Divorce Laws in Florida ([year] Guide) | Survive Divorce (2022)

Divorce Laws in Florida ([year] Guide) | Survive Divorce (1)

Divorce Laws in Florida

Marriages in Florida can end through an annulment or by divorce. Legal separation is not recognized or permitted in the state. Florida is a no-fault state, and a spouse only needs to claim that a marriage is “irretrievably broken” or that one of the parties is mentally incapacitated. There are requirements that must be met to claim mental incapacity. You can view them here.

There are also residency requirements When it comes to filing for divorce in Florida. At a minimum, one spouse or the other must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to initiating a divorce.

After a dissolution of marriage has been initiated, there is a 20-day waiting period that a couple must go through before a case may be heard and a Judge of the Circuit Court signs a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. This is a best-case scenario in an uncontested divorce. Many divorces often require more time to sort through issues such as child support and custody, alimony (e.g., which type will be the most appropriate, like bridge the gap or other), and a division of assets among many other things.

There are several laws on the books that cover specific parts of the Florida divorce process. The laws that govern marriage in the state are found in Chapter 61 of the Florida Civil Practice and Procedures.

Here are some of the most common legal questions and issues that come up during a divorce in Florida:

  • Property Issues
  • Support Issues
  • Custody and Visitation
  • Process
  • Other Issues

Property Issues

Marital Property in Florida

The distribution of marital assets and debts in Florida is covered by Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. While some states are known as community property states, Florida is governed by equitable distribution. This means that all marital property is divided fairly among two divorcing spouses. It does not mean that the division will be a 50/50 split, but rather what is considered appropriate based on a number of circumstances.

Only marital property (generally all assets acquired during the marriage) is considered for equitable division.

Assets acquired before a marriage or after a couple separates, or property that was given to one spouse as a gift or through inheritance, as well as some personal injury settlements, are deemed non-marital property.

When a divorce in Florida takes place, assets that are legally deemed non-marital property do not need to be considered among the assets that need to be divided equitably between spouses.

But there are exceptions.

Inheritance given to only one spouse that acquired during a marriage is considered non-marital property but if the assets of the inheritance are commingled (i.e., in a bank account, or if both people live in an inherited residence), then it may be possible to claim that the inherited assets have become marital property.

In cases where the home was bought before two people married, if both people live in the home during the marriage and both contribute to mortgage payments, then the case can be made that the house is no longer separate property, but a marital one.

Deciding what is marital vs. non-marital property will have a big impact on how assets are divided as well as on child support and alimony determinations.

Courts prefer that a couple tries to decide how marital assets will be divided which can be laid out in a Marital Settlement Agreement. This covers a division of assets, debts, custody and support issues and what all the terms of a dissolution of marriage will be. Asset division often leads to disagreements, and in Florida, attendance at a mediation is often required to try and achieve a reasonable agreement.

Pro Tip:If you’re considering a DIY divorce, do yourself a favor and use an online divorce service. I recommend 3StepDivorce. You can read an in-depth review here – or go to 3StepDivorce now to get started for only $84.


Divorce Laws in Florida ([year] Guide) | Survive Divorce (2)

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means debts are distributed in a fair manner which may or may not mean a 50/50 split. In some cases, a spouse with more income will be required to take on more debt. If one spouse was a reckless spender, or accumulated most of the debt, then they might be responsible for a majority of paying it off.

Premarital debt that was acquired before marriage is considered to be the responsibility of the spouse who incurred it, unless the debt is commingled during the marriage. For example, if either spouse had a credit card before marriage, but both spouses used the credit card during the marriage, then both are responsible for the debt.

Non-marital debt means that a debt is listed in only one spouse’s name, such as with a credit card or with a business loan. If only one spouse benefitted from the debt, then they are responsible for it in a divorce.

(Video) 5 Things to Know About Divorce in Florida

Most debt in a marriage is joint debt, meaning that it was incurred during the marriage and both spouses are responsible for it. This can be credit cards, auto loans, home loans or other debt incurred to buy personal goods.

Division of Assets in Florida

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Florida is an equitable distribution state and that means assets will be divided in a fair and equitable manner, but not necessarily with a 50/50 split. Judges will start with the premise of making an equal distribution but will then adjust the division based on several possible factors that may result in either spouse receiving more than the other.

