Forms which Must be Filed in a Florida Divorce
A Civil Action Cover Sheet. The civil action cover sheet tells the court you are filing for a divorce and provides the name of both spouses. The spouse signing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is called the "Petitioner" and the other spouse is called the "Respondent." The civil action cover sheet lists the name of the circuit court and county where you are filing. The clerk of the court will insert your case number and assign a judge after you file the papers.
A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the document stating that you want a divorce that requests what you want, necessary legal grounds and providing necessary information for the court. If the parties have a signed agreement prior to filing the petition it is filed then the Court does not have to decide anything. The Agreement is ultimately incorporated in the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
Answer: When a petition is filed by one spouse, the other spouse must be presented with the petition, or "served" with a summons and is required to "respond" or answer the petition. If you have a signed Marital Settlement Agreement the non-petitioning spouse signs a document called an "Answer” stating that they agree to accept service of the petition, and agree (admit) or disagree (deny) to the statements the petition.
A Financial Affidavit. A Financial Affidavit is a sworn to document that shows your net income, which is calculated from your monthly gross income from all sources, including benefits, and your allowable deductions. It also reflects your monthly expenses, the expenses for any minor children, and your assets and liabilities. The Husband and Wife must each prepare and file a Financial Affidavit. The Financial Affidavit must be signed and notarized. A financial affidavit is not required in the event of a simplified divorce in Florida. A simplified divorce in Florida requires you have no minor children and your spouse is not pregnant, you have signed a Marital Settlement Agreement which divides your property and debts, neither party is seeking alimony, both parties sign the petition for dissolution of marriage and you and your spouse will appear together at the final hearing. You must exchange documents called mandatory disclosure unless this disclosure is waived in writing. The documents include income tax returns, pay stubs, retirement statements, financial account statements, including savings, checking, investment accounts, health insurance information, life insurance information, business information, credit card statements, leases and mortgages, deeds, and other obligations. It is difficult to agree without full disclosure or mandatory disclosure of income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. You would not know what you are waiving without this information.
A Marital Settlement Agreement. The Marital Settlement Agreement is the document filed which resolves all of the issues between the parties, including, distribution of assets and liabilities, alimony, custody or time-sharing (Parenting Plan), child support, and fees for attorneys or experts as applicable. It is a contract for your divorce. It is sometimes called a Settlement Agreement, Property Settlement Agreement, Mediated Agreement or Mediated Marital Settlement Agreement, or Collaborative Marital Settlement Agreement.
A UCCJEA Affidavit. Each parent must comply with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act ("UCCJEA") by filing a UCCJEA Affidavit. The UCCJEA Affidavit provides information about any prior or pending custody proceedings, and information regarding the residence of each child for the prior five year period. The UCCJEA Affidavit must be signed and notarized.
A Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. If there is a minor child, or minor children of the Husband and Wife, they must provide for support of the minor child and file a child support worksheet prior to obtaining a divorce. If there is a signed Agreement there is usually a child support worksheet attached to the Agreement. When there are support obligations you must file a Notice of Social Security Numbers.
A Parenting Plan. This may be included comprehensively in the Marital Settlement Agreement, or it may be drafted as a separate document. The parties must provide the court with an outline of how the parents will share time with the child, provide for health insurance for the child, who will be responsible for school related matters, and the methods the parents will use to communicate with each other and the child. A signed Agreement usually has the parenting plan terms or is attached to the Agreement separately.
A Notice of Final Hearing. To obtain a Final Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage at least one spouse must appear at the Final Hearing and that spouse is the Petitioner because they have filed the Petition seeking divorce. The notice of hearing is the form filed that sets the date to appear before the judge of your court for the final hearing. If the Wife wishes to resume her former name, the Wife will be required to appear before the court. When the name is changed the state and federal government must be advised appropriately, and may need a certified copy of the Final Judgment which includes the name now changed.
The Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. The Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is the document signed by the judge which grants your divorce. In cases with an Agreement signed by the parties’ the final judgment incorporates the Agreement. If a name change is requested it will be included in the Final Judgment. If an Order must be entered to divide a Retirement Plan the Final Judgment should include a reservation of jurisdiction to enter those Orders according to your Agreement and your intent.