How to File For Divorce in Florida without an Attorney
Filing for a divorce is mostly considered as a long legal matter when handled by lawyers fighting in the court. However, a divorce can also be conducted without the involvement of a lawyer but only in the condition where both parties agree upon the terms of the divorce.
Simplified Divorce Process:
Florida divorce law provides people with a process that is called as, “Simplified Divorce Process” which can be used by couples to fasten the whole divorce process, it takes 30 days from filing divorce to its finalization, as long as both couples involve agree on the terms and all the required requirements.
However, the couple agreeing to the process, must not have any dependent children under age 18, or pregnancy and alimony involved. Moreover, according to the rules, at least one of the persons from the couple should be a resident in Florida for six months at least. This process, however, gives no rights to the couple for any future appeals and trials.
Qualifications for Divorce:
The very first step to take is making sure that your marriage qualifies for a divorce. Florida State has removed fault as a ground reason for divorce. Instead, it should be proved that marriage is “permanently damaged.” However, “Fault” can be used when the division of assets and alimony is involved which leads the divorce case to a court proceeding.
And in a court proceeding, you will, however, need to hire an attorney to assist you through all the legal processes. And you cannot proceed with the legal process on your own. So, if the couple is a resident of West Palm Beach, they need to hire a divorce attorney in West Palm Beach.
Moreover, if both parties want to save the fees to a lawyer and don’t want to get involved in the legal court process, they need to agree that their marriage is permanently broken and cannot be fixed.
Paper Work You Need:
Once the couple agreed upon the divorce, there is some paperwork that are needed to be taken care of. The Florida state provides online forms that you can find on http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/index.shtml#instruction
However, the forms are a little complicated, and once you have submitted the forms in the court, you cannot make any amendments. You can take assistance from a legal authority. This may cost you less fees as a comparison to a divorce attorney.
At the end comes the court proceeding, however, there won’t be a trial but you still have to appear in the court before a judge. Also, if the divorce case involves children, you are required to complete an approved parenting course. After this step, the judge will make sure all the necessary paperwork is complete under the given guidelines. Moreover, the judge may ask both the couple some basic questions related to the information in the paperwork just to make sure both the parties have fully understood the paperwork. Once the Final Decree is signed by the judge, you have to proceed to the circuit clerk to file them. Don’t forget to take the certified copy of the divorce for your record.