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Dissolution of Marriage in Florida

There are two ways to end a marriage in Florida: Divorce and Annulment. Though divorce and annulment produce the same result-- the ending of the marriage is different. To file for either a divorce or an annulment you'll need to do the following:

1: Get Started with Online Application Services

Online application assistance can simplify and streamline the process for many Florida marriage-related services, including: information on obtaining a new marriage license, reasons for requesting a marriage record, as well as changing your name after marriage. In addition to the free forms and general instructions available from your Clerk of Court, you will receive a comprehensive checklist and forms packet specific to your needs, fast answers to tough questions and prompt service from a friendly staff.

2: Via the Clerk of Court

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There are two ways to end a marriage in Florida: Divorce and Annulment. Though divorce and annulment produce the same resultó the ending of the marriage is different. Divorce is the legal issuance acknowledging that the marriage is dissolved. Annulment is a legal decree that states that the marriage is null and void; an annulment treats the involved parties as though the marriage never happened.

In Florida, there are specific instances under which marriages can be Annulled.

General Annulment Rules

  • To receive an annulment, also called a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, both husband and wife must meet certain criteria. They must have no dependent children, and the wife cannot be pregnant at the time of dissolution. They must have divided their joint property and made arrangements to pay joint obligations, and both parties must agree to the division. At least one spouse must have resided in Florida for six months immediately before filing for the annulment. Both spouses must agree that the marriage cannot be repaired.

Conditions for Annulment

  • In Florida, certain cases qualify for annulment very quickly. The marriage can be annulled if one or both of the parties involved is already married; was under the age of 18 without the consent of a parent or legally responsible person; got married while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; has a physical disability that affects her sex life in a negative way; was forced or tricked into the marriage; or suffers from any type of mental illness or condition.

Getting the Annulment

  • While couples can try to work out the details of annulment, it is recommended that they work with separate attorneys. Dissolving a marriage can be a difficult prospect, so a lawyer can speed along the process and make sure that the division is as amicable as possible. If you are not sure you are eligible for an annulment under Florida law, consult an expert.

Form:

  • To print a copy of the form you must file when seeking a divorce or annulment in the state of Florida, click here.

The dissolution of a marriage can come in the form of a Divorce.

In Florida, divorce laws govern everything from how property is distributed to how child custody and support payments are determined. These laws lay out specific qualifications, grounds and procedures Florida courts will apply when determining divorce case outcomes.

Requirements

  • The state of Florida imposes residency requirements on anyone wishing to file for a divorce within the state. In order to qualify, one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing the divorce petition. If either spouse meets this requirement, the divorce petition--sometimes referred to as the dissolution of marriage--can be filed in the county in which either spouse resides.

No-Fault

  • Florida is a "no-fault" divorce state. This means that in order to provide sufficient grounds for the court to grant a divorce, one of the spouses must affirm that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Irretrievably broken means the spouses have disputes they cannot settle, and that the disputes are serious enough to break down the marriage. While this is by far the most common reason used for granting a divorce in Florida, the law also allows for divorce to be granted if one of the spouses becomes mentally incapable. Florida requires the person in question be found incapacitated by a court-appointed examining committee in accordance with Florida law, and that they be incapacitated for a period of at least three years.

Property

  • Florida is an equitable distribution divorce state, meaning that the courts will attempt to distribute marital property on an equitable basis. The assumption by the courts is that all property will be distributed equally unless one party makes the case that an unequal distribution is warranted. In determining this, the courts can consider numerous factors, including how long the marriage lasted, how much money each party makes, the contribution each spouse made during the marriage and any other factor that would influence the court's ability to mete out justice.

Alimony

  • Florida courts are allowed to award alimony to either party of a divorce. Similar to determining property distribution, the courts can consider a wide variety of factors when determining how much alimony to award. These factors include the present and future earning capacities of the spouses, their possessions, the health of the parties, the length of the marriage and the age of the parties at the time of divorce. Alimony awards are considered separate and independent from child support awards.

Child Custody

  • Florida courts may also determine which party in a divorce is granted custody, both legal and physical, of any minor children of the marriage. In determining custody matters, courts use be "best interests" test, meaning they determine custody based on what is best for the child. Parties may come to an agreement between themselves on matters of custody, but the court is under no duty to accept these agreements if it finds the best interests of the child are served in another fashion.

Form:

  • To print a copy of the form you must file when seeking a divorce or annulment in the state of Florida, click here.

To learn more, download the new Florida Marriage License Packet to assist you with the Florida marriage license process, as well as offer you helpful information on popular marriage topics.