Divorce in Florida: Laws, Types, Process, & Requirements

Divorce in the state of Florida is defined as the legal termination or dissolution of a marriage. Florida divorce laws are codified in Chapter 61 of the Florida statutes. These laws outline the legal aspects of divorce such as the grounds for divorce, the types of divorce, how child custody and child support are determined, the awarding of and amount of alimony, the division of marital assets between spouses, and the requirements and process of filing for divorce. These aspects are settled in the divorce process through various means such as mediation, litigation, collaboration, and arbitration.

There are 2 types of divorce in Florida including simplified dissolution of marriage and regular dissolution of marriage. A regular dissolution of marriage may be contested or uncontested depending on the circumstances of the parties and their ability to come to agreement on a settlement.

Getting a divorce in Florida can be a time-consuming and expensive process. The length of the divorce process is dependent upon the ability of the parties to reach agreement and on the schedule of the courts. The cost of divorce proceedings includes legal fees, attorneys, court fee, and long-term tax implications.

What Are the Divorce Laws in Florida?

Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state. A “no-fault” divorce is one in which neither party is required to demonstrate fault or wrongdoing by the other party in order to proceed with the divorce. It is only required to allege that there are irreconcilable differences or that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Mental incapacity and irreconcilable differences are the 2 grounds for divorce in Florida.

Because Florida is a no-fault state, a divorce can proceed without the need for either spouse to prove fault. Divorce proceedings only require that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?

The grounds for divorce in the State of Florida include irreconcilable differences and the mental incapacity of one of the parties. In arguing irreconcilable differences, there is a burden of proof to show that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Florida courts use specific requirements and guidelines in cases of mental incapacitation.

What Are Considered Irreconcilable Differences in a Florida Divorce?

Irreconcilable differences are defined as a situation in which a married couple has experienced an “irretrievable breakdown” of their relationship. This includes a loss of trust, communication, a fundamental disagreement about values or lifestyle, or any other factors that make the marriage unsalvageable.

In a petition for divorce, Florida Courts accept the following reasons as proof that a marriage has suffered an “irretrievable breakdown”.

  1. Adultery – one party has committed the act of adultery, and continuing in the union would be intolerable.
  2. Safety – one party’s behavior has made the union unsafe (either physically or emotionally) for the other party.
  3. Abandonment – one spouse has abandoned the marital home or union for 6 consecutive months.
  4. Both parties have consensually lived in separate households for at least 12 months.

In the case of a contested divorce, Florida courts can require the couple to see a qualified therapist, counselor, or even postpone the case for up to three months.

Is Mental Incapacity Grounds for Divorce in Florida?

Yes, in Florida, mental incapacity is considered grounds for divorce if the mentally ill spouse has been declared incapacitated for at least three (3) years before filing for divorce.

In the State of Florida, mental incapacitation refers to a state of physical or mental disability that renders a person incapable of making independent legal decisions, such as signing a contract, executing a will, or marrying/divorcing. In Florida the process of proving a spouse’s mental incapacity is complex and requires multiple assessments.

Mental incapacity further impacts the court’s rulings on child custody and alimony. A spouse that is ruled mentally incapacitated can still be awarded child custody if they demonstrate the ability to control their mental illness.

Mental incapacity impacts the court’s calculation of alimony in cases where a spouse’s earning potential is negatively impacted by a mental illness.

What Are the Legal Aspects of Divorce?

The legal aspects of a Florida divorce include determining child custody (time-sharing), child support, the division of marital assets, and determining the need for and amount of spousal support (alimony).

How is Child Custody Determined in a Florida Divorce?

During a Florida divorce, child custody is based on the best interest of the child. When awarding child custody, Florida courts consider all of the following factors.

  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • The child’s preference (given the child is old enough to express a preference)

The state of Florida refers to child custody as parental responsibility. Child custody or parental responsibility is the legal responsibility for making major decisions about a child’s upbringing. This includes decisions about education, healthcare, religion, physical care, and living arrangements for the child. The laws for parental responsibility are codified in Florida Statute 61.13 and cases are tried in the Family Law division of the circuit court of the county in which the parents or child reside.

