Divorce in Florida With a Child From A to Z
Ending a marriage is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. It’s emotionally draining and difficult for all the parties involved, especially the children. There are many aspects to handle—from telling them you’re getting a divorce to deciding who gets custody. Every state has specific divorce laws about dealing with children-related issues.
If you want to get a divorce in Florida—contested or uncontested—first, you have to check if you’re eligible. The divorce court doesn’t have jurisdiction over your case and cannot proceed with the process if you don’t meet residency requirements. Under Florida Statute Section 61.021, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months before filing the petition.
You also need to have legal reasons to file for divorce. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, and the court accepts the following grounds:
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
- Mental incapacity of one of the spouses
There is another requirement for all marriage dissolution proceedings with minor children involved—all parties need to go through the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. The parties have to finish the course before the entry of the final judgment.
Terminating a marriage is significantly more difficult if you and your spouse have children together. There are several important matters you should discuss, negotiate, and agree on. You can do it:
- Between yourselves, with the help of a mediator
- In court, with a judge
According to Florida custody laws:
- It’s in the children’s best interests to maintain regular contact with both parents
- Neither parent has the advantage at the begging of the trial
- Gender is not a factor in the trial—mothers and fathers have the same rights to custody
In the table below, you can see the most important aspects of any custody case in Florida and how the state laws regulate them:
|Children-Related Matters||How They’re Regulated|
|Custody||When determining who gets custody, a judge must put the child’s best interests first. The court considers the following factors when making decisions in custody cases in Florida:
|Parental plan||If you and your spouse cannot resolve disputes and reach a settlement between yourselves, the court must make decisions for you. A judge will establish:
With evidence of neglect, abandonment, child abuse, or domestic violence, a parent can lose their time-sharing rights
|Parenting duties||Parental duties or responsibilities refer to making decisions—health, legal, religious, educational—in the child’s name. If you cannot agree on this matter, a judge will determine who has the decision-making powers|
|Child support||Florida’s Child Support Guidelines outline the amount of support a non-custodial parent has to pay. The amount of child support is based on the following factors:
Having a friendly divorce can save you from all the hassle and protect your children from emotional duress. Simplified uncontested marriage dissolution is a cheaper, quicker, and almost stressless solution. To qualify for an uncontested divorce in Florida, all of the following needs to be true:
- You and your spouse have agreed on:
- None of you is requesting alimony
- At least one of you meets residency requirements
- You have a written divorce settlement agreement
Here is a step-by-step guide to filing for divorce in Florida when you have children:
- Prepare the petition and other divorce papers—You can find the necessary Florida divorce forms online on the Florida Courts website. Make sure to get the packet of forms for divorce with children
- File the original uncontested documents with the court—Sign the documents, make at least two copies of each, and file them at your local clerk’s office
- Serve divorce papers to your spouse—Have a sheriff, professional process service, or anyone older than 18 (not involved in the case) deliver the papers to your spouse
If you and your spouse manage to negotiate all of the important matters regarding your children, you have to put it in writing. Having an ironclad divorce settlement agreement is important for two reasons:
- The judge won’t finalize your divorce without it
- It will prevent any potential disputes in the future
To get a professionally written divorce settlement agreement without paying the earth, open DoNotPay and follow these steps:
- Choose the Divorce Settlement Agreement feature
- Answer our chatbot’s questions
- Specify if you need us to connect you with a notary
You’ll receive a personalized divorce settlement agreement within minutes! All you need to do is sign and have it notarized.
If you want to know more about divorce in Florida or in general, visit our learning center or check out the following table:
|Divorce in Florida||General|
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