How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Florida?
As soon as you and your spouse officially decide to get a divorce, you may feel a lot of things: relief, excitement, loss, confusion. It’s normal for all of these feelings to go through your mind. Here’s one many people experience but few of them talk about, though: impatience.
Once you start imagining your post-divorce life and what your future will hold, it can be easy to want that life to start immediately. Unfortunately, divorce is not immediate, but it may help to ease any impatience you feel to understand the likely timeline in front of you – and what you can do to speed things up.
Every Florida divorce is different, but certain factors will have a big impact on how fast you can get out of your marriage and get started living your new life. Let’s go through what you can do to make your divorce go faster.
Choose simplified divorce, if possible. Florida allows spouses to get one of three types of divorce: simplified divorces, uncontested divorces, and contested divorces.
Simplified divorces are only allowed for couples who agree on the terms, are not seeking alimony, and have no children. If you do not meet those requirements, you must get a regular divorce – a divorce that breaks down into one of the other two types mentioned above, uncontested or contested. After filing for a simplified divorce together, you and your spouse must wait for at least 20 days before attending a mandatory hearing where your marriage will be officially dissolved.
When you are getting an uncontested divorce, all decisions regarding your finances and your children are mutually decided between both parties. Uncontested divorce can be finalized in as little as six weeks. This includes the time it takes to negotiate any decisions with your ex, file the necessary paperwork, and have the state process your divorce.
If, however, you and your spouse are unable to agree and decisions must be left up to a judge, the divorce becomes a contested one. Contested divorces are going to take longer, especially if your estate is large. Different factors will play into how long a contested divorce will take, but it’s not surprising for these divorces to take months or even a year to be finalized.
Separate property and assets now. If you haven’t officially filed for divorce yet, now is a good time to separate your bank accounts and split up as much property as possible. The more tangled your finances are with your ex, the more complicated your divorce proceedings will be.
Work hard to come to an agreement with your ex. Contested divorces take a longer amount of time because a judge has to go through and settle any disputes between spouses. The more decisions a judge has to make, the longer it will take for everything to be settled.
This could include the division and distribution of property (and the larger your estate, the longer a divorce will take,), child support and custody rulings, and alimony payments that must be made after the divorce.
Hire a mediator or lawyer. Counties that are especially busy will have to schedule your court date for months from now, and tensions may continue to build up until that trial. Many divorces don’t go to trial for that reason.
If you want to file for and finalize your divorce quickly but still don’t agree on everything with your former spouse, you have options. Third parties like mediators and divorce attorneys will be able to help you go through each part of your divorce and negotiate the decisions that will affect your financial future. Our experienced, affordable family lawyers know how to help you fight for child support, alimony payments, or whatever you need to get back on your feet after a divorce. Learn more by getting in touch now.