Filing for an Online Divorce in Florida
Online divorce is a process in which couples agree to come together and file for their separation over the internet. To file for a divorce online, the spouses have to come to an agreement on all major issues of the divorce. Luckily, in Florida, over 90% of marriage breakups are uncontested, and this makes the process even easier. These matters are not limited to child support, visitation rights, and the division of assets and debts. The separating couple must also come together and agree on how they will support each other to ensure a smooth transition to the single life.
The issue of child custody is often a point of contention in cases that involve children. But one reason that filing an online divorce in Florida is even easier is because for one to be accepted, the children must all be at least 18 years old. In such a circumstance, they are considered adults, and as such are entirely independent, taking them out of the marriage dissolution equation. If unusual circumstances exist and they are still dependent on their parents, some modalities have to be agreed on before the online method can be used as a process for ending the marriage.
However, there are requirements that one is expected to meet to qualify for an online divorce in Florida. Those requirements include:
- One of the parties must have been a Florida resident for at least six months before the petition can be filed.
- The parties should not have minor or dependent children. A minor child is a child under the age of 18. A dependent child is a child of any age that relies on the parents.
- There must be an agreement by both parties to cooperate in all areas. This agreement must be signed by both parties prior to the onset of the process.
- There must be a signed agreement on the division of any properties, assets, and debts in place at the time that the application is initiated.
- The Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit form, which records all financial information, must be completed and submitted.
- The wife must not be pregnant.
- Neither party is allowed to request alimony or financial support.
- The couple is required to represent themselves in the court clerk’s office at the same time. They are required to sign the Petition for Dissolution jointly. And they must agree to attend a final hearing at the courthouse.
Once all of these conditions are met, the couple will be allowed to proceed and apply for an online divorce in Florida.
Below are the steps that one has to go through for the process to be effective.
- Sign up with the online divorce site– Several sites are considered acceptable to support in the divorce process by the Florida courts, so long as the parties involved have qualified for online separation. Before settling on a specific company, it is vital that you do some research and choose the best service to avoid potential frustrations or problems. There are lots of scam sites which you will want to be careful to avoid. Often these sites are advertising cheaper services to draw your attention. It is advised that you check the reviews left by the people who used the services previously and confirm the approval rate of the documents submitted through them.
One of the biggest attractions of using an online service is the reasonable fees which can save you tons of money when compared to the costs of using an attorney. How much you save will depend on the site that you choose to assist you with the process. In any case, an online divorce is fast, easy, and inexpensive compared to using a lawyer to assist in the process.
Once the payment is made, there are a few easy questions that the site owners will have to ask to ensure that you qualify for the service.
- Access the documents- The online divorce site you choose will give you access to the divorce documents for you to complete. Upon completion, you submit the forms back to the site to be reviewed by qualified practitioners. Those practitioners can offer relevant advice to help fix any mistakes made while filling out the documents. Once the documents are deemed to be compliant with all rules and regulations, you will be given the go-ahead to submit them to the courts for review by the judge. Preparing the documentation for submission to the courts can take less than 24 hours from the onset of the process. And by choosing an online divorce, you can even fill out the divorce papers while sitting on the couch in your living room. All you need is a laptop and access to the internet to facilitate communication.
Once completed, the papers can be printed and signed by both parties for submission to the courts. All of this can be done without the support of an attorney, making online divorce in Florida one of the most popular and inexpensive methods of separation.
- Submission of the Divorce Documents to the Courts– As soon as the papers are ready, they are submitted to the courthouse to be reviewed by a judge. It usually takes between 30-90 days for a judgement to be rendered. During this time, the couple will be expected to present themselves to the courthouse to sign the petition for dissolution. This should be done within 20 days of the date that the documents were submitted to the courts. Otherwise, if the petitioner does not appear to sign the petition for the dissolution, they stand to lose some important rights.
The cost of filing for divorce in Florida depends on the county in which you live, but generally, the average cost is about $408. At this point, you are free to ask the court to change your name back to the birth name that you used prior to the marriage. Eventually, you will be given a date in which you will be expected to attend the court for the final judgement.
Read also: 9 Signs That Remaining in Marriage will Only Hurt You
If one of the parties in the case decides to disagree with anything mentioned in the divorce documents, they can appeal for a trial which would end up costing a lot of money, time, and loss of substantial rights. To avoid a lengthy back and forth court trial, the couple should consider hiring a mediator to help both sides reach an acceptable compromise on any issues. The online divorce site that you choose should take note of such matters well in advance of initiating the process and address them accordingly.
If the process is void of any disputes and well organized by the parties and the site being used to provide support with the processing of the documents, you are assured of a favorable judgement in less than 90 days.
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