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Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state. To file for a divorce in Florida, at least one of the parties must be a Florida resident for at least 6 months at the time of filing for divorce. The most often used grounds for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Depending on the circumstances of the parties, there are different paths for obtaining a divorce.


Divorce and Family Law Documents


Where dissolution of marriage is sought with no minor children (under age 18) and no Property:


     1. Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage where both parties must sign the Petition for Dissolution and both must appear at the final hearing; OR

     2. Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with No Minor Children and No Property if one of the parties is unable or unwilling to appear at the final hearing. In this case, only the Petitioner must appear at the final hearing.


Where dissolution of marriage is sought with property but with no minor children:

Marital Settlement Agreement to settle and memorialize how the divorcing couple’s property are to be divided. A marital settlement agreement is usually signed by both parties, and once the divorce is final it becomes part of the final order.


Where dissolution of marriage is sought with children:


Parenting Plan for custody and time sharing of children. Some counties and circuits have adopted a standard Parenting Plan. There are three choices of Florida Supreme Court approved forms and one form must be filed with the Petition for Divorce.

Parenting Plans can be modified by the parents when they agree to do so. However, if the parents are not in agreement, either parent may file a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Custody and let the court decide.


Where an unwed father wishes to obtain parental rights:


Petition to Determine Paternity and Related Relief, also called a Paternity, for an unwed father who has no parental rights, to obtain visitation with his children, shared parental responsibility, and other rights as the child’s legal father. Paternity may be established at the father’s Affidavit of paternity when the father is born, he is named on the birth certificate, both parties acknowledge paternity or by a DNA test.


Where other family members wish to obtain temporary custody of a child:


Petition for Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member may be sought by an extended family member such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, adult siblings, or step-parents (if the step-parent is still happily married to the parents) and by other family members. 



Florida’s divorce laws, forms and filing procedures were amended and simplified to assist pro-se or self represented parties with the process of filing for divorce. These forms are available on the Florida Supreme Court’s website. Often, however, persons often need help in navigating and completing these forms. 

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