Where and how to file divorce - Florida

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Latest post 11-08-2012 7:07 AM by JoBraver. 10 replies.
  • 09-28-2012 9:12 PM

    • harmitch
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    Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    I'm 55, separated from wife for 1 year, no kids, no property, I live in Orange County Florida.  Wife moved back to South Carolina, I'm not sure of the address but I have the address of her adult kids where she lived prior to moving back to SC.

    We've agreed to a divorce, she says she'll sign the paperwork if I send it.

    1)  Can I file in Orange County using the simple divorce form and then send it to her?  If she's going to sign can't I use the kids' address for her to sign?  Or do I have to use the other form? 

    2)  Since our separation a year ago, am I liable jointly for any contracts she goes into?  We never did a formal separation.

    Thanks, I appreciate the help.

  • 09-28-2012 11:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    harmitch:
    Can I file in Orange County using the simple divorce form and then send it to her?

    Probably yes.

    harmitch:
    If she's going to sign can't I use the kids' address for her to sign?

    If she's supposedly so cooperative, call her up and get the proper address for the papers. If she's hiding her whereabouts from you then you are going to need a process server to make sure the papers get served properly or you might be spinning your wheels.

    harmitch:
    Since our separation a year ago, am I liable jointly for any contracts she goes into?

    There's always that risk when you wait that long.

    I suggest you visit the following website that has a lot of informaiton about Florida divorce law and procedure:

    http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=64

     

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  • 10-04-2012 4:41 PM In reply to

    • harmitch
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    • FL
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    Re: Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    I'd like to file the Simplified Dissolution procedure Form.  Is this permissable if the other party, even though willing to sign, lives out of State?  From what I am reading I may have to file the long form, the Petition for Dissolution.  It seems with the simplified version both parties have to be present at the final hearing.  What do you think?

  • 10-04-2012 5:04 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    If you two entered into contracts and have joint debts, you need to understand that your divorce is between you and your spouse.

    You may reach an agreement with her about who will be responsible for which debts, but your agreements are between you and her. If she agrees, as part of the divorce to be solely responsible for ABC debt and then defaults, if both of you signed the original loan agreement, the creditor will be free to chase either of you. It would be up to you to get her to honor the agreement. It does not become the creditor's problem.

    If she entered into a contract after you separated, in many states that would be her separate debt. Moreover, if she was the only person who signed the contract and incurred the loan obligation, the creditor cannot, by the magic of family law, make you liable. Whether a judge would rule the debt as part of the "marital estate" is not something that I would venture to make a guess on.

    Most of the time, however, judges will not second guess what the parties decide on their marital property/debt division agreements unless something really seems really strange. As noted, creditors are not a party to your divorce. They can only chase after whoever originally entered into the agreement. Ergo, even if under FL law, some debt she incurred post separation was considered marital and a judge ruled that you also were liable, the creditor cannot directly chase you, if you did not originally sign on. It would be up to her to chase you via contempt of court motions and orders, etc. The creditor can only pursue the person who signed the loan contract and incurred the obligation.

    Some exceptions may exist under the "doctrine of necessities", especially with regard to medical expenses. But, if we are just talking about garden variety consumer debt or auto loans, the above statements should generally be applicable.

     

     

  • 11-07-2012 9:53 AM In reply to

    • harmitch
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    Re: FL divorce - do both parties have to appear

    My spouse has moved to SC but still comes to stay in FL with her kids from time to time.  She's coming down next week and is willing to sign divorce papers since we're both agreed on it.

    I want to use the Simplified Dissolution of Marriage format using the kids address since she'd lived there.  I still have the packet since we'd picked it up about 6 months ago (we've been separated for over a year).  The information provided in the documents says that both parties have to be present for the final hearing. 

    1)  If she signs now but doesn't show up for the final hearing using the Simplified form, will everything get tossed out?  

    2)  Do you recommend I use the long format, dissolution of marriage forms instead?

  • 11-07-2012 10:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    harmitch:
    Can I file in Orange County using the simple divorce form and then send it to her?

    Here's a link to the simplified dissolution form with instructions as to when it can be used:  http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/901a.pdf.  It's not clear from your post whether you and your wife meet all the criteria, but nothing in your post suggests that you don't meet any of them.

     

    harmitch:
    If she's going to sign can't I use the kids' address for her to sign?

    I'm not sure what "use the kids' address for her to sign" means.  Obviously, you can put whatever address you want on the form.  However, since you apparently are in communication with your wife, why not just ask her what address to use?

     

    harmitch:
    Since our separation a year ago, am I liable jointly for any contracts she goes into?

    I don't see this as a useful question in the abstract.  What this question tells me, however, is that you may not have had an appropriate discussion with your wife regarding what debts exist and how they should be divided.  As the simplified dissolution form instructions clearly state, it is necessary that "[y]ou and your spouse have worked out how the two of you will divide the things that you both own (your assets) and who will pay what part of the money you both owe (your liabilities), and you are both satisfied with this division."  With respect to your statement that you have "no property," no one has "no property," so I'm not sure what you were intending to say.

  • 11-07-2012 10:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    harmitch:
    I'd like to file the Simplified Dissolution procedure Form. Is this permissIdeable if the other party, even though willing to sign, lives out of State?

    Yes.

     

    harmitch:
    It seems with the simplified version both parties have to be present at the final hearing.

    That's correct.  However, you seem to be equating living out of state with an inability to attend the final hearing.  If so, I'm not sure why you'd do that.  Have you discussed with your wife whether she is willing to travel back to Florida to attend the hearing.  If she's not willing, then you wouldn't be able to use the simplified form even if she lived in Florida.

  • 11-08-2012 7:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Where and how to file divorce - Florida

    There may be a procedure for the out of state party to appear by telephone- you would need to consult with local counsel.

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