Florida Divorce – FAQ

Yes. If you have an uncontested divorce, the lowest cost way to get a divorce is to represent yourself. We can help you with the entire process.  Check out our Easy Forms.

However, if you and your spouse have children, large assets and others complicated matters to decide, you should have an attorney handle the divorce.

TIP: Do not attempt to represent yourself if your spouse has an attorney. Family law courts have their own peculiar rules and operating procedures that can overwhelm and confuse the non-attorney. Simple procedural errors, such as missing a filing deadline, can lead to tragic outcomes, such as losing custody of your children.

The petition is filed in the state and county in which you or your spouse live. There are residency requirements that you must fulfill before you can file for divorce.

Yes. If the sheriff is unable to find your husband to serve him with the divorce papers, you can “serve” him with the pending lawsuit by putting a notification in the local newspaper.

TIP: Large urban counties typically rely on specialized newspapers that print notices, filings, registrations, etc. for those in the legal profession. It will be less expensive to publish a notice in this type of paper than the city newspaper.

Alimony is an amount of money one spouse must pay to the other after a divorce to meet the needs of the more dependent spouse and permit that spouse to become self-supporting. It is now commonly referred to as “spousal support” or “maintenance” in divorce law. In some cases, courts also award alimony to maintain the status quo of the spouses and allow the less affluent spouse to continue a certain standard of living.

Alimony, maintenance or spousal support payments are awarded as a substitute to the support regularly provided by one spouse to another during marriage. Spousal support may not be available if the marriage lasted less than 10 years.

Alimony is not a lifetime pension for one of the spouses; its purpose is to ease the transition to the time the spouse can support him or herself in a reasonable manner.

There are several different types of spousal support that can be ordered by the court.

“Pendente lite alimony” is the temporary spousal support the court orders one spouse to pay before the divorce becomes final. The payments are typically part of the court’s temporary orders that the parties must abide by until the final divorce decree.

“Permanent alimony” is support that is paid until the death of the spouse receiving the payments, or until her remarriage. Permanent alimony paid on a month-to-month basis is sometimes referred to as “periodic alimony.” It is awarded to a spouse who does not have the capacity to support himself because of advanced age or disability.

In some cases, the court periodically reviews an award of permanent alimony. If the spouse receiving the payments regains the ability to work, remarries or begins living with someone else on a permanent basis, the court may terminate the payments.

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No. Alimony payments end when the person paying dies. You have no further claim for alimony from your ex-husband’s wife or his estate.

TIP: Take out a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse. The benefits will compensate you and replace the alimony payments in case of his death.

No. There is no legal right to alimony or post-divorce support. You must show the court that you qualify for spousal support after the divorce is granted.