Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
A simplified dissolution of marriage refers to a less complicated procedure available under limited circumstances for obtaining a divorce. It is usually an inexpensive means of ending a marriage for those couples who meet the eligibility requirements for the procedure.
What are the eligibility requirements for obtaining a simplified dissolution?
A husband and wife may obtain a divorce through the simplified dissolution procedure only if all of the following statements are true about both spouses at the time that they jointly file a petition for simplified dissolution of marriage. If even one of the statements does not apply to a particular couple, the couple cannot use the simplified dissolution procedure. The requirements that must be met are as follows:
The couple has no minor (under age 18) or dependent children
The couple has no adopted children under 18 years of age
The wife is not pregnant
At least one of the spouses has lived in Florida for the past six months
The husband and wife have made provisions, satisfactory to both of them, for the division of their property and the payment of their obligations
The parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning that there are serious permanent differences between them that cannot be fixed
The parties agree to use the simplified dissolution of marriage procedure rather than the regular dissolution procedure
Both parties are aware of the following facts:
After the dissolution becomes final, neither spouse has any right to expect money or support from the other, except for what is included in the property settlement agreement; and
By choosing the simplified dissolution procedure, both spouses give up certain legal rights that they would have if they used the regular dissolution procedure
Both parties must be present at the hearing
Where do I start if I want to obtain a simplified dissolution?
If you are not represented by an attorney, you may purchase an informational packet about the simplified dissolution of marriage procedure from the Clerk's Domestic Relations Division. The packet, which includes several forms, costs $15.00 (cash or credit card payment only accepted for this transaction). The Family Services Division is located at 425 N. Orange Avenue, Room 320, Orlando, Florida, 32801.
You may also wish to contact the Ninth Judicial Circuit's Family Court Case Management Unit located at 425 N. Orange Avenue, Room 330, Orlando, Florida 32801. The Family Court Case Management Unit assists parties who are not represented by an attorney with filing for divorces, requesting name changes and petitioning for paternity.
Is an attorney required to file for a simplified dissolution?
An attorney is not required to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage. However, if either of
you have any question at all concerning a legal issue about your right to divorce or any property rights or tax consequences, it is strongly recommended that you obtain the services of an attorney. If you do not know an attorney, you may call the Orange County Bar lawyer Referral Service at (407) 422-4537.