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Divorce forms in Florida - Important things to learn

Do you live in the Sunshine state? Are you thinking about getting a divorce? Maybe the sun is always shining in Florida, but your marriage is under a deep dark cloud.

Getting divorced is listed as one of the most stressful life situations, but it is not uncommon. Did you know that Florida holds the seventh-highest divorce rate in America with about 50,000 couples getting a divorce yearly? If you are considering getting a divorce in Florida, you might be pondering about what divorce forms you need and if there is anything important that you need to know about them. In this article, we will discuss divorce forms in Florida and the important things that you can learn with regard to them.

1. Where can you find divorce papers in Florida?

There are various ways to obtain divorce papers in the sunshine state. You might be surprised to find out that it is in actual fact, really easy.

For one, you could always get them online. The Florida courts website has all the documentation that you will need to file for marriage dissolution. The site includes all the laws obtaining to family law in Florida. The site also includes a variety of legal forms that you can print out. There is a lot of information on the site, which can be overwhelming. It takes time to wade through all the information, and figure out which documents you will need. There is also a self-help center on the website which will help you to fill out the forms in the correct way. The main form that you will need to fill out in Florida is the “Petition for dissolution of marriage." In this form, you will need to list both your details, as well as your spouse's details. You will then give this form to the county clerk and they will begin the divorce process.

It is of utmost importance that you fill out the correct documentation regarding your case. If the wrong forms are filled out, or the wrong information is given, then this will make the process lengthy.

If you would rather have help with your divorce, there are also various online divorce companies that can send you through your papers within a matter of 24 hours. They will help you fill in the correct documents. Online divorce companies are cheap, quick and efficient.

If you are not really keen on using the internet, you could always go to your local family court and obtains the forms you need there.

You can find more information about obtaining Florida divorce forms by following the link.

2. How and where would you file your divorce forms?

Once again filing your divorce papers is also extremely simple.

As mentioned before, if you use an online divorce company, then this will make the entire process a breeze. Once they have sent you the correct forms, you will then fill them in, and then submit them. The company will then file your forms for you. If though you would prefer to do everything on your own, you can always take a notarized copy of your documents to the local county clerk's office, where you are residing. You will then have to pay a fee. The clerk will then give you a copy of your forms. The forms will be stamped to show which date they were filed. It is important to keep a few copies of your documents. You will also need a copy to give serve your spouse with.

3. What is the correct way to serve divorce forms in Florida?

In order for your filing to be finalized and complete, you will need to serve your spouse with divorce papers. You could do this by having the sheriff serve your spouse, you could use a private server to serve your spouse, or could even put the notice of your divorce in the newspapers. Couples use this option if they don't know where their spouse lives. Your spouse can also fill out an “Answer and Waiver of Service." Your spouse can find this form at the courthouse. They or their attorney can fill it in. This form will also have to be notarized and then it can be handed into the clerk's office. If your spouse does not want to get divorced, then it might be a better option to have a private company serve them. This is more expensive, but it will be faster.

4. You will need to give a financial affidavit

Lastly, Florida law states that you will need to give your spouse a financial affidavit that states all your assets, income, debts, retirement plans and so on. You will have 45 days to give this to your spouse after you have served them divorce forms.

5. And finally….

Once all your documents have been filled in and filed at the local clerk's office, you will then need to wait for the decision of the court. If you have an uncontested divorce, then the process can happen really fast. It could take a minimum of 4 weeks. If you have a contested divorce, getting your final decree could take a while. A contested divorce could take anything between 3 months to a year to finalize, depending on how complicated it is.

So, when it comes to filing for a divorce in Florida, it is relatively simple. The hardest part would be filling out the correct forms for your annulment. As you have seen, it is easy to obtain papers for your marriage dissolution. There are various forms that you will need to wade through, to see which form is the correct form for your situation, but once this has been done, you can begin your divorce process. If you are struggling to find the right forms, or you are having a hard time completing them correctly, then it would be wise to hire an attorney or use an online company that can help you file all your documentation correctly.

Even though getting a divorce is hard emotionally, it doesn't have to be a hard process. Luckily the sunshine state has made it easy to get an annulment.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

By Sheena Jordan
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