The Self-Help Centers at some of the courthouses, for example in Broward and Palm Beach counties, will provide the forms you need to file for divorce, but I’ve heard from some people that it can be difficult figuring out which forms to use. The following are the forms you can use to file for divorce in Florida if you have minor children and you and your spouse have agreed on a settlement. The forms can be found here. I’ll indicate after each form who has to complete it – Petitioner (the person who signs the Petition and “files” for divorce), Respondent, or both:
- Cover Sheet, Form 928 (Petitioner)
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Form 901(b)(1) (Petitioner)
- Financial Affidavit, Form 902(b) (if you earn less than $50,000/year gross income), or Form 902(c)($50,000 or more gross income per year). Each spouse files their own separate financial affidavit.
- Child Custody Affidavit, Form 902(d). Both, a separate one for each of you.
- Notice of Social Security Number, Form 902(i). Both, a separate one for each of you.
- Answer and Waiver, Form 903(a) (Respondent)
- Marital Settlement Agreement, Form 902(f)(1). It’s the settlement agreement/contract you’ll both sign.
- Parenting Plan, Form 995 – a parenting agreement you both sign.
- Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Form 902(e)
If everyone is in agreement and all the forms are completed, signed and notarized, you can file all the forms at one time, pay the filing fee, and inquire at the courthouse about what you need to do to get a final hearing. Bring a copy of your Florida Driver’s License with you to the courthouse. At least one of the spouses has to have been a Florida resident for the 6 months prior to filing, to get a divorce in Florida. There are other ways to prove your residence if you don’t have a Florida driver’s license – see Form 902(i), Affidavit of Corroborating Witness and the instructions for that form.
You have to go to a hearing in front of the Judge to get a divorce, but when the divorce is uncontested and there’s a settlement agreement, it’s basically a 5 minute hearing. Bring a copy of Form 990(b)(1) – Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage and your Florida Driver’s license with you to the hearing (see also Form 902(i)). Only the Petitioner must attend the hearing, but if the Wife is the Respondent and wants to change her name back to her prior name, she has to attend also. Be sure to request a name change in Sections V and VI of the Divorce Petition if that’s something you want. There are different ways to handle this, but a simple way is for the Wife to be the Petitioner if there is going to be a request for a name change.