Some of these factors will include:

  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances
  • Contributions to the marriage by each spouse including contributions as a homemaker and caring for kids
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Did one spouse contribute to the education or career advancement of the other spouse
  • Did one spouse put their career on hold for the good of the marriage
  • The contribution of each spouse in acquiring income and debts
  • How desirable is it to keep the family home for the good of continuing to raise kids
  • Did one spouse dissipate marital assets before filing for a divorce petition, either through substance abuse, gambling or other reckless pursuits
  • Any other factors that are pertinent in fairly determining the equitable distribution of assets

One challenge when it comes to dividing assets in Florida is when one spouse or the other claims that an asset is a separate property instead of marital property. This can lead to complicated disagreements.

Separate property is defined as an asset that was acquired before a couple was married or acquired after the date of separation.

There can also be questions and challenges when one spouse receives an inheritance, which is considered separate property, but then proceeds to commingle it with community property assets. For example, if a spouse receives a lump sum of cash as a gift and deposits it into a joint bank account, this could be considered commingling.


Divorce Laws in Florida ([year] Guide) | Survive Divorce (4)

In Florida, any gifts that were given to one spouse either before a marriage or after the date of separation are considered separate non-marital property and not subject to a division of assets.

Gifts given by one spouse to another during the marriage are considered marital property, whether it’s a car, jewelry or even a separate bank account that one spouse opened for the other – even if you’re designated as the sole owner.

Gifts given to one spouse by someone else are considered non-marital property. The exception to this is if the gift is commingled with marital assets. For example, if you receive an inheritance and put it into a joint bank account, then it is a commingled asset.

Inherited Property

Inheritance may or may not be considered a marital asset in Florida. If it was left to both spouses, then it must be part of an equitable distribution. If it was left to one spouse only and that spouse kept it separate, then it is a non-marital asset and will not be included in the equitable distribution.

However, if a separate inheritance is commingled with marital assets, then it will also become a marital asset. For example, if you inherit a home but both you and your spouse move into the home, it could be considered community property.

At all times, it is best to keep inherited assets separate if there is a possibility of a dissolution of marriage that looms in the future. One other way to protect an inheritance is to have your spouse sign a postnuptial agreement whereby he or she agrees that the inheritance is yours, no matter how it is used in the marriage.

Pensions, IRAs, 401Ks and Retirement Plans

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Just like any other asset in a Florida divorce, pensions, IRAs, 401Ks and retirement plans are considered marital property. However, only the amount of the retirement asset that was earned during the marriage is subject to division.

It may be possible to negotiate keeping a larger part of a retirement fund in exchange for one spouse receiving a larger interest in other community assets, such as a home.

Legally splitting pensions and other retirement funds are a multi-step process. First, a divorce decree must order that these assets be divided. A qualified domestic relations order, more commonly referred to as a QDRO, must then be created.

The QDRO must be approved by the courts and then it can be submitted to the plan administrator who must also approve it. This establishes that a spouse can be considered an alternate payee, and the retirement vehicle is then divided according to the specifics contained in the QDRO.

(Video) Family Law 101: Division of Assets & Liabilities During a Florida Divorce (Equitable Distribution)

Learn More: Ultimate Guide to QDROs

Separate Property

All property and all debt accumulated during the marriage in Florida belongs to both spouses. However, any assets acquired before marriage or after a couple separates, or property that was given to one spouse as a gift or through inheritance, as well as some personal injury settlements, are deemed separate property.

When a divorce in Florida takes place, assets that are legally deemed separate property do not need to be considered among the assets that need to be divided equitably between spouses.

But there are exceptions when it comes to separate property. Inheritance given to only one spouse that was acquired during a marriage is considered separate property but if the assets of the inheritance are commingled (i.e. in a bank account, or if both people live in an inherited residence), then it may be possible to claim that the inherited assets have become marital property.

In cases where the home was bought before two people married, if both people live in the home during the marriage and both contribute to mortgage payments, then the case can be made that the house is no longer separate property, but a marital one.

Support Issues

Alimony in Florida

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During a Florida divorce, the court may grant either permanent or rehabilitative (temporary and for a fixed period) alimony to either spouse. Payments may be made monthly, in a lump sum, or a combination of both. While Florida is a no-fault state, when adultery can be proven, it may be a factor in deciding how much alimony is awarded and for how long.

