Divorce: Florida Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

An acquaintance of mine came in a month or so ago and said that she and her husband were getting a divorce. She said she didn't hate him and didn't think he hated her and that the marriage had been one of convenience. Both have successful medical careers and she said that as their careers had evolved they spent less and less time with each other and more time at work. I won't get into why, but the marriage was apparently no longer convenient.

By way of background, she and her husband were both born, raised and currently live in Florida. They were married about two years ago. She has two children from a previous marriage, but they do not have children together. About a year ago they bought a house and have agreed to sell the house and split the equity. They do not jointly own any other assets. Without getting into my opinion on what I think about marriages for convenience, I told her they may consider filing for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Had either party contested the divorce I would have advised that they consider Divorce Mediation first. By the way, she gave me her approval to use the facts of her situation in this post.

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
In Florida, as in a number of other states, a couple may file for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage if the following criteria are met:

(1) Both spouses have lived in Florida for at least six (6) months;

(2) Both spouses agree that the marriage cannot be saved;

(3) Both spouses have no minor or dependent children together and the wife is not currently pregnant;

(4) Both spouses have worked out how the two will divide their assets and who will pay what part of their liabilities, and they are both satisfied with the division;

(5) Neither spouse is seeking alimony;

(6) Neither spouse wishes to have any financial information provided by the other spouse other than that contained in the financial affidavits;

(7) Both spouses are willing to give up their rights to trial and appeal;

(8) Both spouses are willing to go to the clerk's office to sign the petition (not necessarily together);

(9) Both spouses are willing to attend the Final Hearing at the same time.

If your circumstances are similar to those experienced by my client and meet the above criteria you are likely eligible for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. If one of the above criteria is not met, contact an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to assess your legal rights and advise you on alternatives to the Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
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