When determining child custody, Florida courts also consider evidence of a history of domestic abuse, violence, or substance abuse by either parent.

Florida courts recognize 4 types of child custody or time-sharing. Based on the factors listed above, a court will determine the type of custody awarded to each parent. The 4 types of child custody recognized by the State of Florida are listed below.

  • Sole Physical Custody.
  • Joint Physical Custody.
  • Sole Legal Custody.
  • Joint Legal Custody.

The type of custody awarded by the court can impact other legal aspects of a divorce including child support and the division of marital assets. Parental responsibility can be determined during mediation, arbitration, or during the trial phase of a divorce.

How is Child Support Determined in a Florida Divorce?

In Florida, child support is the legal obligation of a non-custodial parent to make regular payments to the custodial parent for the financial support of their child/children after a divorce or separation. The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child or children’s basic needs, such as food, housing, clothing, and health care, are met. 

In Florida, child support payments are determined using an “Income Shares Model”, in which the court estimates the amount of money the parents would spend on their children if they were not getting a divorce. The Income Shares Model takes into account the total income of both parents. This total is then divided between the two parents based on their income.

Child support laws are codified in Florida Statute 61.30 and cases are tried in the Family Law division of the circuit court. Child support payments can be agreed upon during mediation, in which case they must be approved by a judge.

How Are Assets Divided in a Florida Divorce?

Dividing marital assets, such as bank accounts, investment accounts, and the marital home is an important step in the divorce process in Florida. Florida courts use an “equitable distribution” model when deciding how assets and liabilities are divided in a Florida divorce. Courts use a 50/50 division of assets as a starting point, but the specific circumstances of each divorce case may dictate that one spouse receives a larger share of the marital assets. These factors include the length of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse during the marriage, and each spouse’s economic circumstances.

The division of assets can be settled without going to trial. If the parties can settle the issue of dividing assets in mediation or collaboration, a marital settlement agreement (MSA) is prepared by the mediator.  Once signed by both parties, a judge needs only to approve the agreement.

How is Spousal Support (Alimony) Determined in a Florida Divorce?

Spousal support (alimony) is a financial obligation that one spouse pays to the other during or after a divorce. Florida alimony laws are designed to ensure that the spouse who is in a disadvantaged financial position can maintain a reasonable standard of living after their divorce. The laws codifying spousal support in the State of Florida are found in Chapter 61.14 of the Florida statutes. Spousal support is not automatically granted in divorce cases and is calculated using the specific circumstances of each case.

Florida law recognizes 4 types of alimony, such as bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and temporary alimony. The type of spousal support awarded differs based on the intended purpose of the alimony and length of time  for which it is awarded. Below you will find the 4 types of alimony recognized by Florida law and a description of each.

  • Bridge-the-gap: awarded for short-term (maximum of 2 years) and is intended to help a spouse transition from married to single life.
  • Rehabilitative:  intended to help a spouse with the education or training needed to become self-sufficient.
  • Durational: awarded for a specific period of time determined by the court. The duration cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
  • Temporary: awarded to cover expenses incurred during the divorce process.

When determining the amount of spousal support to be paid, Florida courts consider several factors to ensure that the receiving spouse maintains a standard of living consistent with what they had during the marriage. These factors include the length of the marriage, the financial resources of each party, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, and the earning capacity of each spouse. 

Spousal support can be calculated at any point during the divorce process, including during mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Both parties must fully disclose their financial situations to the court or mediator. If both parties are able to reach an agreement on spousal support, it can be included in the divorce settlement agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge determines spousal support payments based on the evidence presented during a trial.

What Are the Types of Divorce in Florida?

In the State of Florida the two types of divorce are a “simplified dissolution of marriage” and “regular dissolution of marriage”, also known as “regular divorce.” Couples seeking either type of divorce must meet the following qualifications.