The court will consider a variety of factors in determining alimony which can include:

• The length of the marriage.
• The earning capacity of each spouse
• The standard of living while married
• Age and health of both spouses
• Financial information about each spouse – financial resources (debts and assets)
• Child custody arrangements and whether or not the primary care spouse can hold a job while taking care of the children
• Did one spouse help the other with education, career training or other ways to assist them in advancing their career.
• Does one spouse need time to seek training or education to help them find appropriate employment
• All sources of income for each spouse

Courts also have the discretion to consider any other factor necessary to bring about a fair and just resolution of the alimony issue.

In some cases, the courts may also require that the spouse paying alimony to purchase a life insurance policy or a bond to secure the alimony award in case he or she passes away or becomes incapacitated prior to the end of the obligated support period.

Child Support in Florida

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There are specific child support guidelines laid out in Florida Statutes, but a judge may order either parent to pay child support based on the nature and circumstances of a case. Child support is typically calculated using a Child Support Worksheet which determines the amount of support based on a number of factors including each parent’s income, taxes, retirement contributions, and others.

There are specific factors that will be considered that will possibly adjust child support amounts. They include:

  • extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses
  • independent income of the child
  • the custodial parent receiving both child support and spousal support
  • seasonal variations in a parent’s income or expenses
  • the age of the child, taking into consideration the greater needs of older children
  • any special needs of the family
  • terms of any shared parental arrangement
  • the total assets of the parents and the child
  • the impact of any IRS Dependency Exemption
  • any other reason that should be considered in order to make the child support payments equitable.
In some cases, the court may require that health insurance for the child and life insurance covering the life of the parent ordered to pay support may be required by the court.

Parents who fall behind on child support payments or completely disregard their obligation based on the divorce decree can face legal repercussions if they do so. The state may step in to assist in collecting payments and could resort to income withholding, intercepting income tax refunds, property liens or seizures, revoking professional licenses or driver’s licenses, and in serious cases, filing contempt of court charges which could result in jail time.

Custody and Visitation

Child Custody in Florida

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Florida courts prefer that parents come up with an appropriate plan for child custody. However, when they are not able to do so, the court will step in and make the decisions for them.

Florida bases child custody on the best interests of children in a dissolution of marriage and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Assuming there are no negatives, courts will seek to ensure that both the mother and the father play an active role in raising children.

Fathers will also be given the same consideration as mothers in determining the primary residence of the child without being influenced by the age or the sex of the child.

Some of the factors a court will consider may include the age and health of the child, emotional ties to each parent, personal preferences of the child, childcare and after school care arrangements, religious, social and school activities the child may be involved in, and medical care, as well as other factors. Courts definitely want to know if there are any negative factors in a child’s life as well, such as if a parent has a substance abuse problem or if domestic abuse has taken place.

When deciding custody, courts may grant one parent ultimate decision-making responsibility for major decisions regarding welfare such as education, medical and dental care, religious affiliations and other major life-defining issues. In other instances, both parents may share those responsibilities, depending on what is determined to be the best interests of the child.

(Video) How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Florida?

In Florida, grandparents can also seek visitation rights with a minor child if it is also in the child’s best interests. However, a court cannot order that a child be kept in Florida solely for the purpose of permitting visitation by grandparents.

Substance Abuse

Because Florida is a no-fault state and one spouse only needs to state that a marriage is irretrievably broken to start a divorce, substance abuse does not need to be cited as a reason for ending a marriage. However, when substance abuse is present in a marriage, it can have an impact on the final outcome in a couple of ways.

Because the courts put a child’s best interests above all else when deciding custody, if substance abuse can be proven, then it may have a big impact on custody and visitation issues.

Another way substance abuse may impact a dissolution of marriage is if it can be shown that one spouse spent considerable community asset resources to feed their habit. This will influence the courts regarding a division of assets and possibly on spousal support as well.

Substance abuse can be proven by the testimony of family members, through testing, or by having
representatives from social services agencies or other parties who have an interest in the outcome of the divorce providing insights.

Divorce Process

Bifurcation of Marital Status

Bifurcation means that both parties in a dissolution of marriage can legally be declared as a single person while the other issues in their divorce are still being worked out. It does not affect things such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or become major sticking points that are keeping the dissolution of marriage from being finalized.

States throughout the country treat bifurcation differently. Some states permit it while other states do not. Florida will grant bifurcation in some instances and will only postpone decisions on property issues.

Laws regarding bifurcation tend to be complicated, so it is best to check with an attorney who will be able to provide legal advice on the legal ramifications and requirements of bifurcation in Florida.

