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Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Need Help With A Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

Are you and your spouse in agreement on how to divide your assets and debts?  Do you not have any minor or dependent children in common?  Are you both willing to attend a final hearing for dissolution of marriage together?  Then you and your spouse may qualify for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.

Simplified Dissolution of MarriageAdvantages of a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Florida has created a special type of divorce procedure with the hope of simplifying the process.  In most actions for dissolution of marriage, court rules require you to exchange what is known as “mandatory disclosure.”  These are financial and other documents with sensitive and private information.  So, in most divorces, you would exchange several years’ worth of tax returns, along with checking and savings account statements, credit card statements, and summary plan descriptions for retirement accounts.

In Simplified Dissolution of Marriage proceedings, you are not expected to exchange these documents unless specifically requested to by one of the spouses.

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Mandatory Disclosure in Florida Family Law Cases

The Florida Supreme Court provides the following commentary on Mandatory Disclosure in Florida family law cases:

Rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, requires each party in a dissolution of marriage to exchange certain information and documents, and file a Family Law Financial Affidavit, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) or (c). Failure to make this required disclosure within the time required by the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure may allow the court to dismiss the case or to refuse to consider the pleadings of the party failing to comply. This requirement also must be met in other family law cases, except adoptions, simplified dissolutions of marriage, enforcement proceedings, contempt proceedings, and proceedings for injunctions for domestic or repeat violence. The Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.932, lists the documents that must be given to the other party. For more information see rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, and the instructions to the Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.932.

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What is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

Did you know that Florida offers a type of divorce that is relatively quick and painless?  This type of divorce does away with most of the mandatory financial disclosure requirements of other types of divorce, and you may be able to schedule a final hearing within a month of filing your paperwork.

What I am describing is known in Florida as a “simplified dissolution of marriage.”

Generally, a simplified dissolution of marriage is ideal for cases where there is a short-term marriage, no children, few (if any) shared assets, and you and your spouse are on good speaking terms.

Keep in mind that Florida does not allow everyone to go through the simplified process. You can only file for a simplified dissolution of marriage if all of the following statements are true:

  • You and your spouse have not had children together, either by birth or adoption;
  • The wife is not pregnant;
  • Either you or your spouse (or both) have resided in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce;

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Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Under certain circumstances, spouses may jointly file for divorce and schedule their case for a final hearing within thirty days or less.  Pursuant to Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.105, this is known as a simplified dissolution of marriage.

Eligibility for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

To be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida, the following must be true:

  • The parties have no minor or dependent children;
  • The wife is not pregnant;

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Am I Required to Disclose My Finances in My Family Law Case?

Rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, requires each party to a family law matter to disclose certain financial information to the other party.  Disclosure is strictly enforced in cases with money at issue, including child support, alimony, and equitable distribution or property division. Parties are required to follow Rule 12.285’s disclosure requirements in two ways: (i) providing a financial affidavit; and (ii) exchanging certain documents (also known as mandatory disclosure).

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