How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?

Marriage can be a great adventure. However, sometimes you just have to call it quits to move on.

Statistically, around half of all married couples across the USA end up divorced. Feeling emotionally devastated and lost is quite common during the process of marriage dissolution. No wonder that many divorcing couples want to end it as soon as possible.

If you are thinking of breaking the bonds of marriage too, the answer to the question “How long does a divorce take in Florida?” probably bothers you as much as many other divorcees in the state.

Make sure you check this guide to find out what types of divorces there are in Florida and how long they may take.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?

When it comes to getting divorced in any state, including Florida, there is no single period for finalizing a divorce. The duration of the Florida divorce process will largely depend on many factors, such as minor kids in the marriage, the reason to divorce, as well as whether spouses can or can’t peacefully settle their issues.

In other words, depending on the case, a divorce may take from a few months up to several years. Mel Gibson’s divorce, for instance, took it around 2 years to finalize. The longest processes Florida has ever known, however, lasted up to 6 years.

To cut the long story short, let’s take a closer look at different divorce processes and find out what circumstances may cut or extend the process duration.

How Long Does a Simplified Divorce Take in Florida?

A simplified divorce is the fastest way to untie the knots. Not every couple can qualify for this type, but it is definitely the speediest divorce you may count on.

To qualify for this quick divorce in Florida, both parties must be willing to divorce and have no unsolved disputes regarding the property. The spouses must also have no minor children in marriage or dependents, as well as neither of them should seek financial support.

After both parties submit a petition of divorce and their financial affidavits, the court will order a 20-day Florida divorce waiting period. On the condition that the submitted information was true and correct, the court will finalize the divorce once the waiting period ends.

From the beginning until the end, a simplified divorce process usually takes around 4 weeks.

How Long Would it Take to Finalize the Uncontested Divorce?

The uncontested divorce is very much similar to the simplified procedure but it takes longer to finalize it. A waiting period would typically take around three months. This means that together with the paperwork preparation, the uncontested divorce may last up to 3.5-4 months.

Unlike a simplified procedure, couples with minor kids may qualify for an uncontested divorce. But similarly, they have to reach a complete agreement regarding child custody and support, property rights, distribution of debts, and other issues that may arise in a divorce.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida When It’s Initially Contested?

The situation is more complicated with initially contested cases.

An initially contested divorce is a traditional procedure when one party files the Petition of Divorce with the court and the other party is served with the papers. Once the court receives the Petition, a sheriff or the process server will have to deliver the papers in person, and the further result can be absolutely unpredictable.

The duration of such divorce varies greatly from one couple to another. Whether the parties disagree upon most of the issues or just one, the case becomes contested. Most commonly, it relates to the financial side of marriage. Each party may be eager to divorce, but unable to find a property and money-related solution that would satisfy them both.

The process may be even more aggravated by the unwillingness of one spouse to admit that they are truly getting divorced. This makes receiving parties hide from the servers that may extend the process for a few months.

However, once the Recipient is served, he/she will have 20 days to sign up and file the papers with the court. Then, the court will start the discovery process, which may continue for around 3 months, and oblige spouses to exchange their financial papers. If there are minor kids in the marriage, spouses may also be ordered to attend a 4-hour parenting course before they can be officially divorced.

That said an average initially contested divorce takes around 6 months. This is usually the period required from filing the petition to hearing the final word of the judge. However, most stubborn couples may be ordered to go through a mediation procedure, which may add up another few months to the total.

What Divorces Are the Most Protracted?

Fully contested cases are the most vicious ones in the Florida divorce arena. They are the divorces most celebrities go through. They are long, exhausting, and financially draining.

Contested divorce processes are normally fiercer and involve battles of attorneys, which requires a more detailed discovery process and mediation more often than not.

Spouses who choose contested divorces usually have serious insoluble conflicts, so only preparations for the trial may take up to a year.

In total, a contested process may draw out from several months to years. The average duration is around 6-8 months, while the longest processes continued for up to 5-6 years.

Final Thoughts

How long will it take you to get divorced in Florida? 4 to 6 months may be enough for most divorce cases. On the other hand, if you enjoy heated up court trials or bureaucratic accuracy is not your edge, a divorce process may continue almost infinitely.

However, if you want to finalize the divorce as quickly as possible, both parties should be ready to bury the hatchet of war and engage in negotiations.

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