How to File a Simplified Divorce in Broward County
Most Broward County couples we work with come to us assuming that divorce is a long, expensive, and challenging process. That can be the case if a couple is nowhere close to an agreement on terms like alimony and child support.
Just as many divorces, though, are civil and relatively quick with minimal costs. If you and your spouse agree on how you’ll split assets and liabilities after your divorce, you may be able to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage, also called a simplified divorce in Broward County.
What Constitutes a Simplified Divorce in Broward County
Broward County recognizes four types of divorces. A simplified dissolution of marriage is the easiest of the four to file because it requires both spouses to work out the terms of the divorce on their own rather than through the court.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
To qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, you and your ex-spouse will have to meet a list of criteria as you file. The list includes:
- One of you has lived in Florida for the past six months
- You agree the marriage cannot be saved
- You do not have any minor or dependent children who were born during the marriage
- The wife is not now pregnant
- You agree on how to divide your assets, and how to pay for your joint liabilities
- Neither of you is seeking alimony from the other
- You’re willing to give up your right to trial and appeal
- All other facts set forth in the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.901(a) Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage are true.
If you live in Broward County, simplified divorces are easy to file once you understand the process. Here’s everything you need to file for a simplified divorce in Broward County along with the right forms to begin the filing process.
First, Fill Out the Forms Necessary to File for a Simplified Divorce in Broward County
Even simplified divorces require a bit of paperwork. Here are the forms you need to fill out and file.
- Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.901(a) Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
- Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.928 Family Court Cover Sheet
Once Your Forms are Completed, File Them with Your County’s Clerk of Court
In Florida, a dissolution of marriage is filed with each judicial district’s Clerk of Court. You and your spouse can file your form either through your Clerk of Court’s website e-filing system or go in-person to submit the documents.
If you’re filing online, you’ll go to the Broward County Clerk of Court’s website and use their self-service center which gives you access to the e-filing system.
If you’d rather file in person, head to the Central Courthouse with your forms in hand. When you arrive, go to the 4th floor, room 04130. The courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 3:30pm.
Judicial Complex, West Building
201 S.E. 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
The Cost of Filing a Simplified Divorce in Broward County
One of the benefits of filing a simplified divorce in Broward County and doing so on your own through the county’s self-service filing center, is the cost. Simplified divorces are usually the least expensive types of divorce to file and finalize.
When you file on your own there are no legal fees. Your costs include a filing service charge, court fees, and potentially other fees. Here’s the breakdown.
Broward County Self-Service Filing Fees for a Dissolution of Marriage:
|Service Charge to Use the Online Center||$20.00|
|Court Filing Fee for Dissolution of Marriage||$409.00|
|Court Insurance Fee for a Summons, per Defendant||$10.00|
If your spouse also lives in Broward County, you need to send a separate $40.00 check or money order for service of process payable to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
For couples also filing for a name change, modifications, or other family change, here’s a full list of Broward County Filing Fees Related to the Dissolution of Marriage.
There are assistance options if you can’t afford these fees. You can fill out an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status from the County Clerk’s office. The Clerk will determine if you’re eligible for a payment schedule.
5 Steps to a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Broward County, Florida
- Both parties sign the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the signatures are notarized
- Both parties file Financial Affidavits
- Both parties file a Notice of Social Security Number form
- The Marital Settlement Agreement is filed and is signed by both parties and the signatures have been notarized
- The final hearing is set and the spouses will receive notice mail within 10 days of filing
You’ve Filed Your Forms…Now What?
Now you wait for your court date. Depending on your county, you’ll either be given a date by the Clerk of Court or choose one.
You and your spouse are not legally divorced until your petition for simplified dissolution of marriage is finalized by the court. In court, the judge will sign another form to complete the dissolution of marriage – a Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.990(a) Final Judgement of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
In some jurisdictions, you’ll have to bring a completed copy of the final form with you to the court hearing. Or, the judge may take care of this for you.
Once the final form is signed, your divorce is final and recognized by the county and state.
Simplified Divorces Are Simpler than Regular Divorces, But They Still Come with Risks
We’ve seen couples rush to choose a simplified divorce when they go to file in order to save the money and time involved in a regular divorce. If you and your spouse meet all of the criteria, a simplified divorce is the way to go. But be aware that you give up a lot of rights when you go this route.
For example, if you choose to file for a simplified divorce in Broward County without petitioning for alimony or support, there’s no option to petition for any support in the future.
If you plan to file for a divorce that involves marital assets, including property rights, or the handling of liabilities, we highly recommend you seek the guidance of an experienced Florida divorce lawyer. It’s well worth the investment to ensure you’re getting what you deserve after your divorce.
Read more about why working with an experienced divorce lawyer can help you win your case.
What Should You Do?
Contact us today for a free family law case evaluation. We’ll answer your questions and explain your rights. When you’re ready to work with an experienced divorce attorney near you to help you file for a simplified divorce, please fill out the form on our Contact Us page or give us a call at (954) 880-1302.