Many couples facing a divorce fear that the process will be long and drawn out, and not to mention expensive. Expenses incurred during a divorce usually result from the parties’ disagreement over issues that end up having to be resolved through litigation, including parenting time, division of property, spousal support, child support, etc. Every time a couple disagrees on how birthdays or holidays will be handled, or who will make the medical decisions, or what is in the best interests of the child more generally, that can lead to making more phone calls to attorneys, filing motions, hiring experts, and even appearing before the judge for a hearing.
For those couples who wish to obtain the legal equivalent of a divorce without the cost of a more protracted battle, simplified dissolution may be an option.Eligibility Requirements
A simplified dissolution of marriage is by its very nature less complicated than obtaining a divorce, but it is only available under limited circumstances. It has very stringent eligibility requirements, ALL of which must be satisfied.
Therefore, every single one of the following requirements must be met in order for a couple to be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage. If any of the following factors is not applicable to the couple, in other words if it is not satisfied, then this procedure may not be utilized, and the couple will have to file for a regular dissolution of marriage:
- There must be no minor children, (meaning younger than 18) or other dependent children, including adopted children. Additionally, the wife cannot be pregnant.
- One or both of the spouses must have lived in Florida for at least the past six months.
- The couple must have a mutually satisfactory agreement regarding a division of the property, which sets forth any payment of obligations and other considerations.
- The parties explicitly agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, one of the two standards for a no-fault marriage, which therefore means that there are serious permanent differences between them that cannot be rectified.
- The parties have agreed to use the simplified dissolution of marriage procedure rather than the regular dissolution of marriage process to end the marriage.
- Both parties are aware of the following:
- Following the granting of a final dissolution of marriage, neither of the spouses has any right to expect any money or other form of support from the other spouse, except for anything that is specifically included in their property settlement agreement; and
- By choosing to use the simplified dissolution of marriage process, both of the spouses are potentially waiving certain legal rights which they might otherwise be entitled to if they used the regular dissolution of marriage procedure.
- BOTH parties must be present at the hearing.
If you would like to dissolve your marriage without the cost and hassle of a drawn out divorce, you should meet with a Florida family law attorney to discuss the option. You’ll want to make sure that you fully understand the process before you proceed. You may not realize that a divorce settlement, whether through the more traditional process, or with a simplified dissolution of marriage, can result in tax obligations, either at the time of the divorce, or down the road, such as when assets are sold.
Additionally, if cost is the main concern regarding your decision about which type of divorce to obtain. You can contact us online, or call our local number at 352-629-4442 to schedule an initial consultation with our firm to find out which option is right for you.
The office of Craig W. Turner is dedicated to providing quality legal representation for Family Law clients of Ocala and throughout Florida. Mr. Turner has over 26 years of experience in these types of matters, offering extensive exposure to the Florida court system and the nuances of various types of Family Law cases, including simplified dissolutions.