Does Florida Require Separation Before Divorce?
State law dictates the requirements for couples who want to get a divorce. Every state in the country has their own distinct laws and this can create confusion for some people regarding what the law in Florida says about dissolving a marriage. Some people think they have to legally separate for a certain period of time before they can get a divorce. This is not the case in Florida. In The Sunshine State, there is no requirement that you must legally separate from your spouse. However, there are certain waiting periods and other requirements that will affect your case.
Can You Get Legally Separated in Florida?
Some couples know that there are problems in their marriage, but they are not sure they want to get a divorce. In these situations, couples often separate, giving themselves time to cool down and think about how they want to move forward. Some states require that this separation period lasts for a certain amount of time before couples can get a divorce.
Florida, on the other hand, has no such requirement and in fact, the state does not even recognize legal separations. Couples can still separate for a certain amount of time before they decide to get a divorce or reconcile, but the separation is not legally recognized. The couple is still considered legally married and not legally separated.
The Waiting Period for Divorce in Florida
You do not have to legally separate from your spouse before getting a divorce in Florida. Under state law, though, there is a waiting period of 20 days. This means that once you or your spouse has filed for divorce, your case cannot be finalized until at least 20 days have passed. This is not a very long amount of time. A divorce case will typically take longer than that, especially if complex property division, alimony, or parenting time issues are involved.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in Florida
While you do not have to legally separate from your spouse before getting a divorce, there are minimum residency requirements you must meet. Before you can get a divorce, either you or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months. When only one spouse has lived in the state for six months and another lives or has lived out of state during that time, the spouse that resided in Florida must be the one to petition the Florida courts.
Our Marital Law Lawyers in Tampa Can Advise on Your Case
If you are getting a divorce, it is important to know the many laws and rules that govern the legal process. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa divorce lawyers will advise you of your rights and ensure they are protected while negotiating with the other side for the fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case. Se habla Español.