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Is there such a thing as a simplified divorce?

When one thinks of the dissolution of marriage, simple is one of the last words to come to mind. While, it is not uncommon for the divorce process to have its complications, not all divorces are the same or require the same treatment. In Florida, there is, in fact, the ability to go through a simplified divorce if desired.

What is a simplified divorce? With this process, spouses typically work out their divorce settlements on their own. When this has been completed, they will still be required to go before a judge to have the dissolution of marriage officially granted.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to going through a simplified divorce. It can cost less and take less time overall. However, spouses are not required to disclose financial or other information when preparing settlements, meaning that one spouse may be walking away from the marriage with less than the equitable share to which they are entitled.

Not all divorces qualify for a simplified divorce in Florida. The state has set very specific eligibility requirements regarding this type of marriage dissolution. These include:

  • Both parties agree to a simplified divorce
  • No minor, dependent or adopted children are involved
  • Must meet residency requirements
  • Both parties can agree on how to divide property
  • Alimony is not being sought

While a simplified divorce may require that spouses work together to agree to a settlement, this does not mean that they have to go through the whole process alone. Both sides have the right to seek legal counsel in order to make sure the best decisions are being made for their specific circumstances. A Florida family law attorney can certainly prove invaluable whether one's divorce is simple or complex.

Source: floridabar.org, "Consumer Pamphlet: Divorce In Florida -- Simplified Dissolution Of Marriage", Accessed on June 21, 2016

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