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How long do you need to be separated in Florida before you can get a divorce?

Jacksonville, FL |
Filed under: Divorce

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Attorney Answers 3


There is no mandatory separation period in Florida. As long as one spouse resides in Florida for more than 6 months, the court has jurisdiction and you can obtain a dissolution of marriage.

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Once the residency requirement is met, the only required waiting period arises form the fact that a final judgment cannot be entered for at least 20 days form the date the petition is filed.

This is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice upon which anyone should rely. Nor does it create any attorney client relationship.

Stanton L. Cobb
Board Certified Marital & Family Law Specialist
Fellow - American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
P.O. Box 149223
Orlando, FL 32814-9223
Tel. (321)972-4643
Fax (407)374-2499

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There is no necessity to be separated before you divorce in Florida. Indeed you must be a resident of the State of Florida for at least 6 months before you can file for a Dissolution of Marriage.

I would recommend that if you know there is no chance of reconciliation, don't wait too long before you attempt to dissolve the marriage. Equitable distribution of property can get really messy if married people separate for a long period of time and the parties go on to acquire property and incur debts during that period - or even worse, one of the parties drain the marital assets - and there's no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to govern the parties. Additionally, if children are involved and you are not receiving child support, Florida Statutes limits the period of time you can seek retroactive child support and that time period attaches to the time you file your Petition for Dissolution and goes back only two years.

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