  • The parties are married
  • One of the parties has lived in Florida for 6 months before filing for divorce
  • The marriage is irretrievably broken

A simplified dissolution of marriage is faster, less expensive, and less contentious. A regular dissolution of marriage is more expensive, requires hiring attorneys, and is more contentious. The two types of divorce in Florida also differ in the qualifications, costs, length of the legal proceedings, and requirements.

What Is a Florida Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

Under Florida law, a simplified dissolution of marriage is a legal process that offers a streamlined method for couples to get a divorce. The main benefits of this type of divorce is that it does not require the assistance of a lawyer, there are fewer forms to file, and it is less contentious.

Married couples must meet the following requirements to qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage in the State of Florida.

  1. The marriage is irretrievably broken
  2. One or both of the parties must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months before filing for divorce.
  3. Both parties must agree to the divorce and go to the clerk’s office to sign the petition.
  4. The parties must have no minor or dependent children together, and the wife must not be pregnant.
  5. Both parties must sign a financial affidavit and agree on the division of assets and debts.
  6. Neither party 
  7. Both parties must attend a final divorce hearing in a circuit court.
  8. Both parties must waive their right to a trial and appeal.

The rules for a simplified dissolution of marriage are codified in Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.901(a). 

What Is a Regular Dissolution of Marriage in Florida?

Under Florida law a Regular Dissolution of Marriage, also known as a “regular divorce”, is the legal process by which a married couple can end their marriage through the Family Division of the circuit court system of Florida. The regular dissolution of marriage involves the termination of the marital union, the division of assets and liabilities, and the determination of parental responsibility (child custody), child support, and visitation. 

A regular dissolution of marriage is either a “contested divorce” or an “uncontested divorce”. The main difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce is that in an uncontested divorce both parties agree on the terms of the divorce. In a contested divorce, one or both parties are not in agreement on the terms of the divorce. The two types of divorce also differ in terms of costs, time, and complexity of the legal process.

What is an Uncontested Divorce in Florida?

An uncontested divorce is one in which both divorcing spouses agree on all major issues related to the dissolution of their marriage, according to Florida law. This includes the reason for divorce and the terms of the divorce, such as parental responsibility, division of assets and liabilities, child support and visitation, and spousal support.

The advantages of choosing an uncontested divorce in Florida include all of the following.

  1. Costs savings: an uncontested divorce in Florida costs less than $500 if you complete the forms yourself, without the assistance of an attorney.
  2. Time savings: an uncontested divorce in Florida takes between 4 to 6 weeks. The process is faster because it requires no lengthy court proceedings or negotiations.
  3. Greater Control: in an uncontested divorce the parties have more control over the outcome because the court is not involved in negotiations.

An uncontested divorce is typically less stressful for both parties. Differences are resolved through negotiation or mediation. In the case of mediation, a professional mediator facilitates open communication and helps couples find common ground to avoid conflict. Negotiations can involve attorneys, but this is not a requirement. 

The requirements for an uncontested divorce in the State of Florida include all of the following.

  1. One or both of the parties must be a Florida resident (lived in Florida for at least 6 months)
  2. Both parties must be in agreement on the reason for getting divorced
  3. Both parties must be in full agreement on the division of assets and liabilities (debts)
  4. Both parties must be in agreement about the payment of alimony, who will pay and how much
  5. Both parties must be in agreement about child custody, visitation, and child support payments.

In an uncontested divorce, disagreements or disputes regarding the terms of the divorce are resolved by the parties themselves or by retaining the help of a mediator. Once an agreement has been reached, both parties sign a Marital Settlement Agreement.

The steps involved in an uncontested divorce in Florida  include filling out paperwork, filing the paperwork with the court clerk, serving the respondent with papers, completing a court approved parenting course, and attending a final hearing with a judge. 

