FLORIDA DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
FLORIDA 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Florida. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in the
Florida divorce courts
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Florida divorce papers (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step procedures to file your own Florida divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce in Florida, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement Form or learn more about the uncontested divorce process in Florida. .
Online Divorce FAQ: Florida
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Florida.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Florida?
Florida 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Florida 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Florida?
Florida has two basic requirements to file for divorce (or “dissolution of marriage”) in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Florida?
In order to get divorced in Florida, you or your spouse must have lived in the state during the six-month period just before you filed your divorce papers. (Fla. Stat. § 61.021 (2022).)
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
Florida law allows two legally acceptable reasons (or “grounds”) for dissolution of marriage in the state:
that your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” or
your spouse has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years, as determined under a court judgment of incapacity.
(Fla. Stat. § 61.052 (2022).)
As you might guess, the second ground applies in very few cases. The vast majority of Florida couples who are getting divorced simply declare that their marriage is irretrievably broken, essentially meaning that there’s no reasonable prospect that they’ll get back together.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Florida?
Many Florida residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Florida 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Florida 3StepDivorce™ as long as you meet the state’s residency requirement, you and your spouse agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken, and your divorce is uncontested. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement, signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Florida 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Florida 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Florida 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the marital settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Florida If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Florida 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Florida 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Florida 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Florida with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Fla. Stat. §§ 61.503(7), 61.514 (2022).)
How Will My Online Divorce in Florida Deal With Child Support?
In Florida, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Florida has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Florida Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. Florida law requires that any time the amount of child support is more than 5% higher or lower than the amount under the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances. (Fla. Stat. § 61.30 (2022).)
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Florida is final, you (or your ex) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there’s been a change in the circumstances, such as a change in the parenting schedule, either parent’s income, or the child’s financial needs. Generally, any change must be substantial, permanent, and involuntary (for instance, not because the parent paying support chose to quit or take a lower paying job).
If the Child Support Program in Florida’s Department of Revenue has been providing enforcement services in your case, you may ask them to review your current support order to see if it should be changed, based on current circumstances. If they decide it should, they’ll start a court proceeding to modify support.
No matter who files the petition for modification of child support, a judge will review the request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order. (Fla. Stat. §§ 61.14, 409.2564(11)(a); Fla. Fam. Law Rules Proc., form 12.905(b) (2022).)
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. However, you’ll still need to submit a modification petition, along with your agreement, for the judge’s review.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Florida 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
selling the house and splitting the proceeds
transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Florida 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Florida?
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Florida divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Florida?
When you get your completed forms with Florida 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to take the paperwork to the circuit court clerk's office in the county where you and your spouse last lived together as a married couple. (Fla. Stat. § 47.011 (2022).)
You also have the option of filing your divorce papers electronically through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal.
How Much Is Florida’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
The court’s fee to file divorce papers in Florida is usually about $400, but it can be slightly different from county to county. You can find out the exact amount, as well as any limits on the payment method, from the court clerk’s office.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
You can apply for a waiver of the filing fee by submitting an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status. You’ll need to give information about your income, other assets, and debts. The court clerk will decide if you qualify for the waiver.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Florida?
After you file for divorce in Florida, there’s a minimum 20-day waiting period before the judge may enter your final dissolution judgment. But it usually takes longer than that, because you need to build in time to serve your spouse with the divorce the papers and give your spouse time to respond.
Typically, it takes about two to four months to complete the process of getting a final, uncontested divorce in Florida. (By way of comparison, contested divorces can take a year or more.)
How Can I Get More Help With Florida Online Divorce?
Florida 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Florida Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Florida law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.