What may seem like a counterintuitive response, the first option for divorce is to not get one. Divorce can sometimes be messy, and despite some of the options listed below which outline how to get a divorce, sometimes the best option is to stay married. This does not always mean that you would be stuck in the exact same situation you are in now. You could use what is referred to as a “postnuptial” agreement. These agreements allow you to “abate,” or skip the divorce proceedings for a set amount of time, or indefinitely. These agreements are pretty complicated but are sometimes the best options for those individuals with a higher net worth, or situations where a divorce, which becomes part of the public record, is not in the best interest of the children or either party.

Counseling
Another option for divorce is the very simple avenue of reconciliation. So many clients will speak with us and tell us that they have not even spoken to their significant other about marriage counseling. If you are even thinking about divorce as an option at the present moment, you and your significant other should consider counseling. While it may not “save” the marriage, it will usually help you figure out what your next step should be. At Yaffa Family Law Group, we recommend Jen Warren with Seeking Empowerment and Allison Brown Counseling.

Simplified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
OK! Now is the part you have likely been waiting for. You need a divorce, how do you do this? It depends. Many individuals who do not own any real property with their significant other, have no shared children, and do not have any significant shared debts, can, in the State of Florida, file for what is known as a “Simplified Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” Of course, questions arise like “who gets the dog?,” and as a family lawyer, getting advice or at least a free consult is always recommended and is certainly something that I welcome. An informed client is a great client!

Traditional Divorce
Next begins the more traditional process of divorce. In Florida, parties are required to have been residents for six months prior to filing the petition. Georgia has the same requirement. In Both states, the parties then go into a discovery process. In Florida, that process requires the filing of a very detailed financial affidavit. Depending on the parties’ financial situation, they may be required to file either the “long” or the “short” form. These are just names as each form is relatively involved.

 

About the Author

Richard J. Boyle is a family law attorney and retired police officer for more than thirteen years. Richard is currently licensed to practice law in both Florida and Georgia.