If you are granted a bifurcation, and you took the last name of your spouse, you can legally restore your name to your maiden name. Another thing to be aware of is that if a spouse maintains health insurance for the other, then he or she must continue to provide coverage, when possible.

Disclosing Assets

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There are mandatory disclosures you must make about your finances when you get a divorce in Florida. Each spouse must disclose to the other the amount and type of assets they have so there can be an equitable division of those assets as well as for child support and alimony as part of the final divorce decree. This includes all bank account information, titles and deeds, retirement account statements, tax returns, pay stubs or income information and debt information. Each party must file a Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit.

Each spouse must submit this information under the penalty of perjury. This means that each spouse is swearing under oath that the information is complete and true.

If a spouse lies on a financial affidavit, then they may be liable for both criminal and civil penalties. The amount of those penalties will depend on the extent and severity of the falsified information. Often times you can end up losing assets to your spouse or you may be required to pay them a fine.

If a person refuses to exchange this information with their spouse, the court may order the spouse to do so, and also make them pay any associated attorney’s fees. If you submit an affidavit but later determine that you inadvertently left out an asset, you can file an amended disclosure.

Read: Divorce Checklist: The Information You Need to Prepare for Divorce

Spouse’s Default in Florida

When a person files for divorce in Florida, the respondent must file an answer within 20 days as an Answer to the Petition. If a respondent does not reply within 20 days, the petitioner can file a Motion for Default.

This lets the court know the respondent has not filed an answer within the 20-day deadline window.

After a default is granted, the terms of the petition can’t be charged. This is why it is critical to respond in a timely manner. Petitioners will request a final hearing after the default motion is granted and this means the judge will grant the divorce requests that are in the original petition.

The exception to this rule is when children are involved. In these instances, defaults must be set aside because courts have ruled that child custody should be determined by what is best for the child and not because of a parent’s default.

(Video) How to File for Divorce in Florida - 6 Step Guide | A Step-By-Step Guide to the Divorce Process

Judges do not like to grant divorces based on defaults, so if a respondent can meet a standard for excusable neglect or made a demonstrated attempt to obtain relief from default by working with an attorney and submitting proper documentation, then a default may also be set aside.

Other Issues

Domestic Violence

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When domestic violence is present in a marriage in Florida, it can come about as a result of any kind of physical abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, or any other kind of harassment including those made through phone calls, mail, or social media inflicted on one spouse by the other.

Above and beyond how it impacts a marriage, when a person is a victim of domestic violence, their first priority should be to protect themselves and any family members who are at risk, no matter how remote the possibility might be. If you are in immediate danger, call the police.

In all cases, where the threat is real, you must take your children and leave the residence where the abuser is living. You should immediately seek to have a temporary restraining order put in place which will prevent the abuser from taking any violent actions against you, including stalking or making threats.

Domestic violence will most certainly have an impact on child custody and visitation rights in Florida. A judge will not order shared custody where the threat of violence may be present. This can be documented by presenting evidence of a prior conviction on a charge of domestic violence or evidence that domestic violence exists, even without a conviction.

Domestic violence may also impact spousal and child support, if it can be shown that a spouse’s physical or emotional health, income, earning power or employability where adversely affected by domestic abuse.

Health Insurance

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If you are covered under a spouse’s healthcare plan in Florida, after a dissolution of marriage you are no longer considered a dependent and your healthcare coverage will end. You will need to get coverage from another source.

You may be able to negotiate a spouse paying for health insurance as part of spousal support or you can also apply for COBRA benefits which is a law that protects people from losing health coverage during major life transitions. It allows you to continue with your spouse’s current coverage for up to three years as long as you pay the premiums.

If you’re 65 or older, you may be eligible for Medicare. If you are low income, then you might be able to get coverage through Medicaid.

If children are involved, then any child support will need to include health insurance coverage for children, either by one or both of the parents’ contributions.

Read our complete guide to divorce and health insurance here.

Infidelity and Adultery

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Infidelity and adultery, more commonly known as “cheating” takes place when one married person has voluntary sexual intercourse with someone who is other than their spouse.

Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that the person filing for divorce does not need to prove any specific reason for the divorce. They only need to cite that the marriage is “irretrievable
broken” with no hope of getting back together.

However, if a spouse has committed adultery, then the other spouse may use that as leverage in making child custody decisions because it could be argued that adultery could have an adverse impact on any children in the marriage.

