Filing for Divorce without an Attorney

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Qualifications for Divorce

Filing for divorce is often portrayed as a long legal matter with lawyers for both sides fighting in the courts, often needlessly and costing both litigants a tremdous amount of money. However, divorces can be conducted (very civily) without attorneys involved as long as both parties are able to agree to the terms of the divorce.  
Florida divorce law provides a process called a 'Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.' Spouses can use this to get a quick/rapid divorce, about 30 days from filing to finalization, as long as they have agreed on the terms of the divorce and it's uncontested. This does have some requirements that must be met, however. In addition to both parties agreeing to this process, the couple must not have any children under 18 or dependent children, the wife must not be pregnant, and no alimony can be involved. At least one of the people involved must have lived in Florida for the last six months, and both parties must agree fully to the terms of the divorce and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This process also eliminates both parties' rights to a trial and appeals.
The first step is to make sure your marriage qualifies for divorce in Florida. The state is one of many that has removed fault as a necessary grounds for divorce. Instead, it must only be proved that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," though fault can still be used in the division of assets and assigning alimony if the divorce goes to court. In such a case, however, attorneys will need to be involved to guide you through the legal process. To keep attorneys and their fees from entering into the proceedings, both parties will have to agree the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed. There must also be proof that the marriage actually exists to begin with, and that at least one party has lived in Florida for the past six months.