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How long will an uncontested divorce normally take?

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 14, 2023)

Last Updated on: 14th October 2023, 09:23 am

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Florida?

Ending a marriage can be a difficult and emotional time. When you decide to get divorced, one of the first questions you probably have is “how long will this take?” The answer depends on several factors, especially whether your divorce is uncontested or contested.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse agree on all issues involved in ending your marriage. This includes decisions about:

  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Division of assets and debts
  • Any other marital issues

You don’t have to see eye-to-eye on why the marriage is ending. You just need to be able to reach agreements on the terms of the divorce. As long as you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can negotiate a settlement on these issues, you can proceed with an uncontested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce Timeline in Florida

An uncontested divorce in Florida typically takes between 1-3 months from start to finish. Here is a general timeline:

  • Week 1: One spouse files the initial divorce paperwork, known as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Weeks 2-3: The other spouse is served with the divorce papers. They have 20 days to file a response, either agreeing to the divorce or contesting it.
  • Weeks 4-6: In an uncontested case, the responding spouse agrees to the divorce. They work with the filing spouse to complete any other required documents, such as financial affidavits and a marital settlement agreement.
  • Week 7: The court reviews the paperwork and may schedule a final divorce hearing.
  • Week 8-12: The final divorce hearing takes place. If approved by the judge, the divorce is finalized. The couple must wait at least 10 days before remarrying.

As you can see, the process moves fairly quickly when both spouses cooperate. Some key steps must happen before you can finalize an uncontested divorce in Florida:

Residency Requirement

To file for divorce in Florida, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least 6 months first. This is known as establishing residency.You can satisfy the residency requirement as long as you or your spouse have physically lived in Florida for 6 months before filing the divorce petition. It does not matter if one spouse leaves the state after filing.

Mandatory Waiting Period

Florida law requires a 20-day waiting period after filing for divorce. This gives spouses time to be sure they want to end the marriage. It also allows time to serve divorce papers on the other spouse.Judges can waive the waiting period in some cases. But you generally have to wait at least 3 weeks before finalizing an uncontested divorce.

Parenting Class Requirement

If you have minor children together, Florida requires both parents to complete an approved parenting course before finalizing a divorce. This applies even in uncontested cases with agreed parenting plans.You can take the class online or in-person. It typically takes 4-6 hours to complete. The court won’t finalize your divorce until certificates of completion have been filed.

Financial Disclosure

You and your spouse must fully disclose your incomes, assets, debts, and other financial information. This usually involves filing the following documents:

  • Family Law Financial Affidavit – Provides details on your employment, income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
  • Certificate of Compliance – States that you have provided the required financial documents to your spouse.
  • Notice of Social Security Number – Used to identify assets and income sources.

Being open and honest about finances ensures the divorce settlement is fair and equitable. Failing to disclose assets can cause legal problems down the road.

Marital Settlement Agreement

This crucial document spells out the terms you and your spouse have agreed on for ending your marriage. It becomes legally binding once signed and approved by the judge.Some key sections in a marital settlement agreement include:

  • Asset division – Lists who gets which assets like real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement plans, etc.
  • Debt division – States who is responsible for each joint or individual debt.
  • Child custody plan – Provides a timesharing schedule and decision-making details for minor children.
  • Child support terms – Specifies who will pay child support, the amount, and when it’s due.
  • Alimony terms – Includes amount (if any) and duration of spousal support.
  • Other provisions – Covers taxes, insurance, name changes, etc.

Having a detailed marital settlement agreement helps prevent future disputes between ex-spouses.

How to Prepare for an Uncontested Divorce

If you want your Florida divorce to go as smoothly as possible, it helps to be organized and prepared. Here are some tips:

  • Talk it out – Have open and honest discussions with your spouse to negotiate agreements on all divorce-related issues.
  • Gather documents – Make copies of financial statements, deeds, car titles, and other records to determine asset division.
  • Check timelines – Review court schedules to see how long it will take to get hearing dates, etc.
  • File paperwork – Use Florida’s simplified forms to file your divorce papers accurately and completely.
  • Consider pros and cons – Weigh the benefits of hiring an attorney vs. self-representation in an uncontested case.
  • Stay calm – Keep emotions under control and communicate respectfully with your soon-to-be ex.


The typical timeline for an uncontested divorce in Florida is 1-3 months from start to finish. This allows time for meeting residency requirements, the waiting period, parenting classes, financial disclosures, and court approval.Streamlining the process through cooperation and advanced preparation keeps an uncontested divorce on a faster track. Understanding the timeline and requirements allows you to plan accordingly.Going through a divorce isn’t easy, but agreeing on terms and following proper procedures can help smooth the road ahead. With patience and planning, you can finalize an uncontested dissolution and move forward with your new life.

Additional Resources:

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Florida?

Uncontested Divorce in Florida: A Step-by-Step Guide

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Florida: What’s the Difference?

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