Pursuant to Florida Statute 61.21 cases involving children (Dissolution of Marriage with children and Paternity) must complete a parenting class. Both parents must take the course. The class offers a guidance for making the best choices for the children during this stressful time.
The course in not offered in person in the Third Judicial Circuit.
Once you have completed the course you will be given a certificate. A copy must be filed in the court file prior to the final hearing.
To obtain a Dissolution of Marriage in the State of Florida, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of this state for a minimum of 6 months prior to filing for Dissolution of Marriage. Although it is not necessary to have an attorney, prior to entering into any agreement or signing any pleading each party may wish to consult with an attorney to ensure that his or her rights are being protected and to be advised of the legal and tax related consequences of signing any document.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
Besides the custody questions listed above there is also the matter of Child Support to consider. There may also be the matters of Alimony, Marital and Nonmarital assets. The Clerk’s Office is prohibited by law from providing legal assistance or advise in these matters.
You will be required to complete a parenting course before a final hearing may be set. Failure to meet this requirement may cause the court to dismiss your case or order some other appropriate sanction. Information on this requirement will be given to you when you file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
If the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is contested by your spouse, and you are unable to settle the disputed issues, you will be required to use a court approved mediator to settle the disputed issues before a final hearing may be set.
For individuals wishing to file on their own behalf, there are Self Help Forms Packets available for review and purchase at the Clerk’s Office. Further assistance is available by contacting a Family Law Self Help Coordinator for the Third Judicial Circuit at the following:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
The Clerk may assist with the preparation of all documents relating to Simplified Divorce.
The filing fee for either type of dissolution is not refundable if the parties wish to reconcile and dismiss the Dissolution of Marriage.