• SIMPLIFIED DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
Certain Florida couples are eligible to dissolve their marriage by
way of a simplified procedure. These dissolutions are "do-it-yourself"
and were designed so the services of an attorney may not be necessary.
Couples are responsible, however, for filing all necessary documents
correctly, and the couple is required to appear before a judge together
when the final dissolution is granted. If you desire the services
of an attorney for this dissolution process, usually it can be completed
The simplified dissolution of marriage process is designed for
couples who do not have dependent children and have agreed on a
division of their property and debts. Therefore, not everyone can
qualify. A husband and wife can use the simplified dissolution of
marriage only if: (a) they both agree to the use of this form of
dissolution proceeding; (b) they have no minor (under 18) or dependent
children; (c) have no adopted children under the age of 18; (d)
the wife is not pregnant; (e) at least one of the parties has lived
in Florida for the past six months; (f) the parties have agreed
on the division of all of their property (assets) and obligations
(debts); and (g) both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably
broken and want to end their marriage because of serious permanent
differences. Couples wanting to use the simplified process must
meet all these conditions. If not, they must use the regular dissolution
of marriage process.
There are substantial differences between a simplified and a regular
dissolution of marriage. In a regular dissolution, each spouse has
the right to examine and cross-examine the other as a witness, and
to obtain documents concerning the other's income, expenses, assets
and liabilities before having a trial or settlement of the case.
With a simplified dissolution, financial information may be requested
but it is not required to be given. In a simplified dissolution
there is no trial and no appeal. Also, with a simplified dissolution
neither the husband nor the wife can receive support (alimony) from
If the husband and wife agree on a dissolution, and prefer to use
the simplified form of dissolution, then they should both contact
the clerk of the circuit court in their area and obtain a copy of
the booklet titled "Simplified Dissolution Information"
for more detailed information and forms.