Florida Divorce Forms

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Florida Divorce Law

Download completed Florida divorce forms based upon the answers you provide in the online interview. We provide Florida State Approved downloadable Florida divorce kits, complete with divorce instructions, to allow you to obtain a divorce in Florida. Download your uncontested or no fault Florida divorce papers and eliminate any divorce attorney. Click the Start Now button and begin your online divorce today.

Divorce Residency Essentials to Get Divorce in Florida

One of the spouses must have been a resident for six months prior to filing for dissolution of marriage. The dissolution of marriage should be filed in either:

  • The county where the defendant resides or
  • The county where the spouses last lived together prior to separating. [Florida Case Law and Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.021].
 

Reasons for Divorce in Florida

There are mainly two reasons of divorce in Florida that is fault and general.  In order to file for divorce in Florida, the proper grounds must be established.  Both spouses are involved in establishing these grounds, and both must substantiate and agree upon these, unless the divorcing spouse is trying to prove otherwise to the court. 

No-fault reasons for divorce in Florida include:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. [Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.052].

General reasons for divorce in Florida include:

  • Mental incapacity for at least three years. [Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.052].
 

Custody of the Children in Florida

Joint or sole custody may be granted to either or both parents. The state of Florida defines joint custody as “shared parental responsibility” and it is preferred over sole custody. Both parents are given equal consideration in any award of custody. Custody is granted according to the best interests of the child, based on the following factors:

  • Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the non-residential parent;
  • The love, affection, and other emotional ties between the parents and the child;
  • The ability and desire of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical or remedial care, and other material needs;
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
  • The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home;
  • The mental, physical, and moral fitness of the parents;
  • The home, school, and community record of the child;
  • The preference of the child if old enough to understand and express a preference;
  • The willing­ness of each parent to encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship with the other parent;
  • Any evidence that a parent has supplied false information to a court regarding domestic violence;
  • Any evidence of spouse or child abuse; and
  • Any other relevant factors. No preference is to be given because of parent’s sex.

Grandparents may be awarded visitation. Custody and visitation may not be denied based on the fact that a parent or grandparent may be infected with human immunodeficiency virus. [Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.13].

 

Property Distribution in Florida

Florida is an “equitable distribution” state. The spouse’s non-marital property will be retained by each spouse. Non-marital property is all property acquired prior to the marriage, property acquired by gift or inheritance, and any property considered to be non-marital according to a written agree­ment between the spouses. The court is required to begin with the premise that all marital property should be equally divided, based on the following factors:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age and health of the spouses;
  • The amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • The estate, liabilities, and needs of each spouse and the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The time necessary for a spouse to acquire sufficient education to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment; and
  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses.

Marital misconduct is not specified as a factor. All retirement, pension, profit-sharing and insurance are considered.

 There are also specific rules which govern whether a party is entitled to setoffs or credits upon the sale of the marital home, based on the following factors:

  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including the care and education of the children and services as homemaker;
  • The economic circumstances of the parties;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Any interruption of personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse;
  • The contribution of one spouse to the career or educational opportunity of the other spouse;
  • The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, from any interference by the other party;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties;
  • The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child;
  • The intentional dissipation, waste. depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within two years prior to the filing; and
  • Any other factors. [Florida Statutes Annotated: Chapters 61.075 to 61.077].
 

Florida Spousal Support Guidelines

The court may grant rehabilitative or permanent alimony to either spouse in either lump-sum or periodic payments or both. Adultery is a factor in the award. Other factors which are considered are:

  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment and that spouse’s future earning capacity;
  • The standard of liv­ing established during the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career-build­ing of the other spouse;
  • The age of the spouses;
  • The physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  • Each spouse’s share of marital assets and liabilities; and
  • Any other factor the court deems just and equitable.

Alimony payments made be ordered to be paid through a state depository. [Florida Statutes An­notated; Chapter 61.08].

 

Florida Child Support Guidelines

The court may order either parent to pay child support, based on the nature and circum­stances of the case. There are specific child support guidelines set out in Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.30. In addition, there are specific factors for consideration upon which the child support guidelines may be adjusted:

  • Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses;
  • Independent income of the child;
  • The custodial parent receiving both child support and spousal support;
  • Seasonal variations in a parent’s income or expenses;
  • The age of the child, taking into consideration the greater needs of older children;
  • Any special needs of the family;
  • The terms of any shared parental arrangement;
  • The total assets of the parents and the child;
  • The impact of any IRS Dependency Exemption;
  • Any other reason that should be considered in order to make the child support payments equitable; and
  • When the child support guidelines require a person to pay 55% or more of a personal income.

Health insurance for the child and life insurance covering the life of the parent ordered to pay support may be required by the court. Child support payments may be ordered to be paid through a state depository. [Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapters 61.13 and 61.30].

 

Divorce Mediation

If there are minor children involved, or if one of the spouses denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may delay the proceedings for up to three months and may order the spouses to seek counseling, order the spouses to attempt reconciliation, or order the spouses to attend mediation sessions. [Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapters 61.052 and 61.183].


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