Florida Divorce Laws and Information

By WomansDivorce  

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce in in Florida, the following resources, tools, and information can help as you move through the divorce process. You can review the relevant FL divorce laws, get uncontested divorce forms, locate options to help prepare your QDRO documents, and more. There are also qualified divorce lawyers, mediators, and financial planners, in addition to divorce support and domestic violence services.

Divorce Lawyers

Need a Divorce Lawyer? A local attorney can help you understand the divorce and custody laws and how they can affect your case. Arrange for a free consultation to get started. 

Ayo and Iken PLC

Gain the knowledge you need to win in your divorce. We have offices throughout the state, including Orlando, Tampa, Clearwater, and New Port Richey. Call us toll free at 800-469-3486.

Law Offices of Scott P. Davis, P.A
217 North Howard Ave. #201
Tampa, FL 33606
Serving: Hillsborough County
Ph: (813) 251-6222

Attorney Scott P. Davis is a FL board certified expert in marital and family law. Along with this specialized training, Mr. Davis uses his significant experience and deep understanding of Florida family law to represent families in Tampa, FL. A family man himself, he understands what his clients are going through and handles each and every case with compassion while fighting for the best possible results. Mr. Davis specializes in child custody, divorce, spousal support, parenting plans, child support, and virtually every other facet of family law. If you have a family law issue or question, call The Law Office of Scott P. Davis today.

Catherine Day Hult
Sugar Creek Professional Center
10225 Ulmerton Rd., #11
Largo, FL  33771-3538
Counties Served: Pinellas and Hillsborough
Ph: 727-586-3306 Extension 112

Attorney Catherine Day Hult is a divorce attorney for women with over 20 years experience. She serves Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and offers a free initial consultation.

Law Offices of Ivan T. Lenoir ll, P.A.
502 North Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609
Serving: Hillsborough County
Ph: (813) 251-8320

McMichen, Cinami & Demps
1500 E Concord St,
Orlando, FL, 32803
Serving: All counties
Ph: (407) 898-2161

With over 50 years of combined experience, the law firm of McMichen, Cinami & Demps is dedicated to helping their clients navigate their family law issues, including divorce, prenuptial and post-marital agreements, child custody and support, paternity rights and more. For more information about how we can help you, please call for a free consultation.

The Sanders Firm, P.A.
Silvia Sanders
1801 Lee Road, Suite 255
Winter Park, FL, 32789
Serving: All counties
Ph: (407) 862-5291

The Sanders Firm is a family law and divorce firm that has been representing families in greater Central Florida for over 25 years and are dedicated to world-class client service. We believe each divorce and family law case is unique and commit our time and resources to helping you reach the best possible case resolution. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Sean Smallwood, P.A.
390 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 2300
Orlando, FL, 32801
Serving: Orange, Osceola, Seminole
Ph: (407) 574-6155

Orlando, FL family law and divorce attorney representing women in divorce, child custody, child support, and paternity establishment litigation. Ask about the firm's refundable retainer option.

Florida Parenting Classes

Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course

In Florida, all parents with minor children involved in a dissolution of marriage proceeding or paternity action which includes parental responsibility issues are required to complete a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course before the court will enter a final judgment. It is to your advantage to take the course as soon as possible because the court requires completion of the course by the petitioner within 45 after filing the petition, and the respondent has 45 days to complete the course after service of the petition. Both parents will need to file proof with the court that they have completed the course.

There are online options that fulfill the course requirements, such as the "Children in Between" class. It's an affordable option to attending a physical class and you don't have to worry about scheduling conflicts.

Customized Divorce Papers

This premium service will help you complete your uncontested divorce papers by guiding you through a sequence of questions which will customize the documents to your situation. Your documents for dissolution of marriage will be acceptable for the state of Florida and you'll also receive detailed instructions filing your paperwork. In addition to helping you prepare your divorce papers, you will also be given access to a wide variety of downloadable books and other products which will help you understand the various issues that often come up in a divorce. You'll also have access to "Real Person" customer support if you have questions. Start your FL divorce forms today.

QDRO Preparation

QDRO Document Preparation - Using a smart question and answer wizard, the QdroDesk™ service makes it simple to create a well-crafted QDRO for dividing retirement accounts during your divorce.

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts

Crockett Bohannon
4037 Avalon Park Blvd East, Suite 1 
Orlando, FL 32828
Counties Served: Orange and Seminole 
Phone: (407) 278-5051

Michelle L. Ash, CFP, CDFA
10245 Centurion Pkwy N Suite 105
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: (904) 861-0093
Articles by Michelle Ash

Divorce Financial Planning helps ensure you can reach the best divorce settlement possible while avoiding common, but costly financial mistakes and oversights. We can help you: Weigh your options and base your decisions on actual, clear-cut figures and not emotion. Avoid being surprised by future tax obligations from any assets you receive. Gain the confidence and self-assurance you need to manage your finances.

