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Do I Have to Take My Divorce to Court?

When you’re planning on filing for divorce, you’re likely wondering if going to court is a requirement.

In Florida, the law requires at least one of the spouses in a marriage to have been a Florida resident for at least six months before petitioning for a divorce. The residency requirement can be demonstrated with a valid driver’s license, state identification card, or a voter’s registration card that was issued six months prior to a divorce filing.

Divorce comes in two broad categories: contested and uncontested.

  • A contested divorce is a situation in which the two parties bring their issues to court for litigation and allow a judge to make the final decisions for them.
  • In an uncontested divorce, both parties work with each other to come to an agreement on all divorce-related issues. The two variations of uncontested divorce are standard and simplified. In each, either spouse may initiate the divorce — referred to as the “petitioner” — after stating that the marriage is irreparable.

Though many uncontested divorces fall into the “standard” category, there are many that are classified as “simplified.” In a simplified divorce, neither party is seeking alimony, there are no minor or dependent children, and the wife is not pregnant.

After scheduling to finalize an uncontested divorce in Florida, there is a 20-day waiting period before the hearing to finalize your case.

If you are filing a simplified divorce, both parties must appear in court on the scheduled final hearing date. In the event that a regular Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, only one party will be required to attend the final hearing. Contested divorces require both parties to be present for the final hearing or trial.

If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important that you protect your rights during each stage of the process. The divorce attorneys here at BCN Law can help you understand and protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve. We strive to consistently deliver an excellent client experience and tangible results. To schedule a free consultation, call (352)-394-2103.