Petition for divorceThis is the next post in my series on how long a divorce may take in Melbourne and other parts of Florida. My last article discussed various issues which may prolong a divorce. It is important that you take the advice of your attorney as your matter proceeds through the legal system. Doing so can help to ensure that you are not unnecessarily prolonging the case by disputing issues which have a foreseeable outcome. This article will address the topic of whether someone can obtain a “quick” divorce in the state of Florida. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Florida will not grant a divorce unless one spouse has lived in the state for at least six months

It is common for individuals to wonder if they can obtain a “quick” divorce after they separate from their spouse. It is important to understand, however, that Florida Courts will not grant a divorce unless one of the two spouses has been a resident of the state for at least prior to the filing of a case. In other words, if someone has separated from their spouse and moved to Florida, they must reside in the state for at least six months before filing for divorce. Also, it must be understood that it is not enough for the spouse to have simply been in the state; they must have actually resided here for the requisite time. This can mean moving one’s residence, obtaining a driver’s license, etc.

Even if you meet the aforementioned residency requirement, filing for a divorce in Florida can be problematic if your spouse has never resided in the state. This is due to the fact that Florida’s courts may lack jurisdiction over issues such as spousal support and child custody. This is best explained through example. Suppose Joe and his spouse have always resided in Texas and have two children together. Joe decides to leave his wife and he moves to Florida. After six months, he files for divorce. Joe’s wife files an action in Texas and argues that the case should be heard there. The Florida Court could enter a divorce, but would not have jurisdiction over the wife’s claim for spousal support and it would lack jurisdiction over the children. The Court would likely dismiss the claim in favor of the Texas action. While how the Court will rule will always depend on the facts of the case, this example demonstrates how the Court may not allow a Florida divorce to proceed.

A simplified or uncontested divorce may be completed if both spouses are in agreement

I have previously discussed how long a Florida uncontested divorce may take. This process may be completed even if only one spouse lives in Florida. This is due to the fact that the two sides would be in agreement on all issues and there would be no disputes over personal jurisdiction. This means that if you have resided in our state for at least six months, and you are in agreement with your spouse on all issues, then it may be possible to complete a divorce within three to six weeks.

I am a Melbourne divorce lawyer who practices no area other than family law. I understand the need to move your situation forward and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.