How long a divorce takes in Florida depends on several factors, primarily whether the divorce is uncontested or contested. The former usually proceeds rapidly. The latter can take a long time. If you qualify, a simplified divorce can end your marriage in a month.
Keep in mind that you must meet Florida state residency requirements prior to filing for divorce. You or your spouse must have legally resided in Florida for at least the prior six months. There is a waiting period of 20 days once the divorce petition is filed.
A divorce attorney in Stuart, Florida at the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker will protect your rights while assisting you through this difficult process.
This type of divorce proceeds the fastest. It’s sometimes referred to as a “quickie” divorce. However, only couples in certain circumstances qualify for a simplified divorce:
- There are no minor children resulting from the marriage,
- both parties agree to this type of divorce,
- and neither spouse wants alimony. How any marital property is split is already agreed upon by the spouses.
In a best-case scenario, a simplified divorce is granted in as little as three weeks by the court. That does not include the time necessary to prepare a divorce petition, which is a matter of filling out the petition along with financial affidavits.
Uncontested Divorce in Florida
When a divorce is uncontested, the marital couple has already agreed to parenting plans, child support, division of property and debt, and alimony.
For most people, an uncontested divorce in Florida takes between six weeks and three months.
Contested Divorce in Florida
In a contested divorce, the spouses do not agree on issues such as alimony, child support, property division, and the like. Simplified and uncontested divorces are often relatively “friendly”–that is seldom the case with contested divorces.
Expect contested divorces to take between six months to a year to come to a resolution. Unfortunately, some contested divorces can drag on much longer. In some cases, the divorce proceedings go on for several years. A percentage of contested divorces end up at trial. If that occurs, preparation for the trial alone can last for a year. That’s true even if the trial itself lasts just a day.
In a contested divorce, it is the judge who determines the division of assets, alimony and child support awards, parental responsibilities and schedules, and debt liability.
The contested divorce process involves:
- Filing of dissolution of marriage petition
- Filing of an Answer
- Required paperwork filing
- Discovery –Attorneys gather information pertaining to their client’s case
- Mediation–Required in most Florida counties for contested divorces
A judge must rule on a contested divorce case. That requires the scheduling of a hearing, and obtaining a day in court may take up to a year.