Did you know that it’s a whole lot easier to get married in Florida than it is to get divorced?
Let’s compare and contrast both the marriage and divorce requirements in our state.
Florida Marriage Requirements
Florida is a beautiful place to get married, and our weather allows for year-round weddings regardless of whether you’re a Florida resident or not.
That’s the first thing you should know: you don’t have to be a Florida resident in order to get married in Florida. If you want to get married as a resident or a visitor to the Sunshine State, all you have to do is go to the clerk of the circuit court office closest to you to get a marriage license. You do not have to apply for a marriage license in the same county that you reside in.
You will need to provide photo identification and your social security number to obtain a marriage license. If you’re an international visitor, don’t forget your passport or immigration/naturalization number. If either you or your future spouse has previously been married, you will also have to provide the date of the divorce, annulment, or the previous spouse’s death.
A Florida marriage license costs $93.50 and is valid for 60 days after it has been issued. This fee can be reduced to $61 for Florida residents who have successfully completed a four-hour premarital preparation course.
After obtaining your marriage license, you have to wait three days before you can actually get married unless you’ve taken the premarital course. In that case, the waiting period is waived and you can get married as soon as you have your license.
Once your three-day waiting period is over, you can get married anywhere in the state – not only in the county where you received your marriage license.
Florida Divorce Requirements
As you can see, as long as you have the right documents and a few days, it’s pretty easy to get married. A divorce, on the other hand, requires a bit more patience.
The first thing to know is that regardless of where you were married, you can get divorced anywhere. If you were married here in Florida, you don’t necessarily have to get divorced here. On the flip side, if you were married in a different state, you can still get a divorce here in Florida… but only if you meet the residency requirement.
That’s right. Our state, just like many others, has a residency requirement written into the statutes. In order to get divorced here, one of the spouses must live in Florida for at least six months.
So what does that mean for you?
If you and your spouse move to Florida, neither one will be allowed to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage until one or both of you have lived here for six months or more.
If you or your spouse moves here individually, you will only be allowed to file for a Florida divorce after six months have passed.
But wait, there’s more. Once you meet that six-month residency requirement and are able to file for divorce, you will still have to do some waiting until your divorce is final.
If you and your spouse agree on everything and the divorce is uncontested, it can potentially be finalized in four to five weeks. However, if the divorce is contested, it could take six months or more.
You can get married quickly in our state, but divorce takes a bit more time. If you want to do it right, reach out to an experienced Florida divorce attorney to make sure you’ve fulfilled all the requirements and determine the best way to proceed.