The legal paperwork for an uncontested divorce includes forms such as a cover sheet, a petition for divorce, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (if the parties have minor children), Child Support Guidelines worksheet, Family Law Financial Affidavit (short form for gross income under $50,000/year, long form for gross income above $50,000/year), Marital Settlement Agreement, and Notice of Social Security Number.

An uncontested divorce in Florida takes as little as 4-6 weeks. There is a 20-day waiting period after the petition for divorce has been filed. By contrast, a contested divorce can take months or even years depending on the level of disagreement between the parties.

What Is a Contested Divorce in Florida?

In Florida, a contested divorce is a type of divorce in which both spouses cannot agree on all aspects of the divorce. This includes the reason for divorce and the terms of the divorce, such as parental responsibility, division of assets and liabilities, child support and visitation, and spousal support.

In contrast to an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce involves a longer and more complicated legal process. This includes court proceedings and negotiations to resolve any disagreements or disputes between the parties. In some cases, mediation may be required to facilitate communication and find common ground to avoid conflict.

The disadvantages of a contested divorce in Florida include all of the following.

  • Higher Costs: a contested divorce in Florida can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, court costs, and other expenses.
  • Longer Time: a contested divorce in Florida takes several months or even years to resolve, depending on the level of disagreement between the parties.
  • Less Control: in a contested divorce, the court is involved in the negotiations and has more control over the outcome, which can lead to less satisfactory results for both parties.

In a contested divorce, the requirements for divorce in the State of Florida are the same as in an uncontested divorce. These include residency requirements, agreement on the reason for divorce, and agreement on the division of assets and liabilities, alimony, child custody, visitation, and child support.

The steps involved in a contested divorce in Florida are similar to those in an uncontested divorce, but with additional legal proceedings and negotiations. The legal paperwork required for a contested divorce is also more extensive and can include additional forms, motions, and pleadings.

In a contested divorce, disagreements or disputes regarding the terms of the divorce are resolved through court proceedings and negotiations, with the assistance of attorneys and other legal professionals. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will make a final decision based on the evidence and arguments presented by both parties.

A contested divorce in Florida can take from a few months to years depending upon the complexity of the case and the level of disagreement between the parties.

Is Legal Separation An Option in the State of Florida?

No, legal separation is not recognized by law in the State of Florida. However, couples who wish to live separately can do so without a court order. This is beneficial for couples who wish to avoid divorce for financial, social, or religious reasons.

If a married couple with children decides to live apart, either spouse can seek the court’s guidance on custody, visitation, or matters of child support. A separation agreement can be created to address these issues, but it is not legally recognized by the court, so there is no way to enforce it should one spouse fail to comply with the terms of the agreement.

What Is the Process for Getting Divorced in Florida?

The process for getting divorced in Florida involves 7 steps. The process starts when one spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage with their local county clerk and ends with finalizing the divorce.

The 7 steps in the divorce process in the State of Florida are listed below.

  1. Filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.
  2. Answering the petition
  3. Divorce Discovery Process (gathering evidence and documentation)
  4. Mediation to Negotiate the Terms of the Divorce
  5. Determining a Parenting Plan
  6. Court Trial (in necessary)
  7. Finalizing the Divorce

Here is specific information for those who need to learn how to file for divorce in Florida.

How Long Does the Divorce Process Take in Florida?

The Florida divorce process can take anywhere between 3 months and 24 months depending on whether it is an uncontested or contested divorce. In Florida, the average uncontested takes 3 months and the average contested divorce lasts 12 months.

The length of the divorce process is directly related to the complexity of the case. Couples who agree on the important terms of their dissolution of marriage can avoid waiting on trial dates and lengthy court proceedings.

Couples who are not in agreement on the legal aspects of their separation must often go through mediation, and potentially arbitration, before a judge will set a court date. 

Other factors, such as the 20-day waiting period after filing a petition for dissolution of marriage, contribute to the time a divorce takes in Florida.

What is the Process for Serving Divorce Papers in Florida?