Adultery can have an impact on the division of assets and debts as well, if it can be shown that one spouse spent marital assets on their partner.

Military Divorces in Florida

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Certain state and federal laws come into play if a member of the military is involved in a divorce in Florida. The grounds for a military dissolution of marriage are the same as for a civilian divorce. to meet residency requirements, the service member or their spouse must live in or be stationed in Florida.

Once forms have been filed to begin the divorce, copies must be served on the spouse to give him or her a chance to respond. When one spouse is in the military, they have certain protections afforded to them by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that allow them to postpone the divorce while they are overseas or otherwise not able to adequately respond to the petition due to military service commitments.

(Video) Florida Divorce Law Crash Course

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act eases many legal and financial burdens of military personnel and their families who face the added challenges of active duty. It also prevents active-duty military members from being held in default for failing to respond to a divorce action.

Federal law dictates that child and spousal support awards may not exceed 60% of a service members’ pay and allowances if they are single. That amount drops to 50% if the servicemember remarries and has a new family they must support. Child support is determined using normal Florida child support guidelines and worksheets to determine an appropriate amount that must be paid.

Normal Florida property division laws are used in a military divorce, but the federal government also has put in place the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act that dictates how military retirement benefits are calculated in a divorce. For a spouse to receive any of the service members pay, they must have been married for at least 10 years while the service member was on active duty.

Looking for more advice about divorce? Here are a few of our favorite resources:

  • 101 Financial Pitfalls of Divorce
  • What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst? (and why you need one)
  • How to Protect and Rebuild Your Credit in a Divorce
  • How to Value the House and Split Home Equity in a Divorce


Do you have to be separated for a year to get a divorce in FL? ›

A couple must live separately and apart to file for divorce. However, Florida does not require a waiting period or separation before filing for divorce. The only requirement to get a divorce is that at least one of the parties must reside in the state for at least half a year before filing for divorce.

How long do you have to be married to get half of everything in Florida? ›

In Florida, a short marriage is one that lasts less than seven years. If one spouse wants to pursue alimony, they generally should have been married for at least seven years.

What is a spouse entitled to in a divorce in Florida? ›

When a married couple files for divorce in Florida, there will be an “equitable distribution” or the division of marital assets and liabilities. See Florida divorce law 61.075. Usually, the court will divide marital assets and liabilities 50/50 unless there are factors that would make an equal split inequitable.

Is Florida a 50-50 state in a divorce? ›

In Florida, property is divided 50-50 if it is considered “marital property” – or property that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Non-marital property, which is property either spouse acquired before the marriage, is not divided equally.

What is average alimony Florida? ›

Alimony in Florida is calculated based upon need and ability to pay. The American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers provides a guideline, which takes 30% of the payer's gross annual income minus 20% of the payee's gross annual income to estimate the alimony.

What are the five stages of divorce? ›

There are two processes in divorce.

The emotional process can be broken down into 5 stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

What is the new alimony law in Florida? ›

Ron DeSantis has vetoed an alimony reform measure citing its retroactivity. SB 1796 would have abolished permanent alimony, given ex-spouses who pay alimony a “pathway to retirement,” and created a legal presumption that 50-50 timesharing was in the best interest of a child.

How many years do you have to be married to get spousal support in Florida? ›

How long do you have to be married for permanent alimony in Florida? There is no minimum amount of time you must be married in order to receive alimony. However, permanent alimony is generally reserved for a marriage lasting 17 years or longer.

Who pays alimony in Florida? ›

When two spouses divorce in Florida, the court may order one ex-spouse to pay the other alimony. Alimony – or spousal support, as it is sometimes called – is typically money paid by one spouse to the other and meant to support and provide for the other spouse for a period of time.

What can be used against you in a divorce? ›

Spending marital money on extramarital affairs. Transferring marital funds to another person before a separation. Spending unreasonable amounts on business expenditures. Selling marital assets below the market value.

Can my wife take my retirement in a divorce? ›

Under the law in most states, retirement plan assets earned during a marriage are considered to be marital property that can and should be divided. It's therefore advisable for couples to make these assets part of their property settlement agreement negotiations and their divorce decree.

Does adultery matter in Florida divorce? ›

Florida is a no-fault state and therefore adultery does not affect most decisions. If the adulterer spends marital funds or uses marital assets in the course of their behavior – that will affect the decision of the court. Adultery can also impact custody and alimony decisions.

