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Does Florida have a divorce waiting period?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Family Law

If you want a divorce, you probably want it as soon as possible. But instant divorce is not possible in Florida, though it does not have to take years either.

For one thing, Florida law requires that at least one of the spouses must live in the state for at least six months before either of them can file for divorce here. If you and your spouse have lived in Ft. Myers or elsewhere in Southwest Florida for years, this will not be an issue. But you will have to abide by Florida’s divorce waiting period no matter what.

Very short waiting period

The good news is that you probably won’t even notice. Florida’s waiting period is just 20 days. This is much shorter than many states, some of which impose months-long waiting periods. The average divorce settlement takes months to negotiate anyway. Even if you and your ex are still on relatively good terms, you most likely will not agree on complex matters like property division and child custody within 20 days of filing.

The process of getting divorced usually takes much longer than three weeks. There is too much at stake, both financially and for the children, to rush through it and give up your rights just to get it finished as soon as legally possible. Patience, and the help of an experienced divorce lawyer, are more likely to result in a reasonable settlement or court verdict that you can use as the basis for the next chapter in your life.