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Divorce in Polk County, Florida
Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse.

It can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support or Alimony, child custody, child support, and distribution of property.

In many developed countries, divorce rates increased markedly during the twentieth century. Among the states in which divorce has become commonplace are the United States, South Korea, and members of the European Union, with the exception of Malta (where all civil marriages are for life, because civil divorce is banned). In the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and some other developed Commonwealth countries, this divorce boom developed in the last half of the twentieth century. In addition, acceptance of the single-parent family has resulted in many women deciding to have children outside marriage, as there is little remaining social stigma attached to unwed mothers in some societies. Japan retains a markedly lower divorce rate, though it has increased in recent years. The subject of divorce as a social phenomenon is an important research topic in sociology.

A divorce must be certified by a court of law, as a legal action is needed to dissolve the prior legal act of marriage. The terms of the divorce are also determined by the court, though they may take into account prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses have agreed on privately. Often, however, the spouses disagree about the terms of the divorce, which can lead to stressful (and expensive) litigation. A less adversarial approach to divorce settlements has emerged in recent years, known as mediation, an attempt to negotiate mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts.

Types of Divorce in Florida

No Fault Divorce
Florida is a No-fault state. This means that it does matter whose “fault” the divorce is, and fault will not be a factor in the distribution of assets, unless it can be shown that a party dissipated a martial asset for non-marital purpose. A couple only need to state that their marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce. There is no requirement that the couple live separate and apart for a period of time prior to receiving a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

Contested Divorce v. Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties do not agree on certain terms of the divorce,
whether that be division of property or custody of children. If a matter is contested, the issues will be presented to a Judge who will decide the distribution of assets and custody of the children.

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties agree on all terms of their divorce and have
entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement which solemnizes the parties’ agreement with respect to their assets, child, child support, alimony, etc. The Marital Settlement Agreement will be incorporated into a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage at a short Final Judgment Hearing.

Simplified Divorce
Florida has a procedure for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. In order to qualify to use this
procedure, the spouses must certify that: (1) there are no minor or dependent children of the spouses and the wife is not pregnant; (2) the spouses have made a satisfactory division of their property and have agreed as to payment of their joint obligations; (3) that 1 of the spouses has been a resident of Florida for 6 months immediately prior to filing for dissolution of marriage; and (4) that their marriage is irretrievably broken. The spouses must appear in court to testify as to these items and file a Certificate of a Corroborating Witness as to the residency requirement. Each must also attach a financial affidavit to the Simplified Dissolution Petition. Specific forms and an instruction brochure are available from the Clerk of any Circuit Court. In addition, sample forms for various aspects of a standard dissolution of marriage are available in the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. Financial disclosures are now mandatory in Florida. [Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Appendix 1; Rules 12.105 and 12.285 and Family Law Forms 12.900+].

Each state has its own unique filing procedure. When filing for dissolution of marriage in Florida, you
must adhere to the strict filing guidelines and prepare and submit the appropriate mandatory
dissolution of marriage documents to the county court. You can visit the Florida state statutes located at: to learn more about these documents. You will discover that some documents may be provided by the Florida Legal System and others must be constructed on a case-by-case basis containing certain information and criteria to adhere to the Florida Laws and the filing requirements.

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