Who gets the house in divorce in Florida? ›

How is property divided in a divorce? Under Florida divorce law, all marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Typically, the court will divide marital property 50/50, unless there are reasons why an equal split would be inequitable (unfair).

Is Florida an alimony state? ›

Yes, Florida is a state where one may be required to pay alimony. Florida is one of the few states that offers bridge-the-gap alimony, which helps the oblige/recipient spouse meeting legitimate short-term needs while transitioning from married life to single life.

Who gets the house in a divorce? ›

The two most common options for dealing with the house in a divorce are for the court to allocate the house to one person and have them buy out the other's equity interest as part of the overall equalization of assets and debts, or order that the house be sold, and the proceeds divided.

Can a working wife get alimony? ›

Even though your spouse has a full-time job, they are still entitled to ask for spousal support. They can ask for support once a legal separation or divorce is filed with the court. If the judge deems it necessary, he or she can order you to pay spousal support even while your divorce is pending.

Does a husband have to support his wife during separation? ›

If you're in the process of filing for divorce, you may be entitled to, or obligated to pay, temporary alimony while legally separated. In many instances, one spouse may be entitled to temporary support during the legal separation to pay for essential monthly expenses such as housing, food and other necessities.

How long is permanent alimony in Florida? ›

“In Florida, a spouse in a long-term marriage, more than seventeen years, can be ordered to pay permanent lifetime alimony. This lasts until one of the parties dies or until the recipient remarries.

What is the most difficult stage of divorce? ›

Perhaps the most difficult period of divorce is the “separation period.” That is the time between when you decide to get a divorce, and the date when you are actually divorced.

What is an emotional divorce? ›

An emotional divorce occurs when one partner is so fed up, he or she simply disconnects. At this point that spouse will generally be apathetic about their partner as well as about the relationship.

How long does divorce depression last? ›

Individuals may go through several stages of mourning or grief. The emotional intensity of this period usually reaches a peak within the first six months of separation. However, the grieving process may take as long as two years.

How can I avoid paying alimony in Florida? ›

How to Avoid Alimony in Florida
  1. Work Out An Agreement With Your Spouse. ...
  2. Help Your Spouse Succeed In The Workforce. ...
  3. Live Frugally. ...
  4. Impute A Reasonable Rate Of Return On Your Investments. ...
  5. End Your Failing Marriage ASAP. ...
  6. Show Your Spouse's' Earning Potential for an Alimony Case. ...
  7. Prove Your Spouses Real Need for Alimony.

Is there a cap on alimony in Florida? ›

The bill states, "durational alimony may not exceed 50 percent of the length of a marriage lasting between three and ten years, 60 percent of the length of a marriage lasting between 10 and 20 years, or 75 percent of the length of a marriage lasting 20 years or longer." That can be extended in some circumstances, ...

Does adultery affect alimony in Florida? ›

Adultery is one of these factors. The state's alimony laws give the courts the power to "consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded."

How does a wife get alimony? ›

You can ask for alimony as part of a divorce proceeding. If you and your spouse reach an agreement about alimony, you can ask the judge to make the agreement a part of the court order. If you cannot reach an agreement, the judge will decide whether you are entitled to alimony.

How much does a divorce cost Florida? ›

In general, when working with a lawyer to help you, you should expect your uncontested divorce to cost somewhere between $1,500 and $5000. The lawyer you choose may or may not include the Clerk of Court required filing fee. That fee is typically about $400.

How long after a divorce can you ask for alimony? ›

Either you or your spouse, or both of you, can ask for alimony at the time of divorce. If the original divorce judgment didn't mention alimony at all, you can file a complaint for alimony for the first time at any time after your divorce. Alimony can be changed after a divorce through a process called a modification.

Does alimony end when you remarry in Florida? ›

In Florida, periodic alimony automatically ends when the supported spouse remarries.

How long does a divorce take in Florida? ›

A divorce can take anywhere between 3 and 24 months depending on whether it is contested or uncontested. The average uncontested divorce takes 3 months. The average contested divorce takes 12 months.

How can you avoid alimony? ›

You can petition the court to lower your alimony payments if:
  1. You retire.
  2. You lose your job or begin making less money.
  3. Your spouse gets a job and begins earning sufficient money.
  4. Your spouse moves in with someone (or marries, in which case you'll want to ask the court to terminate your alimony obligation)

Can text messages be used against you in a divorce? ›

Can My Texts Be Used Against Me in a Divorce? The short answer is “Yes.” The court usually allows the person receiving the text to testify that he or she recognizes the phone number the text was sent from. The court might also ask about the sender's identity and the context of the message.

