Florida has fewer procedural requirements for a divorce than most states. However, that does not mean that you would automatically be granted a divorce with a minimum of stress and hassle. There are still many things that must happen before a divorce can be ordered by the court.
The divorce process begins when one spouse files a petition for the dissolution of the marriage with the court. That spouse does not need to have fault grounds for the divorce. The other spouse then has 20 days to file an answer to the petition. If the two spouses are in agreement on the major issues, and there is nothing that needs to be decided by a judge, the court could proceed directly to granting the divorce.
The reality is that most spouses have not agreed on the major issues at the time that one spouse files the divorce petition. In that event, they would take steps to proceed as if the case is going to trial. The two spouses would engage in discovery and exchange financial information. If there is a custody dispute, they may obtain information in discovery that could help their case.
In the meantime, both spouses are likely trying to negotiate a settlement with the help of their divorce lawyer. If they can agree on the issues, they will sign a marital settlement agreement that will be filed with the court and become part of the divorce order. If there is no settlement (which is rare), a family law judge would hold a hearing to decide the issues.
Harnage Law PLLC can help you navigate the difficult process of divorce, providing you with sensible and compassionate legal representation. To speak with an attorney, you can send us a message online or call us today at 321.549.7886.