Posts

What Is Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

Are you a spouse in Florida who is simply looking for a divorce?  Do you not have any minor children in common with your spouse?  Do you both agree that there are no alimony or child support issues to deal with?  Are all of your marital assets and debts already divided?

If so, you may be eligible for Florida’s Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.

Basics of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage is meant to be a quick and easy way to divorce.  It is authorized by Rule 12.105 of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.  Most people going through divorce do not qualify for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.  If you and your spouse meet the following criteria, then you may qualify:

  • You and your spouse do not have any minor or dependent children in common;
  • Neither your nor your spouse are pregnant;
  • Either you or your spouse has resided in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce (only one spouse is required to have been a resident of Florida);
  • Both of you agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be fixed (by, for example, having the judge order you to attend marital counseling);
  • Neither you nor your spouse are seeking alimony;
  • By agreement, you have already divided all assets and debts, or you agree that there are no assets and debts to divide;
  • Both you and your spouse are willing to waive your right to trial and appeal; and
  • Both you and your spouse are willing and able to appear together at the final hearing.

Read more

Florida Family Law: Mandatory Disclosure

When you file and serve a petition in a Florida family law case that involves financial issues such as child support, alimony, or the division of property in debts, a clock starts ticking.  Within 45 days of the initial pleadings being served on the respondent, each party is required to provide the other party with a whole host of financial documents and information.

This is what is known as Mandatory Disclosure, and it is governed by Rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.

The following are a list of documents that are required to be exchanged:

(1) A financial affidavit in substantial conformity with Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) if the party’s gross annual income is less than $50,000, or Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(c) if the party’s gross annual income is equal to or more than $50,000, which requirement cannot be waived by the parties. The financial affidavits must also be filed with the court. A party may request, by using the Standard Family Law Interrogatories, or the court on its own motion may order, a party whose gross annual income is less than $50,000 to complete Florida Family Law Rules of
Procedure Form 12.902(c).

(2) All federal and state income tax returns, gift tax returns, and intangible personal property tax returns filed by the party or on the party’s behalf for the past 3 years.

(3) IRS forms W-2, 1099, and K-1 for the past year, if the income tax return for that year has not been prepared. Read more

Filing a Florida Family Law Case

The Supreme Court of Florida provides the following information on filing a family law case in Florida:

Filing a case. A case begins with the filing of a petition. A petition is a written request to the court for some type of legal action. The person who originally asks for legal action is called the petitioner and remains the petitioner throughout the case.

A petition is given to the clerk of the circuit court, whose office is usually located in the county courthouse or a branch of the county courthouse. A case number is assigned and an official court file is opened. Delivering the petition to the clerk’s office is called filing a case. A filing fee is usually required.

Read more

Florida Divorce – Time to Respond to a Petition

It is important for every person who is served with a Florida petition for dissolution of marriage to respond to the petition in a timely manner.

The petition, which sets out what a person wants a judge to do (such as dissolve the marriage, rule on custody, order child support, and divide marital property and debt), is generally personally served by a sheriff’s deputy or other authorized process server.  Once served, the respondent has 20 days to provide an answer to the petition and agree or disagree with the petitioner’s requests and allegations.

Read more