Does a simplified dissolution of marriage fit my situation?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Divorce

There is an understandable perception that most Florida divorces are contentious with the parties feeling lingering aftereffects from a failing relationship. People might fight over child custody, parenting time, property division and alimony.

In some cases, however, the parties are on reasonably good terms as they part ways. Even if they do have issues with each other, they can put them aside to come to a quick resolution to the divorce without long-term disputes. In these instances, it is useful to think about whether a simplified dissolution is a sound strategy.

Know the basics for a simplified dissolution

A simplified dissolution can only be used in specific circumstances. If the couple does not meet all criteria, they cannot use this method. First, at least one person in the marriage must have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months before they file.

Regarding the marriage itself, the couple needs to agree and state that there is no chance of salvaging it. Children are a primary focus of the court in a divorce. Since their safety and giving them a positive environment is so critical, the court does not let people who have minor or dependent children together use a simplified dissolution.

The sides must work out how they will divide their property and debts. Each must agree that the resolution is acceptable. There is no alimony with this type of divorce. It is wise for people to think about this, particularly if they were the lesser earning spouse in the marriage or might have trouble supporting themselves after the marriage has ended.

There will be no trial and no appeal. The spouses must sign the petition in the clerk’s office. They do not need to be together when they sign. They must be in court simultaneously when the final hearing takes place.

A divorce does not need to be complicated

For many couples, a simplified dissolution is the easiest way to move on from their marriage. They do not have many of the challenges that most divorcing couples do and they want to get the process completed as easily as they can.

While this can be a good idea for some, it is not always the best strategy. Regardless, in any family law case, it is important to know the laws and to be fully protected. This is true whether the parties use a simplified dissolution or need to have their issues decided upon by the court.