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You have options when you file for divorce in Florida. The attorneys at Giovanetti Thurston, PLLC can help you determine which option is best for you based on your specific situation. As an experienced family law firm, we work closely with you to help you understand and navigate the process of divorce. With a better understanding of the entire process, you can make informed and smarter decisions.

The Divorce Process

There are two ways to file your dissolution of marriage case in Florida. Every divorce case is unique, but the general steps are the following[i]:

Step 1: Petition Filing

To initiate a regular marriage dissolution process, one of the spouses files a divorce petition in circuit court. The individual who files the petition should state the problems involved in their particular divorce case, such as spousal support, debts/assets, child custody, decision making, and others[ii].

Step 2: Answer Filing

The other party can file an answer within 20 days following the petition’s submission. At this stage, the respondent can do a counter-petition for marriage dissolution and communicate other matters to the court. Then the petitioner needs to file an answer to that counter-petition.

Step 3: Filing of Additional Paperwork

The petitioner also needs to file some additional mandatory paperwork, which includes the following:
  • A filled financial affidavit
  • A filled worksheet of child-support guidelines
  • An affidavit of Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) in cases that involve minor children, even if there is no disagreement regarding time-sharing between you and your spouse.

Step 4: Discovery

In this step, both involved parties need to share detailed information about their financial situation, including proof of income, tax returns, credit cards, and debt statements, retirement, and bank accounts. Plus, they should provide relevant documents when requested and respond to the other party’s questions.

Step 5: Mediation

The court may try for negotiation or mediation between both parties to see if they can reach an agreement. However, there is an exception in the case of domestic violence victims.

Step 6: Parenting Plans

In the case of minor children, the court approves a mutually agreed-upon plan of parenting or provides its own plan for any dissolution case. While developing a parenting plan, a court considers various factors.

Step 7: The Final Trial

If both parties don’t agree following mediation, the court is likely to hold a hearing about the issues involved in the divorce case. Based on the evidence and findings of the hearing, the court gives a permanent order in the form of a divorce decree. This order formally ends your marriage.

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During your consultation, we will discuss the options available in your specific case, and help you understand your rights and obligations.
  • [i] https://www.floridalawhelp.org/content/steps-in-a-divorce
  • [ii] https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet010/