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How to get a divorce in Florida

If you or your spouse haven't lived in the Sunshine State for at least half a year, you'll need to file elsewhere.

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There’s only one requirement necessary to get divorced in Florida. And since it’s a no-fault state, you don’t need to prove your spouse did anything wrong in order to file. How much it costs and how long it takes all depends on how fast you and your spouse can come to an agreement on terms — though at a minimum it will cost around $400 and take at least 20 days to complete the process.

Requirements to get divorced in Florida

Before you can get a divorce in Florida, you or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months.

Once you meet the residency requirement, you can file a divorce petition to get the divorce process underway.

What are the grounds for divorce in Florida?

As a no-fault state, Florida only has two grounds for divorce — and neither require you to prove any wrongdoing:

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken
  • Your spouse is mentally incapacitated

If you have a child under the age of 18 or your spouse disputes that the marriage is not permanently broken, the court may take measures to have you attempt to reconcile the marriage.

Quick facts about divorce in Florida

  • Equitable distribution state
  • Divorce filings are public record
  • Takes a minimum of 20 days from filing to finalize your divorce and receive a decree
  • Takes approximately 60 days from your divorce date to get your divorce certificate

Average cost of divorce in Florida

It costs around $400 to file your divorce petition with the court in Florida, not including photocopies, notary services or other miscellaneous expenses. You’ll also pay extra if you choose to hire an attorney or use an online divorce service to populate the forms for you.

Using online divorce services

You can expect to pay anywhere between $150 to $1,500 for most online divorce services. But some premium providers that offer white-glove online services can run you upwards of $6,000.

Your final bill greatly depends on how much assistance you need. For example, some services only help you prepare the legal forms, while others do a bit more, including having a member of their legal team review your legal documents before you file and serving your spouse the divorce papers on your behalf.

Hiring lawyers

The average cost of a divorce in Florida when hiring divorce attorneys ranges from $11,000 to $14,000, according to a study by Martindale Nolo Research.

If your divorce is relatively simple with few disputes, the cost will likely be around a few thousand dollars at a minimum. But for contested divorces involving complicated assets or child custody disputes, the cost could be as high as $23,000.

Divorce lawyers typically bill clients hourly — with the average rate in Florida running from $260 to $333 per hour. To avoid a huge bill at the end of your divorce, try negotiating a flat fee with your attorney instead.

Doing it yourself

Preparing your divorce documents on your own might cost as little as $400 because you’re only responsible for the court fees. While a DIY divorce may be the most economical option, it’s also the most work. You’ll need to do your own research to track down and fill out all the legal forms required.

Here are a few estimates of fees you might come across when filing for divorce in Florida on your own:

  • Divorce petition filing fee: $400
  • Separate maintenance filing fee: $300
  • Custody, visitation, child support filing fee: $300
  • Certifying a copy of any document in public records: $2
  • Making a copy of any document in public records: $0.15 per page

What if I can’t afford the filing fee for a divorce in Florida?

You can apply for civil indigent status to waive the filing fee. The application has a one-time administrative fee of $25, and you’ll need to provide information about your income, assets and expenses to show that the cost would prove to be a financial hardship for you.

How long will it take to get a divorce in Florida?

By law, it will take at least 20 days before a divorce is finalized in Florida — the clock starts ticking when you first file your petition with the court.

However, a divorce may take longer than 20 days depending on the complexity of issues and how quickly you and your spouse can agree to the terms.

Issues that could lengthen the divorce process include:

  • Division of property
  • Visitation rights
  • Custody of children
  • Child support
  • Alimony

According to a study by Martindale Nolo Research, the average divorce takes 12 months to complete with divorce attorneys — or 15 months if children are involved.

Couples that can agree on most issues generally have a faster divorce than those forced to battle it out in court. For example, an online service for uncontested divorce can help you and your spouse uncouple in as little as a month.

Can I get a divorce in Florida without going to court?

Yes. Most uncontested divorces, where you and your spouse can agree to a divorce settlement, don’t need to be settled in court. You can choose to use an online divorce service, do it yourself or hire lawyers to file and finalize the paperwork and potentially skip the lengthy court hearing.

If you can’t see eye to eye on some things, you can try to work out the issues through mediation or arbitration before going to court.

Compare online divorce services

Online divorce services are best for uncontested divorces. While all of these providers help prepare your legal documents for you, some offer additional services for an extra fee, like submitting your forms to the courts on your behalf or serving your spouse.

Name Product Cost Includes filing papers with court? File without spouse Legal assistance available Customer service
3 Step Divorce
$299 - $336
No - you must file and pay court fees
Yes
No
Phone, Email
File within one business day of your start date with 3StepDivorce and qualify for a $50 cash rebate. Payment plans available.
LegalZoom online divorce
$499
No - you must file and pay court fees
Yes
Yes
Phone, Email, Live chat
File for an uncontested divorce online or find legal resources to help guide you through the divorce process.
OnlineDivorce.com
$139
No - you must file and pay court fees
Yes
No
Phone, Email
Ready-to-file divorce forms for one flat fee. Step-by-step directions to help simplify uncontested divorces.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How to get a divorce online in Florida

An online divorce service can speed up the process by gathering all the legal forms you’ll need and populating them with your information.

While the signup process may vary by service, you’ll typically follow these steps:

  1. Go to the online divorce service website and take a short questionnaire to see if you qualify.
  2. If you do, complete an online interview with questions that include whether you have children and how you plan to divide your assets and debts.
  3. Enter a payment method and receive your divorce papers.
  4. Sign the documents and submit them to your county clerk to officially file for divorce.

      Bottom line

      No matter which divorce method you choose, you’ll need to meet the Florida residency requirements first. The most cost-effective option is to fill them out yourself or use an online divorce service for some guidance. For contested divorces, you can try mediation or arbitration before battling it out in a courtroom.

      Take a look at our step-by-step guide to getting divorced for more information about protecting your finances in the divorce process.

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