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To get divorced in Florida, you don’t have to prove that your spouse is at fault, and your spouse doesn’t have to agree to divorce or even participate in the process for the marriage to be legally ended. Florida law provides for no-fault divorce, and you can simply state that your marriage has undergone an irretrievable breakdown. If your spouse chooses not to participate, then it may be possible to get a default judgment in order to end the marriage.

However, to file for a divorce in Florida, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, and Florida residents who have filed for divorce have to wait 20 days from the date of filing before the divorce can be finalized.

How long it takes to finalize the divorce will also depend on the specific circumstances of the marriage and to what extent the spouses are able to agree on important issues. Those issues may include child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. Resolving such disputes may involve gathering a variety documents, including financial records and witness statements.

If the divorce is litigated in court, then the proceedings could go on for months, depending on the court schedule and a range of factors specific to the divorce. Sometimes highly contested divorces go on for years, while relatively low-conflict divorces can be finalized in one or two months even when the spouses are in dispute.

In many cases, the overall outcome of the divorce depends on whether the spouses sought legal counsel early in the process. Florida spouses who are planning to divorce should speak with a family law attorney sooner rather than later.