If you are considering ending your marriage, you will need to know what the divorce process looks like in Florida. Being prepared for each step will help you streamline the process and seek a fair divorce settlement.
Filing for separation from your spouse
To start the process of divorce, you will need to file an Original Petition for Divorce or a Letter of Complaint with the local court clerk. This is the formal petition for divorce. It includes information such as:
- The name of each spouse
- The name of any children the couple has
- The reason for the petition
The petition is served to the other spouse, who then has a limited amount of time to respond. During this period, both parties can also seek orders of protection or orders for temporary custody and child support.
The divorce process
Once the temporary orders are set, you can continue with the divorce. The next steps may include:
- The discovery process – Each party seeks information from the other party through disclosure, interrogatories, admissions of fact and requests for production, including gathering supporting documents.
- Depositions – Each attorney questions the opposite party and their witnesses to gather information that can be used in a court case.
- The mediation process – Both parties meet with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator to attempt to reach an agreement in aspects of the divorce, including division of property, alimony, child custody and support.
- Trial in divorce court – If mediation failed or only partially worked, the parties present their cases in court and let a judge make the decision about the issues.
An amicable divorce resolved in mediation can be faster and more cost-effective. However, that is not always an option. If your situation ends up in court, be prepared for a longer process that can become more complicated.