Is it Possible to Get a Civil Divorce?

Separating from the person you vowed to spend forever with "in sickness and in health" is a tough experience. Those working on these matters understand that, regardless of the reason for the split, whether your spouse cheated on you or your relationship simply fizzled, divorce is usually a hard process.

Considering that spouses often have to consider issues that are inherently contentious, such as division of assets, debts, custody of the children, and other matters, it is often difficult for the divorce to be civil. It is easy to begin working on strategies for these divorce issues and get into a competitive mindset.

When emotions like anger, resentment, guilt, and shame are boiling out, it is sometimes impossible for one to stay calm and not blame their spouse for the drama. But however hurtful it might be, divorcing in a civil manner often makes it far easier for the pair to move along in as efficient and less-stressful way as possible.

Animosity and conflict do not necessarily have to be a centerpiece of a divorce.

Civil Divorce in Florida

Fortunately, Florida is not only one of the simplest states in which to get married, in some ways it is also one of the easiest to get divorced in.

Dissolution of marriage in Florida can be timely once the spouses have come to terms about how they are to divide their belongings, settle their debts, and care for children (if they have them). In general, a civil divorce requires that both spouses and their lawyers to agree that:

  • All parties will do their best to agree on the specifics of the divorce so that the matter will not have to be fought out in court
  • All parties will openly share their information and act ethically Florida No-Fault Divorce

Under Florida law, the old "grounds for divorce" system has been greatly simplified. As a result, virtually all spouses seeking divorce opt for a "no-fault divorce" which essentially means that the couples end the marriage because "the marriage is irretrievably broken."

This means that the divorce is not granted on claims of fault (i.e. a cheating spouse). The simplification of the grounds for divorce means that less time is now expended in the very contentious issues of fault—showing how one party acted imprudently throughout the marriage. Relieved of this burden, the process can often proceed more efficiently and in a civil manner.


To be eligible for a divorce, the spouses must have resided in Florida for at least six months and must file in the county where they live or where they both last lived together. Various court forms need to be completed properly. Those materials must be submitted along with other required personal documents and payment of a filing fee. After filing with the court the next step is getting a court date. When the spouses are asked to appear in court the judge will verify that they both agree to proceed with the divorce, and if they do agree, they are asked to sign the divorce decree.

The biggest advantage to a civil divorce is to avoid a battle in court, which demands a lot of time and money. However, in our area if you are undecided whether to pursue a civil divorce or unsure whether it can work in your case, we recommend you consult with a divorce lawyer to learn more.

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