Unlike some other states that require a person to have some fault-based grounds for a divorce (such as adultery or domestic violence), Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that the only requirement is that the spouses have irreconcilable differences.
A divorce in Florida can either be contested when the spouses have disagreements over the terms of a divorce decree or uncontested when the two parties agree on the terms of the decree.
Uncontested divorces are preferable for most couples because they are typically far less costly and involve fewer court appearances. Despite these advantages, it is still wise for a person to ensure he or she has legal representation before filing for an uncontested divorce.
Many people unknowingly agree to terms in which they give up far more than intended to or they make mistakes in their petitions that can end up being very expensive to correct.
Lawyer for Uncontested Divorce in Pensacola, FL
If you are preparing to file for an uncontested divorce in the Florida Panhandle, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel. The Law Office of James M. Burns represents clients seeking divorces in Milton, Pace, Perdido Key, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, and many surrounding areas of Escambia County and Santa Rosa County.
Pensacola divorce attorney James M. Burns can review your petition and ensure that your divorce decree is free from any possible long-term consequences.
You can have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (850) 457-6002 to receive a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Uncontested Divorce in Florida
- What is a simplified dissolution of marriage?
- How does an uncontested divorce work?
- Where can I find more information about uncontested divorce in Pensacola?
When a couple is in agreement on all the primary terms of their divorce, they may be able to file for is a simplified dissolution of marriage. Under this process, spouses can quickly finalize a divorce (generally within 30 days), so long as they satisfy the following requirements:
- Both spouses must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to filing;
- Both spouses agree that the marriage cannot be saved;
- The spouses have no minor or dependent child(ren) together, the wife does not have any minor or dependent children born during the marriage, and the wife is not now pregnant;
- Both spouses have worked out how they will divide assets and who will pay what part of the money for both spouses' liabilities, and both are satisfied with this division;
- Neither spouse is seeking support (alimony);
- Both spouses are willing to give up their right to trial and appeal;
- Both spouses are willing to go into the Clerk’s Office to sign the petition (does not have to be done together); and
- Both spouses are willing to go to the final hearing (must be done at the same time).
If the spouses do not meet the criteria above, they must file a regular petition for dissolution of marriage.
Even if a couple does not qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, they may still seek an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses will have to agree on the following issues:
- Time-sharing and child support if they have dependent children;
- How much alimony will be paid and for how long (if at all); and
- Division of assets and liabilities.
Spouses will need to have a properly drafted marital settlement agreement and parenting plan (if applicable) in order to have an uncontested divorce. In general, the process of filing for an uncontested divorce is very similar to that of simplified dissolution of marriage. When one spouse does not agree on one of the issues listed above, the divorce becomes contested.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage / Divorce | Escambia County Clerk — Visit this website to learn more about how to file a petition for simplified dissolution of marriage at the Escambia County Clerk's Office. You can find answers to several frequently asked questions. The website also has links to several state, local, and family law resources.
Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Family Law Division
190 W. Government St., Room 23012
Pensacola, FL 32502
Family Law Forms | Florida Courts — On this section of the Florida Courts website, you can find various family law forms. Download petitions for simplified dissolution of marriage, dissolution of marriage with dependent or minor child(ren), dissolution of marriage with property but no dependent or minor child(ren), and dissolution of marriage with no dependent or minor child(ren) or property. You can also find basic instructions (step-by-step) to fill out forms.
Find an Uncontested Divorce Attorney in Pensacola, FL
Are you planning on filing for an uncontested divorce in the Florida Panhandle? Make sure that you contact The Law Office of James M. Burns before submitting your petition.
James M. Burns is an experienced divorce lawyer in Pensacola who helps individuals in communities throughout Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, such as Pace, Milton, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Perdido Key, and several others.
Call (850) 457-6002 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, February 9, 2018.