The process for serving divorce papers in the State of Florida is codified in Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes. The statute requires that the petitioner use a sheriff or private process service agency to serve the papers to the respondent (the other spouse). This ensures the respondent receives accurate information and understands their rights and responsibilities. 

By Florida law, spouses are not allowed to serve their partners. Below are the steps for serving divorce papers in Florida.

Step 1: Complete and file the petition for dissolution of marriage with the county clerk.

Step 2: Submit multiple copies of the petition to the sheriff’s office in the county in which the respondent lives and pay a small serving fee. A Private Processor is an alternative to using the sheriff’s office. 

Step 3: The sheriff’s office or private processor will notify the court that the respondent has been served.

Having the sheriff’s office serve divorce papers costs $40,, but can take more time due to the limited resources at the sheriff’s disposal. Using a private process service agency is faster and charges range between $30-$40.

Once all parties have been served the divorce process moves forward until the dissolution of marriage is finalized. Even after a divorce has been finalized, there are method

What Are the Requirements for Getting Divorced in Florida?

The requirements for getting a divorce in Florida include a residency requirement, forms such as a petition for dissolution of marriage, a 20-day waiting period, and, in divorce cases that involve minor children, a “Parent Education and Family Stabilization” course.

What Are the Residency Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Florida?

The residency requirement for filing for divorce in Florida states that at least one spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of 6 months before filing a petition for divorce. Florida law 61.021 codifies the in-state residency rule.

This residency requirement ensures that Florida courts have jurisdiction over the case, making all decisions taken by the court legally binding.

The following documents can be used to prove residency in the State of Florida. 

  • Driver’s license
  • Voter registration card
  • Valid ID card
  • Affidavit or testimony from a third party

Other documents can be used to show Florida residency including an active lease, membership in a church or social organization, or proof of filing taxes in the state.

What Documents Are Required to Get a Divorce in Florida?

The following documents are required to get a divorce in the State of Florida.

  1. Divorce petition: also known as a petition for dissolution of marriage. This form is filed by the petitioner to begin the divorce process.
  2. Counter-petition: is a petition for dissolution of marriage filed by the spouse that was originally served, indicating that both spouses want a divorce.
  3. Financial Affidavit: a document filed by both spouses, detailing their income, marital and separate assets, and liabilities (debts). 
  4. Parenting Plan: a document detailing to the court how decisions regarding the parties’ children such as education, healthcare, and visitation will be handled. A parenting plan is only required if the parties have children.

Supporting documentation such as pay stubs, tax returns, property titles, statements for loans, mortgages, or credit cards, are also needed to support claims in the petition or counter-petition. 

Do I Need My Spouses’ Consent to Get Divorced in Florida?

No, in Florida divorce cases where one spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, a default divorce can be initiated. If the served spouse does not respond within 20 days to the petition for dissolution of marriage, the divorce case can continue without the participation of the defaulted party.

Do I Have to Attend a Court Hearing to Get Divorced in Florida?

Yes, most Florida divorce cases require that both spouses appear for a final hearing. In some cases, such as a default divorce, only one spouse is required to be present.

Is It a Requirement to Hire an Attorney in a Florida Divorce?

No, it is not a requirement to hire an attorney to get divorced in Florida. An uncontested divorce can be handled without legal representation. It is recommended to hire an attorney in a contested divorce to ensure your interests and legal rights are upheld..

Is Mediation Required to Get Divorced in Florida?

No, mediation is not required to get a divorce in Florida, but a court can make mediation mandatory if a settlement cannot be reached by the parties. Divorce mediation is one method of resolving differences during the divorce process.  It encourages the parties to settle their differences amicably without the need for the involvement of the courts.

What Are the Methods for Resolving a Divorce in Florida?

