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How does simplified marriage dissolution differ from divorce?

To couples preparing for a divorce, the concept of simplifying the process sounds like a dream come true. In Florida, divorce is called dissolution of marriage, but the addition of one word — simplified — can make a huge difference. While a simplified dissolution of marriage is a real possibility for some couples in Florida, it is not a feasible alternative for everyone.

Chances are you already have an idea of what it takes to get a traditional divorce. In most cases, a contested divorce involves emotional negotiations, disagreements or disputes and a lengthy period until finalization. Even an uncontested divorce can be quite involved and may require mediation to be successful.

By contrast, simplified dissolution of marriage takes much less time, is more affordable and is easier on the couple emotionally. However, couples must meet specific requirements before they can pursue a simplified dissolution. These requirements include the following.

  • Both spouses agree that the marriage is broken beyond repair.
  • The couple has no minor or dependent children.
  • Neither spouse is pregnant.
  • No adopted minors are involved.
  • One or both spouses have resided in the state for six months or more prior to filing.
  • The couple has an agreement in place detailing debt and property division.
  • Both spouses agree that they will not seek alimony.

Even if you and your spouse meet the eligibility requirements for simplified dissolution of marriage, you will still benefit from professional legal advice. Seeking a legal opinion before you file your dissolution papers will aid in helping you identify and address any issues that may arise to derail your attempts at a simplified divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce in Florida," accessed Dec. 28, 2017

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