How do you deal with a vindictive husband in a divorce? ›

It's not easy dealing with a vindictive spouse during a divorce, but there are things you can do to minimize the impact of his or her actions.
  1. Remain Calm. ...
  2. Pay Attention to Your Behavior. ...
  3. Don't Stop Talking to Your Spouse. ...
  4. Consider Your Financial Future. ...
  5. Avoid Putting Your Children in the Middle.

Do I get half of my husband's 401K in a divorce? ›

A 401(k) account allows employees to set aside a portion of their monthly paycheck for their golden years. If you decide to get a divorce from your spouse, you can claim up to half of their 401(k) savings. Similarly, your spouse can also get half of your 401(k) savings if you divorce.

What should a woman ask for in a divorce settlement? ›

You can ask for life insurance, a smaller share of your accumulated debt, more of the family heirlooms or jewelry, or a higher percentage of the retirement funds. Just like women, the men can ask for whatever they feel like they're entitled to within the divorce.

What is the social security loophole? ›

The Voluntary Suspension Loophole

This Social Security loophole allowed a married worker to voluntarily suspend his/her own benefits after full retirement age, allowing the spouse to receive spousal benefits while the worker was not collecting benefits.

Can text messages be used in family court Florida? ›

In Florida, text messages are admissible evidence during divorce proceedings in court. However, courts do not simply accept text messages as evidence unless the messages meet specific criteria. Also, state law requires text messages to have specific authentication in order to be used as admissible evidence in court.

Can you sue your husband for cheating in Florida? ›

Currently, only eight states allow alienation of affection lawsuits, and Florida is not one of them. Therefore, if your spouse had an affair in Florida, you will not be able to bring a lawsuit against his or her romantic partner related to the affair for alienation of affection.

Can you date while going through a divorce in Florida? ›

In Florida, there is nothing that legally prohibits spouses from dating during the divorce process. So, to the question “can I date during my divorce?”, the answer is “yes”.

What does a judge consider in a divorce? ›

The judge considers factors specified in the state statute, such as the earning capacity, work history, age and health of both spouses in order to determine whether spousal support should be awarded and in what amount.

Do I have to sell my house if I get divorced? ›

Do we have to sell the house if we're divorcing? No, not necessarily. However, divorce and property rights can be complicated and so it will depend on your circumstances. Bear in mind also that it's not just financial considerations that will determine whether you must sell the property.

Is my wife entitled to half my house if it's in my name? ›

It depends on who is named on the mortgage. This is called joint and several liability. You are both responsible and liable for paying the mortgage. That doesn't mean you are both liable for half each though – if one person doesn't pay their share, the other can still be held responsible for the whole mortgage.

What is wife entitled to in divorce in Florida? ›

Under Florida divorce law, all marital property is subject to an equitable distribution. Typically, the court will divide marital property 50/50, unless there are reasons why an equal split would be inequitable (unfair).

Does it matter who files for divorce first in Florida? ›

“Since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, it does not matter which of the spouses files for divorce first,” says our experienced divorce attorney Fort Lauderdale. “When divorce papers are filed, neither party has a legal obligation to provide a cause of the dissolution of marriage.”

How does spousal support work in Florida? ›

Durational alimony in Florida can be awarded in short-term or moderate-term marriages. It is alimony for a pre-determined amount of time and cannot exceed the length of the marriage. For instance, if married for two years, one spouse cannot receive durational alimony for more than two years.

How is a house buyout calculated in a divorce? ›

To determine how much you must pay to buy out the house, add your ex's equity to the amount you still owe on your mortgage. Using the same example, you'd need to pay $300,000 ($200,000 remaining mortgage balance + $100,000 ex-spouse equity) to buy out your ex's equity and take ownership of the house.

Do you have to split an IRA in a divorce? ›

A divorce decree is required

Without a divorce decree, there is no authority for the IRA to be divided. A casual agreement settling the division of their property, without the involvement of a court, is not enough to divide an IRA.

Can a judge force you to sell your house? ›

The court certainly has the power to order a sale of your house, but whether it will do so depends upon whether that is the appropriate thing to do in the circumstances.

