How Long Will it Take to Get a Divorce in Miami?

Understanding the Timeline for Divorce Proceedings in Miami, Florida

When you make the decision to divorce your spouse, the journey ahead may feel stressful and overwhelming. A divorce can be lengthy and time-consuming. It is rare that divorcing spouses agree on every aspect of life after the divorce, and yet many couples want proceedings to move without delays.

Florida Law requires you to wait at least 20 days from the date you file, and a simplified divorce can take up to as little as 30 days. However, in order for a divorce to move forward, you and your spouse must agree on everything, and this can often take more than a year.

Contact Miami Family Law Group, PLLC Today!

Divorce has the potential to be lengthy and expensive. By seeking legal representation, you are ensuring you have a skilled and experienced Miami divorce lawyer who can provide legal advice throughout the process. You also ensure that you have an experienced individual who can help when you need to gather evidence and fill out legal financial documents, which, if done efficiently, can help in moving your divorce along quicker.

Here at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC, we will support you in mediation to ensure that key decisions are made quickly, and if your case does require a divorce trial, we will fight tirelessly for an outcome that you and your family are satisfied with.

Contact an experienced divorce attorney today at 305-520-7874 to schedule an initial meeting.

No-Fault Divorce State

It is important to note that Florida is a "no-fault" state. This means that in Florida, the spouse who files the petition may not lay the fault on their partner for the termination of the marriage. Grounds such as adultery, cruelty, or desertion cannot be claimed as reasons for divorce. In most cases, you and your ex will claim that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" with no chance of reconciliation.

Due to its "no-fault" title, the court will generally not consider spousal misconduct when they are deciding the value of alimony to award. In Florida, this decision is based on what each individual needs and their ability to pay. However, in more severe cases of adultery, the court may make an exception. Even in these circumstances, adultery alone will not be used as a means to calculate alimony, unless it has somehow increased the affected spouse's need for support or has significantly depleted marital assets.

Divorce Petition

Florida divorces require residency in Florida before you can file for divorce. You or your spouse will need to prove that you have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing a petition for the dissolution of your marriage.

In order to save time, when you are filing for divorce, you should provide a copy of either:

  • Florida driver's license, identification card, or voter's registration card
  • A notarized and signed form from someone who will legally swear to have personal knowledge that you or your spouse have had a residency in Florida for more than six months

The initial part of the divorce process can seem daunting, as there are many forms that need to be filled out. Of course, each situation is unique, but generally, your petition will state all assets and debts, children and their ages, any aspects of the divorce that have been agreed upon, and any issues that are still in dispute.

Our divorce attorneys can assist you in selecting the most appropriate information that will be required for you and your individual case.

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

The length of your divorce will depend on many factors, including whether you have an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce. Of course, the more issues that are contested, the more time the divorce may take, especially if one spouse dodges being served divorce papers.

Once your spouse does receive their summons and petition, they will have 20 days in which they must file their answer. The next part of the process usually takes around 3 months. This is where both sides must make their financial disclosures and send relevant documentation to the other side. This will include bank statements, tax returns, retirement account statements, pay stubs, and any other relevant financial documents.

If there are minor children involved, Florida requires a course of parenting. This usually takes around four hours, and the divorce cannot be finalized without it.

Florida requires mediation in any divorce case that is contested. This mediation usually happens between four to five months after filing, and often, you will find the divorce comes to a conclusion at this point. Mediation can be done privately or through your local courthouse. However, it might be useful to know that if you opt for a private mediator, you are likely to save time in the divorce process.

The final hearing of a typical divorce in a Florida divorce happens between four and six months after the initial filing of the petition.

What Can Speed Up or Slow Down the Process?

Each divorce case is different. However, there are some common things you may want to keep in mind if you want your divorce to move as quickly as possible. Some of the common issues that slow down proceedings are:

  1. Availability of the judge
  2. The accuracy of the documentation you and your spouse have filled out
  3. The time in which contested issues may be resolved in mediation
  4. Failure to follow proper legal procedures

Divorce in Miami

The length of the divorce process will depend upon your personal situation.

Uncontested Divorces

An uncontested divorce is when both divorcing spouses fully agree to each element of the petition without quarrel. An uncontested filing is usually quicker, as the need for mediation or a judge is omitted.

Sometimes, couples opt for quick online services so that they completely remove the necessity of court intervention. Whilst this may seem appealing, it is highly advisable that you enlist the legal support of a professional. Once decisions have been made, it can be very difficult to change them. It is always best to protect yourself and your family by using a trained divorce attorney.

Initially Contested Cases

An initially contested case is the most common type of divorce in Florida. The paperwork is filed in court in the traditional way, and the other spouse will then be served papers through a private process server.

The circumstances of each couple will be completely different. However, even if both spouses are in complete agreement that they no longer wish to be married, if there is even one issue that is contested in the divorce petition, then the case becomes contested.

More often than not, there is at least one point of contention within the divorce. This is usually in regard to child support and custody arrangements or finances. Many couples agree on the divorce itself but cannot come to an agreement about the money being divided.

With the support of mediation, initially contested cases may come to a conclusion with a compromise for both spouses. The disputed issues are met at a "halfway point," and the case then becomes an uncontested divorce.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce differs from an uncontested divorce in the sense that one spouse contests one or more aspects of the petition that has been served. Of course, this type of divorce will obviously take the longest time to finalize, because spouses must agree on every single contested issue before anything can progress.

If there are issues that simply cannot be resolved through mediation alone, the case will need to go to trial. At this point, a judge will take over, and evidence will be gathered and examined.

Under the circumstances of a contested filing, a skilled Miami divorce lawyer will prove invaluable. They can support you and your spouse with mediation before a trial, and if this does not work, they will provide essential legal help in gathering evidence and creating a solid case to present to the judge.

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

If you and your spouse have qualified for an uncontested divorce, and you both agree on the terms of the petition, you may want to consider a simplified dissolution of marriage. This type of divorce is the quickest way to terminate a marriage in Florida. However, not all couples will qualify for a simplified divorce.

You must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage:

  • Both individuals agree that the marriage is broken beyond repair
  • You and your spouse have no children under 18 years of age and are not pregnant
  • Neither spouse is asking for alimony
  • Both spouses must agree to complete a financial affidavit (a written declaration about your finances)
  • Both spouses must agree to complete a property settlement agreement (a written declaration of the division of property and debt)
  • Both spouses must attend the final hearing

Of course, just like any divorce in Florida, one of both spouses must have lived in Florida for the past six months.

If you are unsure about which type of divorce is best in your situation, contact one of our friendly and understanding divorce attorneys for an initial meeting. They will be able to advise you as to what path is best for you and your spouse.

Contact an Experienced Miami, FL Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. Every divorce case is unique, and at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC, we endeavor to ensure that your personal case is treated with the care and compassion it deserves. We understand that you want your divorce to be finalized as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Contact our experienced and skilled divorce attorneys today at 305-520-7874 to schedule an initial meeting.

Contact Miami Family Law Group, PLLC

Our attorneys are ready to help address your legal needs. Schedule an appointment by calling 305-520-7874 or contacting us online.

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