Despite what you may have heard about “island time,” not everything is slower in Florida. (We also aren't an island, so make of that what you will.) At Florida Divorce Law Group, we know that getting a divorce is a stressful time in anyone's life. It can be financially stressful, emotionally taxing, and physically disorienting. Nobody likes doing it - but your life will be so much better when it is done. We try to help you out by going through it as soon as possible.
So how long does a divorce take in Florida? The answer is that it depends entirely on how you are doing it. It is not uncommon for a divorce to take close to two years before it is finalized. On the other hand, our cases at Florida Divorce Law Group average four to six months. That isn't through magic - it's because the divorce process, though always bogged down by some logistical weight, tends to take as long as you need it to.
The major differentiating time factor is whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is where both parties work together to come to an agreement, which a court then will approve. A contested divorce is where both parties are locked in combat with each other, and a court must rule on who to side with on every applicable issue. Guess which one takes longer.
The first major hurdle is how quickly you can get to the discovery phase of the divorce process. In discovery, the full financial lives of both parties are revealed through tax returns, bank account statements, paystubs, and any and all additional income. This is where the process becomes cold, hard math. If you come in with these documents prepared - or, even better, these documents from your ex prepared - you can be in the thick of it very quickly. If you come in scrambling to find these, with an ex who is trying to hide their income at every turn, expect it to take much longer.
In Florida, a divorce cannot go to trial if it has not gone to mediation first. Mediation is a process where both parties and their representation sit down with a completely independent third party, the mediator. The mediator will allow both sides to present their sides, and will attempt to facilitate a final agreement. Unlike a Judge, a mediator will not choose sides. The final decision will be in the hands of the people actually involved.
Uncontested divorces are solved in mediation. If mediation fails, then the divorce is sent to trial, which takes much longer. If there are mental health or substance abuse issues and children involved, those issues might get complicated and require a trial. The vast majority of divorce cases, however, settle in mediation.
At Florida Divorce Law Group, our goal is always to push your case forward so that you can get the freedom and the peace of mind that you have been looking for. If you think a divorce is coming your way, contact Florida Divorce Law Group today! We are dedicated to protecting your rights.