The 5 most common methods of resolving a divorce in Florida are mediation, litigation, collaboration, arbitration, and a settlement conference. Mediation and collaboration offer benefits such as control, privacy, cooperation, and a focus on the future. Arbitration and litigation offer less control and less privacy due to the involvement of an arbitrator or the courts. A settlement conference involves both spouses and their attorneys negotiating the terms of the divorce in a private meeting.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a method of resolving the legal issues of a divorce that involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator. Divorce mediation in Florida can be voluntary or court-ordered. The mediator helps spouses going through a divorce to negotiate important legal aspects of the divorce process. This includes the division of assets, parental responsibility (child custody) and visitation, child support, and spousal support. 

A divorce mediator helps facilitate open communication between the parties and encourages them to find common ground on the terms of the separation. If successful, the mediator will draft an agreement that is signed by both parties.

The benefits of a mediated divorce include all of the following.

  • More control: parties have more control over the outcome because the courts or an arbitrator are not involved. 
  • Time efficient: during mediation there is no need to wait for court dates or lengthy court processes
  • Cheaper: mediation does not require an attorney, court fees and other legal fees.
  • Confidentiality: discussions and agreements made during mediation do not become part of the public record. 

Mediation may not be appropriate for divorce cases in which the parties have a history of domestic violence.  This can cause a power imbalance that makes it difficult for the parties to negotiate effectively. In cases of domestic abuse, litigation is a much more fair method of resolving the legal aspects of the divorce.

What is a Litigated Divorce?

A litigated divorce is a type of divorce in which the parties hire attorneys and go to court in order to resolve the legal aspects of their divorce. Litigating a divorce involves presenting evidence and arguments to a judge who makes decisions on issues such as division of assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support.

There are circumstances in which divorce litigation is the best path forward. Below are the benefits of a litigated divorce.

  • Rule of Law: in a litigated divorce, a judge rules according to law. This can help ensure one party is not left disadvantaged. This is particularly important in cases with a history of mental or physical abuse.
  • No Direct Communication: in particularly contentious divorces it can be advantageous if the parties have no direct communication.

The advantages above help ensure an outcome that is fair for both couples. There are also many disadvantages to divorce litigation. The disadvantages of a litigated divorce include all of the following.

  • Less control: in a litigated divorce, the parties have less control because the court has the final say in the outcome of the case.
  • More expensive: a litigated divorce involves hiring attorneys, more court fees and legal fees.
  • Time consuming: litigation requires waiting for court dates and hearings, which adds weeks or months to the divorce process.
  • Less confidentiality: all court hearings are public and the results of a trial become part of the public record.

Litigation becomes necessary in cases where negotiations between the two parties have failed. In cases where there is a desire to move forward amicably,  mediation or collaboration is another legal option.

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

A collaborative divorce is a method of resolving the legal aspects of a dissolution of marriage in which the parties work together with their respective attorneys to reach a settlement agreement without having to go to trial. 

The collaborative divorce process involves a series of meetings in which both parties negotiate on key issues like, child custody and support, the division of marital and separate assets, and spousal support.

The benefits of the collaborative divorce process include privacy, lower cost, more efficient process, less conflict, and greater control over the outcome of the divorce settlement.

The collaborative divorce process in Florida involves open communication and cooperation between the two parties. This process aims to minimize conflict and reach a solution that is acceptable to both parties. The collaborative process provides a similar measure of control as mediation. In cases where the collaborative process is unable to resolve all issues, a judge may order the couples to work with a court-appointed arbitrator.

What is an Arbitrated Divorce?

An alternative to litigation is divorce arbitration. Arbitration is a legal process in which the parties involved are unable to reach a settlement agreement through methods like mediation or collaboration. Before allowing the divorce case to go to trial, a judge may appoint an arbitrator, who is a neutral third-party,  to decide the remaining disputed issues between the parties.

During the divorce arbitration process, each party presents evidence and arguments to the arbitrator. The arbitrator then renders a decision that is legally binding. 

The divorce arbitration process has several advantages over litigation including an efficient and streamlined process, greater privacy, lower cost, and greater control for the parties over the outcome. 