Financial Planners

Raymond James & Associates
Brian B. Rockwell, ChFC®, CDFA™, CFP®
9040 Tryfon Boulevard
Suite A-104
Trinity, Florida 34655
Ph: 727-372-2530

Divorce Workshop

Second Saturday - Boca Raton
6699 N Federal Hwy #103 
Boca Raton, FL 33487 
Phone: 561-706-8704

We host a monthly 3 hour workshop where women can learn about the emotional, financial and legal aspects of divorce. This workshop is taught by professionals in each field and is sponsored through Second Saturday and Wife.org

Domestic Violence Resources

FL Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Florida Divorce Law

Florida Online Divorce Statutes - Full text from the FL State Senate

Copyright notice regarding state divorce laws

Residency requirements for dissolution of marriage - At least one spouse must reside 6 months in the state before the filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.

Grounds for divorce - There are only two grounds for dissolution of marriage in FL:

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • Mental incapacity of one of the parties for at least three years prior to filing the petition.

If the couple has minor children and one spouse disputes that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may 1) order counseling for either or both parties; 2) continue the proceedings for no more than 3 months to see if reconciliation is possible; or 3) take other actions benefiting the best interests of the child.

Support & Custody during separation - During a marital separation, a spouse may obtain an adjudication of obligation to maintain the spouse and minor children, if any. The court may also establish the parenting plan for the parties in conjunction with the support order.

Premarital agreements - A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties without duress and with reasonable financial disclosure to be valid. Such an agreement may address issues relating to property and liability, spousal support, life insurance policies, etc. After marriage, such an agreement may be modified, revoked, or abandoned only by the written agreement of both parties.

Equitable distribution of assets and debts - Non-marital liabilities and assets acquired before the marriage are not divisible in the divorce. The remaining assets and liabilities will be distributed equally, unless an equitable distribution would be more appropriate based on these factors:

  • the overall economic circumstances of each spouse;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • each spouse's contribution to the marriage either as an wage-earner or as a homemaker or parent, including increasing the value of the marital estate;
  • if either spouse contributed to the education or personal career of the other spouse;
  • whether it would be economically feasible and in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home;
  • if there is evidence of intentional waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the petition was filed or within 2 years prior to filing of the petition;
  • Any other factors necessary to reach an equitable distribution.

Alimony / Spousal support - Either spouse may be awarded alimony in the form of

  • Bridge-the-gap - Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years.
  • Rehabilitative - Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to help a spouse become self-supporting through either redeveloping previous skills or acquiring education or training to become employable. Any order awarding rehabilitative alimony must include a specific rehabilitative plan.
  • Durational - Durational alimony is awarded to provide economic assistance to a spouse for a specific time period following either a marriage of moderate duration or a long-term marriage if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.
  • Permanent - The purpose of permanent alimony is to provide for the necessities of life for a spouse who lacks the financial ability to do so after a marriage ends. When awarding permanent alimony, the court shall include a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties.

Adultery (by either spouse) may be considered when determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. Before awarding alimony, the court determines whether an actual need for support exists and whether the other party has the ability to pay such support.

If these conditions are met, the court will consider these factors in determining alimony: a) length of marriage; b) lifestyle established during the marriage; c) the age and physical/emotional condition of each spouse, as well as their contributions as a homemaker, child care provider, or in supporting the education and career building of the other spouse; d) each spouse's financial resources as well as their earning capacity and sources of income; and e) each spouse's responsibility for the care of minor children they have in common.

Alimony terminates if either party dies or if the party receiving alimony remarries. Alimony may also be modified or terminated based on findings of a supportive relationship existing between the supported party and a person with whom that party resides.

Child custody and support - In Florida, the court assigns "parental responsibility" for the minor children instead of "custody". The court prefers a time-sharing schedule which allows both parents ample time with a child, and bases its determination of the schedule on the "child's best interest" as described in the FL Statute 61.13. If such a shared parental arrangement would be detrimental, the court may order sole parental responsibility to one parent and include provision in the parenting plan to protect the child or abused spouse from further harm. All parents with minor children will need to complete a Parent Education Course before a final judgment will be entered in the case.

Child support is calculated using the Florida Support Guidelines Worksheet, which takes into consideration each parents income, their percentage of time-sharing, daycare costs, health insurance, and uncovered medical expenses. Child support may still be required in a 50/50 equal time-sharing arrangement if one parent earns significantly more than the other parent. Most support orders contain provisions for the termination of child support on the child's 18th birthday, unless otherwise stipulated.

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