divorce, such as irreconcilable differences or mental incapacity.
2. Serving the Petition: The filed petition must be formally served to the other spouse, ensuring they receive a copy of the petition and any accompanying documents. This can be done by a process server or through certified mail.
3. Response and Counter-Petition: The other spouse has a specific period, usually 20 days, to respond to the petition. They may choose to file a response, contesting or agreeing to the terms mentioned. They can also file a counter-petition if they have additional requests.
4. Exchange of Financial Information: Both spouses are required to provide full financial disclosure, including income, assets, debts, and expenses. This information is crucial for property division, alimony, child support, and other financial matters.
5. Negotiation and Mediation: The spouses, along with their attorneys, can attempt to negotiate and reach a settlement agreement outside of court. Mediation is a common method where a neutral third party helps facilitate discussions and resolve any disputes.
6. Court Hearings: If the spouses cannot reach a settlement, the divorce case may proceed to court hearings. These hearings address unresolved issues, such as child custody, visitation, property division, alimony, and child support. The court will make decisions based on the best interests of the involved parties.
7. Final Judgment and Dissolution: Once the court addresses all issues and reaches a decision, a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is issued. This legally ends the marriage and outlines the terms of the divorce, including property division, support obligations, and child custody arrangements.
It’s important to note that the divorce process can vary depending on individual circumstances, and it’s recommended to consult with a family law attorney who is familiar with the specific laws and procedures in Florida.