Can You Get a Divorce in Florida Without Going to Court?
There are some cases where you can get a divorce in Florida without going to court. However, there are rules that make a divorce eligible for the no-court process.
Standard vs. Simplified Divorces
Florida has a couple of ways to categorize divorce – any divorce falls within the standard or simplified label.
Standard divorces are exactly what they sound like: a typical, standard divorce. In these cases, either party may seek continuing obligations, for example, alimony or child support. Standard divorces also happen when children are involved, or there’s a pregnancy. Whether or not couples agree on certain items, it’s still the same category.
Simplified divorces are well suited to their name and involve very little complication. Essentially, there are no children between the two parties, and neither party seeks alimony or continuing financial obligation.
Contested and Uncontested
When it comes down to whether you can get a no-court divorce, this is the most important factor. Contested divorces happen when one or both parties don’t agree about how to divide assets or responsibilities. If either party doesn’t agree about alimony, the custody or parenting plan, child support, debt responsibility, or other assets, it’s contested.
In these cases, it’s a longer process. Since it also requires litigation, that means you’ll have to go to court.
Uncontested divorces are much simpler than contested ones. In these cases, both parties agree on the core legal issues surrounding the divorce. That means there are no disagreements about assets, debts, or anything else that would otherwise be settled in court.
Even if children are involved, as long as both parties agree, you don’t have to go to court. You will still both need to sign the proper paperwork, waive your right to appear, and submit the proper financial affidavits.
Basically, if you’re both in agreement on all the important legal issues, you don’t have to appear in court. However, if one or both of you disagree on any issue, one or both of you will have to go to court.
How Long Does a No-Court Divorce Take in Florida?
No-court divorces are quicker, more convenient options for couples agreeing to divorce. Forms are often submitted either by mail, or on the specific court’s portal on their website.
After both of you complete and submit your forms, you receive your completed divorce papers in the mail. In most cases, this takes only a month a half, or 45 days.
Not all states allow no-court divorces, but Florida does. However, there are certain criteria you need to meet to qualify. The most important factor, whether you choose a standard or simplified divorce, is agreement. Contested divorces always require a hearing and trial. Uncontested divorces don’t require you to go to court, as long as both parties agree on all legal issues.