How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?
If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering how long it will take and how much of an impact it will have on your life. Certainly there are a lot of stories about long, drawn-out divorces that were costly and dragged on for years. However, the fact of the matter is that every divorce is different. There are dozens of factors that can affect the timeline for divorce. Whether the divorce is uncontested, the amount of assets involved, whether there are shared minor children, and how collaborative versus combative the proceedings are can all heavily affect the length of time for a divorce.
Residency Requirement for Divorce in Florida
One thing that it is important to consider when considering the timeline for a Florida divorce is the residency requirement. In order to have standing to file for divorce in Florida, you or your spouse must have been a resident in Florida for at least six months. If you have not yet established residency, talk to a Florida divorce attorney to determine how you can begin working toward meeting the residency requirement as soon as possible.
Waiting Period for Divorce in Florida
Once you have met the residency requirement and filed for divorce in Florida, there is a mandatory waiting period that begins tolling as soon as the divorce papers are filed. This waiting period is 20 days. In reality, your divorce will not be granted 20 days after you file your divorce papers though. More likely, it will be assigned a court date in approximately three months. How long the divorce takes to process from there depends on whether the divorce is contested and what matters need to be revolved.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Florida
An uncontested divorce is one where the spouses are not in disagreement about anything. In other words, there are no unresolved issues that the court needs to decide on. The spouses have come to a mutual conclusion on all outstanding issues and matters (with the help of their lawyers of course). All the court has to do is review their proposed settlement and agreements and accept or reject them. The court will always defer to the judgment of the couple when possible. However, in the case of a custody or parenting agreement, the court will review it based on the best interest of the child as well. Naturally, an uncontested divorce will progress much more quickly through the court. In most cases, an uncontested divorce will be concluded within three or four months, and most of that time will be spent waiting for the court to grant the divorce. The length of a contested divorce will vary depending on the number of issues that are being contested, but can easily last over a year.
Talk to a Florida Family Law Attorney
If you are contemplating divorce in Florida, contact the experienced Family Law attorneys at the SG Firm today and schedule a consultation.