September 29, 2020

Steps to Filing for Divorce in Jacksonville

Looking to start the divorce process? You came to the right place. We’re here to help!

When going through a divorce, it’s in your best interest to work with a professional Jacksonville divorce attorney who can give you legal advice and who knows exactly how the divorce process in Florida works. 

Florida is a no-fault divorce state; so that means there are no grounds for divorce such as adultery, abandonment, or other traditional grounds for divorce. All that is necessary is to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Under some circumstances, the court will stay the divorce pending marriage counseling.

To start a divorce in Jacksonville, Florida, one of the parties to a divorce must show proof of Florida residency for at least six months prior to filing the petition for dissolution of marriage. Normally, residency can be proven by using a Florida driver’s license showing the date of issue at least six months before the date the petition for dissolution of marriage was filed.

To begin a divorce proceeding, you must file the court forms pertaining to your situation. You can file for a petition for a dissolution of marriage to say your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which means you cannot work out your problems or live together anymore. 

Here are some basic steps of filing for divorce in Jacksonville:

  • Follow the rules when filing for divorce. The Duval County Clerk of Court requests you include  your name, address, email, and telephone number on all filed documents. Make sure certain forms are complete and correct. Sign the forms and get them notarized, when applicable. 
  • Determine if you’re filing for a simple or regular divorce in Duval County. 
    • In a simple divorce, both parties agree on all issues and give up certain legal rights under the regular divorce process. For a simple divorce, you cannot have children 18 and over, you cannot be pregnant, one party has lived in Florida for the past six months, both parties agree to the division or property and debts, both parties sign the joint petition, both parties pay the filing fee. 
    • In a regular divorce, the parties must proceed with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • File the appropriate forms with the court. Choose the correct petition form depending on your situation. The petition form options include:
    • Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 12.901(a))
    • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (Form 12.901(b)(1))
    • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (Form 12.901(b)(2))
    • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with No Dependent or Minor Child(ren) or Property (Form 12.901(b)(3))
    • When the couple has children under 18, one of the additional forms they must file is a Parenting Plan. Different parenting plans include:
    • Parenting Plans involving time-sharing (Form 12.995(a))
    • Supervised/Safety-Focused Parenting Plan (Form 12.995(b))
    • Relocation/Long Distance Parenting Plan (Form 12.995(c))
  • Pay the filing fees. 
  • Serve your spouse and comply with requirements like mediation or a parent education course, if required and applicable. 
  • Appear before the judge. The judge will sign the petition for divorce if the parties have reached a resolution. If a resolution isn’t met, they will have a trial before a judge who decides on all issues including allocation of assets and debts, custody, parenting time, etc. 

 Looking for a Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville?

If you want to claim alimony, have children, or property, you should seek the help of a Jacksonville divorce attorney. With all these variables, a divorce can become complicated and it’s best you work with someone who knows the law. 

These steps listed above are informational and this content legal advice. To get legal advice, reach out to an experienced family law attorney.  

William J. Dorsey is a divorce attorney and understands each divorce case is unique. Give us a call and we can help you through the entire divorce process.  He will happily go over in detail the divorce process and steps with you. 

As a Jacksonville divorce attorney, with more than 35 years of experience in the state of Florida, Dorsey knows Florida divorce law and how to apply it to get his clients the best possible outcome. He guides his clients through the entire process.  

If you are considering divorce, our team would be happy to help you learn more about the divorce process in Florida.  By hiring a divorce attorney, you’re laying the groundwork for a better result, especially if your divorce is complicated.  

William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried numerous trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts. To request your in-person consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office or if you have any questions, call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Divorce Attorney page for more information.

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