What to Know About Getting Divorced in Florida

Getting divorced in Florida requires careful consideration of financial, time, legal, and emotional factors. The cost of getting a divorce in Florida ranges from less than $500 to many thousands of dollars. The costs can include lawyer fees, court fees, filing fees, and tax implications. The cost of a Florida divorce varies based on the complexity of the case and the willingness of the parties to negotiate with each other.

The duration of the divorce process in Florida is dependent upon a wide range of factors including costs, complexity, and the parties willingness to negotiate. An uncontested divorce takes much less time than a contested divorce.

Legal considerations of getting a divorce in Florida include appealing and modifying a divorce agreement. The emotional factors of getting divorced in Florida include stress, anxiety, and conflict between the parties involved.

Is Getting Divorced in Florida Expensive?

No, it can cost as little as $500 to get an uncontested divorce in Florida if the parties fill out and file the required paperwork themselves. The price of getting divorced in Florida becomes more expensive when in a contested divorce where costs for lawyers, mediators, arbitrators, and court fees can add up into the thousands of dollars.

To answer the question “how much does divorce cost in Florida?” requires considering factors such as the complexity of the case, the assets and property owned by the parties, child custody decisions, and spousal support. Legal fees and court fees increase as the duration of the divorce process increases.

s in place for appealing or modifying the outcome of the case.

Can a Divorce Judgment Be Appealed in Florida?

Yes, a divorce judgment can be appealed to the Florida District Court of Appeals. A traditional  appeal must be filed within 30 days of the original court decision. A traditional appeal requires proving the judge made a legal error regarding Florida’s divorce laws. No new evidence is presented during a traditional appeal.

In the State of Florida there are 3 alternatives to a traditional appeal including a Motion for Relief from Judgment, a motion for rehearing, and a notice of exception to the report.

What is a Motion for Relief From Judgment?

A motion for relief from judgment can be used if an appeal was not filed within 30 days of the divorce order’s finalization. A successful outcome form a motion for relief from judgment generally requires proving fraud was committed by the other party during the divorce case.

What is A Motion for Rehearing?

A motion for rehearing is a request made to the court asking it to reconsider a decision it has made in a case. The purpose of a motion for rehearing in a Florida divorce case is to present new evidence or arguments that were not considered in the original divorce decree.

What is a Notice of Exception to the Report?

In a Florida divorce case,  a magistrate may be appointed by the court to take testimony from the parties and then make recommendations to the court in a report. A Notice of Exception, which can be filed by either party, is a document that outlines specific portions of a magistrate’s report to which the party takes exception. Supporting evidence and legal arguments must also be provided to the court.

Once the notice is filed, the case is referred back to the court for the court to review. The court then issues a final order on the disputed issues based on their review of the arguments and evidence.

Can a Divorce Agreement Be Modified After It Is Finalized in Florida?

Yes. In Florida, a divorce judgment can be modified if a judge believes there is substantial cause to do so. Aspects of the divorce decree that are available for modification include alimony (spousal support), child support, child custody, and time-sharing (child visitation). Assets and debts that are settled in divorce are only modified in cases of fraud.

There are a handful of events and circumstances that qualify for a post-divorce decree in Florida. This includes a change of job, relocation out of state, disability or critical illness of a parent, remarriage, substance abuse, bankruptcy, and a change in child’s age or health. For those who want to learn how to modify a divorce agreement in Florida, the modification process is explained further.

The process of modifying a divorce decree can be started in with mediation. Mediation is less stressful as it focuses on cooperation between the parties. If mediation fails, the case moves to court for a judge to adjudicate.

How to Minimize Stress When Going Through Divorce

Minimizing the stress of going through divorce is important for physical health and emotional well-being. Signs of serious stress during a divorce include insomnia, lack of appetite, weight loss, depression, and substance abuse.

There are many ways of dealing with stress during divorce including meditation, vigorous physical exercise, support groups, and therapy. This helps reduce the emotional and physiological impact of divorce proceedings.

Less stressful methods of resolving divorce issues such as mediation and collaboration are helpful for focusing on cooperation instead of conflict and arguments.