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In what ways can a marriage be ended?

Dissolution of Marriage

To obtain a Dissolution of Marriage in the State of Florida, at least one of the partners must have been a resident of this State for a minimum of 6 months prior to filing for divorce. You are not required to be a resident of the County where you file the case. There are two types of Dissolution of Marriage cases: Regular, and Simplified. When you file a Dissolution case, it becomes public record and the information is available to the general public. Newspapers or other media, in accordance with their policies, may choose to publish this information.

Regular Dissolution of Marriage

This type of case is required when you and your spouse have a dependent minor child together, or if the wife is pregnant, or if one spouse is not in agreement with the divorce. Issues regarding paternity, custody, visitation, spousal support, and child support must be resolved prior to the dissolution being granted. Other legal issues and tax related consequences might affect your actions. For these reasons, you may choose to hire an attorney to represent you in this type of case.

The Clerk & Comptroller cannot provide legal advice or any assistance with the completion of forms in a Regular Dissolution of Marriage action. If you choose to represent yourself in these matters, you are required to prepare your own legal documents, schedule hearings and otherwise proceed according to Florida law and Rules of Court. Once you have determined which will apply to your situation. Some general, standardized Florida Bar forms are available for purchase in the Clerk & Comptroller’s Office.

It is necessary for both partners in the marriage to complete a court-required course related to divorce and children, before a final hearing is set. Failure to complete the course may cause the court to dismiss the action, or take other action against either parent. Information regarding this course will be provided to you after the case is filed.
Parent Education and Family Stabillization Course Provider List

If the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is contested by either spouse and the issues can not be resolved, both sides will be required to attend a mediation hearing to settle the disputed issues before the Court will allow a final hearing to be scheduled.

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

This type of action may be filed without an attorney, when all the following circumstances exist:

  • Each spouse agrees the marriage cannot be saved. 

  • There are no minor children of the marriage and the wife is not pregnant.

  • Each spouse has mutually agreed upon how the property and debts are to be divided.

  • Neither spouse is seeking support (alimony or maintenance).

  • Neither spouse is seeking financial information other than what is provided in the standardized financial affidavit.

  • Each spouse is willing to give up their right to a trial and their right to appeal the outcome and all previously agreed upon matters.

  • Each spouse is willing to come to the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office to sign the petition on the day of filing.

  • Each spouse is willing to attend the same final hearing.