Can I file single if separated in Florida? ›

If a person who is now a Florida resident has come into the state from a jurisdiction with a judgment or decree of legal separation, they can file as an unmarried person.

How long do you have to be separated before divorce? ›

The separation can end in either reconciliation or divorce. The eligibility conditions for divorce continue to apply if at least one spouse eventually decides to file for divorce. 3 years of separation is required for divorce with both parties' consent, while 4 years of separation is needed for divorce without consent.

How long does it take to get a divorce if both parties agree? ›

A divorce or dissolution will take at least 6 months to complete, even if your circumstances are straightforward. It might take longer if you need to sort out issues with money, property or children. These things will be dealt with separately to your divorce or dissolution.

What is an uncontested divorce in Florida? ›

An uncontested divorce in Florida means that the parties agree on all issues such as division of property and debts, alimony or not, child support, visitation if applicable, and responsibility for attorney fees. There is nothing left for the judge to decide.

What are the four types of innocent spouse relief? ›

There are three types of innocent spouse relief:
  • Innocent spouse relief. By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying owed tax, interest, and penalties, if your spouse did something wrong on your tax return. ...
  • Relief by separation of liability. ...
  • Equitable relief.
12 Jul 2022

How does divorce affect taxes? ›

But while divorce ends your legal marriage, it doesn't terminate your or your ex's obligation to pay your fair share of federal income tax. If your divorce is final by Dec. 31 of the tax-filing year, the IRS will consider you unmarried for the entire year and you won't be able to file a joint return.

Can you claim your spouse if they don't work? ›

If you and your spouse are married filing jointly, you can claim one exemption for your spouse and one exemption for yourself. If you're married filing separately, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse: Had no gross income. Isn't filing a return.

Is sleeping with someone while separated adultery? ›

Technically, adultery is defined as sexual contact between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse. And because a legal separation doesn't officially terminate a marriage, sex while separated could be a crime.

What is exceptional hardship divorce? ›

It is exceptional hardship to the petitioner or exceptional depravity on the part of respondent, It is for you to convince the court that you have reached a point of no return due to this / that reason and justice demand that you get divorce as early as possible. By Advocate Kumar Gupta, Patna High Court.

How do you prove 2 years separation? ›

To establish the two years' separation with consent, you must prove that: You have both lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition with court. The respondent consents to the granting of the divorce.

Who pays for a divorce? ›

There appears to be a myth that the person being divorced (known as the Respondent) always pays the fees for a divorce, when in reality this is not the case in the majority of divorce cases. The person filing for the divorce (known as the Applicant) will always pay the divorce filing fee.

How do I know if my divorce is final? ›

When Is a Divorce Final? Your divorce is final on the day the court signs the divorce decree. You normally will receive it a few days later, since it is sent to your attorney, who will then send you a copy. You are legally divorced as of the date the decree is signed.

Is money received from divorce settlement taxable? ›

Under the current federal income tax laws, alimony or spousal maintenance is non-taxable and the party paying the alimony or spousal maintenance does not receive a tax deduction. Spousal support or alimony is paid with after-tax dollars like child support is paid with after-tax dollars.

How can I get a quick divorce in Florida? ›

Florida divorce law provides a process called a 'Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. ' Couples can use this to get a quick divorce, about 30 days from filing to finalization, as long as they have complete agreement on the terms of the divorce and it's uncontested.

How long does a Florida divorce take? ›

A divorce can take anywhere between 3 and 24 months depending on whether it is contested or uncontested. The average uncontested divorce takes 3 months. The average contested divorce takes 12 months.

What is the cheapest way to get a divorce in Florida? ›

Divorce in Mutual Agreement

Filing for a divorce in mutual agreement is always cheaper. This avoids having to hire a process server or sheriff to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. You will also save on court mandated mediation, hiring an attorney and maybe even having to pay for their legal fees.


1. Cheating And Divorce In Florida | Things You Need To Know
(Conti Moore Law)
2. How to Get a Divorce in Florida | Getting Divorced Without a Lawyer in Florida
(Divorce Lawyer Denise)
3. Dividing the home in a Florida Divorce: -Legal Lotus, Miami Trial & Family Lawyers
(Legal Lotus- Family and Trial Lawyers)
4. Your Guide to Divorce - Webinar
5. Alimony: What You Need To Know About it In Florida
(Erin Morse, Esquire)
6. Will You Have To Pay Your Wife Alimony In Your Florida Divorce?
(Kalish & Jaggars, PLLC)

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