An uncontested divorce means that the spouses agree on every matter relating to their divorce, including property division, child custody, or alimony. They reach a complete agreement before filing their petition. If for any reason, even a minor term, a judge needs to be involved, a divorce becomes contested.
For an uncontested divorce, you do not have to work with an attorney, but choosing to hire an experienced divorce lawyer can ensure that everything is appropriately covered and all your paperwork in order. This can simplify the process and ensure your rights and assets are fully protected.
What Are the Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce?
In Florida, you must meet the following requirements to file for any type of divorce:
- At least one spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months
- Establish legal reasons for the divorce, whether no-fault or at-fault
- If you choose a “no-fault” divorce, you must cite irreconcilable differences or prove that one spouse has been legally mentally incapacitated for at least three years
- Complete a parenting course if you have minor children
If you and your spouse have reached a full agreement, you have two options to file for an uncontested divorce in Florida: a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, or a Regular Dissolution of Marriage.
You can file for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage if:
- You both agree the marriage is irretrievably broken
- You both want to pursue this path to divorce
- You have no minor (under 18) or dependent children
- No spouse is pregnant
- One of you meets the residency requirement
- You agree on marital property division
- No spouse is asking for alimony
A Regular Dissolution of Marriage may take longer than its simplified version, but it is still a more cost and time-effective option than a contested divorce.
How Quick Is the Process in Florida?
Florida requires a 20-day waiting period before finalizing a divorce. An uncontested divorce can take four to six weeks due to administrative processes or court hearing scheduling delays.
An uncontested divorce usually involves:
- Filling out the petition with all necessary information for the court
- File the petition with the court, which can require a charge filing fee
- Serve the petition to your spouse, generally through the sheriff’s office
- Wait for your spouse to sign the petition
If your spouse does not answer the petition within 20 days after delivery, you may request a default divorce, which allows you to proceed without your spouse’s involvement.
Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce minimizes:
It also allows you and your spouse to figure out how you want to divide assets and organize child custody and support on your own. An uncontested divorce also allows you to handle your marriage dissolution more privately.
Lawyers often recommend that you and your spouse create a divorce settlement agreement to put on paper all that you have agreed on regarding your divorce. This is a binding contract that you can establish before or after you file for divorce.
Call the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. today at (407) 753-4111 or use our online form to schedule a divorce consultation in Altamonte Springs.