October 18, 2021
While many people think of dividing assets as a key part of divorce proceedings, many people don’t have much to divide: 77 percent of American households don’t have enough assets to go without income for three months.
If this describes you and you’re looking to dissolve your marriage, you may prefer a simplified dissolution of marriage.
But what does this term mean? How does this process for divorce look in these situations? Read on to answer these questions and to learn how you and your ex-partner can get a no-frills divorce within 30 days.
What Is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?
A simplified dissolution of marriage is the quickest way that you can get a divorce in Florida. You will want a lawyer to properly file the documents and follow state procedures.
In a regular dissolution of marriage, one party must file a divorce petition. The other party answers the petition within a month. Both parties must use legal help to divide and allocate alimony, time with children, assets, and debts.
Simplified dissolution of marriage takes place when you and your ex-spouse can cooperate and work together. If you both agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken and agree on how to divide your assets, you may prefer this option.
You sit down with your former spouse and fill out legal documents with a lawyer. You need proof of a legal marriage and evidence that at least one partner has lived in Florida for six months before the divorce. These, however, are not the only qualifications for a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida.
When Is This Right for You?
Simplified dissolution is ideal when both partners agree that the marriage is unsalvageable. It also is ideal for those who want a speedy divorce. Uncontested divorce only takes around 30 days to finalize in Florida.
You also cannot have any children if you want a simplified dissolution of marriage. Arranging a custody agreement requires an attorney to ensure the best outcome for all parties, including children. The same applies if one partner is pregnant.
Both parties waive their rights to alimony if they choose an uncontested divorce. You must divide property and debts on your own. Your property cannot exceed a certain monetary value.
You must waive the right to a new trial, the right to request a jury trial, and the right to appeal. This means that you and your ex-spouse need to fully cooperate. Court-based divorce proceedings with attorneys are best for those who cannot agree on important matters.
Note that a simplified dissolution of marriage is not an option in Florida if either spouse alleges abuse.
Once both sides agree to a simplified dissolution of their marriage, they will need to fill out:
- Petition for simplified dissolution of marriage
- Financial Affidavit from both parties (written form regarding finances/property)
- A property settlement agreement (even if you and your spouse own no property, legal/clerical reasons require this)
- Florida family court jurisdiction forms
- Complete marital settlement agreement setting the full agreement of both parties
- The final judgment of your simplified dissolution of marriage (which the judge will officially sign to approve your settlement agreement and divorce)
Consult an attorney when filling out this paperwork. It’s hard to understand and legal jargon can make the forms a challenge. Attorneys can fill them out quickly, accurately, and with far less stress.
Once you fill out the required forms, you can begin other divorce procedures.
Sign all documents in the presence of a notary public or court clerk. If you’re unsure of what this means, ask your lawyer. The person you sign the documents in front of serves as a witness so that neither party can back out of an agreement later.
You can then file the completed documents with the court clerk. At this point, you need to go to court for a hearing. There, you will need to confirm that all information in the paperwork is correct.
Arranging a hearing requires you to work with the administrative staff of your divorce case’s judge. You will want to do this with a Florida divorce attorney who will make it faster and less challenging. It’s best to let your lawyer handle these logistics during a stressful and emotional time.
Requesting Legal Help
Attorneys are the only people who can answer questions about your case. The court may not do so.
Courts also can’t advise you about the rights you have and the ones you waive during a simplified dissolution of marriage. That’s why you need to hire a lawyer to answer these questions for you. They are the only party qualified to give you legal assistance or answer questions.
If you file for divorce without knowing your rights, losing important property or assets is a near-certain outcome. Make sure that you avoid this by involving a divorce attorney from the get-go.
Begin the Divorce Process Today
While a simplified dissolution of marriage isn’t nearly as common as other divorce proceedings, it’s a much more convenient way to separate for some spouses. If you and your former spouse agree that divorce is the best option and have few assets, you can undergo this process.
We’re committed to helping you ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible. This includes consulting both parties, helping with paperwork, and scheduling meetings with clerks and administrative staff.
Contact us for a free consultation with our attorneys today.