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Is there a way for a person to obtain a divorce pro se in Florida? What documents are needed?

Melbourne, FL |

My boyfriend is unemployed and cannot afford a lawyer. He has been separated from his wife for over 12 years but they have not been able to afford a lawyer to obtain a divorce.

They have two children, ages, 17 and 13. There is already a child support degree in place. They do not own anything to separate.

He does not have any visitation rights with the children. He can only see them when the mother allows. it. She has stated she wants alimony medical and dental coverage which he cannot afford as he is unemployed.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Yes, you can proceed pro se in a divorce. He will have to figure out what he needs to file based upon a variety of factors specific to his situation. It's complicated--that's why he really shouldn't go it alone, particularly if his wife asking for money he cannot afford to pay.

    My answer to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. If he does not come up with the money to pay an attorney, he may be paying more in the end given her request for alimony, medical, dental, etc. If the child support agreement provides for medical and dental for the children, he may end up paying for more than is required. Many lawyers offer free consultations. At a minimum, your boyfriend should check to see if he qualifies for legal aid.

  3. The Florida Supreme Court website provides Family Law forms for individuals like your boyfriend, who want to obtain a divorce, but who cannot afford a lawyer. Your boyfriend does have options: First, he can download the forms and attempt to file pro se. Second, he can seek representation through the Legal Aid Services, which is an organization that will provide free legal services to those who cannot afford it. Lastly, he could approach his wife and ask for her cooperation to work with a certified family law mediator, who can assist in filing all of the necessary papers. Mediation fees are substantially less than litigation fees, and the parties can work to resolve their dispute themselves. Good luck!

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