Understanding the Timeline: How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?

Did the word ‘divorce’ pop into your head recently, and now you’re wondering – how long does a divorce take in Florida?

Let’s be honest; no one really wants to get divorced. Yet, there are still a few exceptions. While some divorces may be mutual and amicable, not all marriages can be salvaged.

Understanding the average divorce timeline in Florida is crucial, regardless of your reasons. In this article, we’ll break down the average timeline of a divorce in Florida for you.

That way, you can plan accordingly (and make it go even more smoothly). So if you want to know how long a divorce in Florida will take – read on!

Filing the Petition

Filing the petition is the first step of the divorce process. The petition is the official document that states the legal grounds for the divorce. It is usually filed by the spouse seeking the divorce (“Petitioner”).

The courts in Florida need the Petitioner to have residency for at least six months before filing for divorce. If the Petitioner seeks to expedite the proceedings, then they may file a joint petition with both spouses agreeing to the divorce.

But, if there are disagreements, then the single party must proceed with their Petition to get the divorce. After the Petition is filed, the court will issue a summons to the other spouse notifying them of the divorce action. Thus, it is important to understand the timeline so that all parties can plan accordingly.

Serving the Spouse

Once the divorce process has begun in Florida, it’s important to understand the timeline and how long it generally takes to get a divorce. The timeline begins once one spouse officially serves the other with a complaint for dissolution of marriage.

This is usually done either by a sheriff’s deputy, mail, or delivery from a private process server. After the papers have been served, the other spouse typically has 20 days to respond with an answer to the complaint.

The entire divorce process can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months. This depends on the complexity of the case and if both spouses are able to come to an agreement on the division of property and child custody.

Negotiation and Mediation

Negotiation and mediation are both important steps along the Florida divorce timeline.

There are two main options to reach a divorce settlement in Florida-negotiation and mediation. Negotiation is the process of the parties bargaining between themselves. It involves each side providing their own proposals on the terms and convincing the other to accept them.

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists the parties in exploring possible solutions. It also helps them come to a joint agreement acceptable to both. In either case, the process can take some time. Depending on how hard the issues are and how willing the spouses are to work together, the process can take anywhere from a few months to many years.


A trial can take anywhere from a few minutes to several months, depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of discovery or evidence needed. In Florida, divorces can take anywhere from four months to a year or more, depending on the particular facts of the case.

In some cases, it may be possible to get a divorce even sooner, such as if both parties agree to a settlement or an uncontested divorce. The length of time for a trial is typically dependent on the particulars of the divorce and can vary significantly between parties.

The final outcome may also affect the length of time for a trial, as a judge may take longer to come to a decision in a disputed divorce where both parties don’t agree on most of the terms.

To guarantee favorable results, it is essential to collaborate with divorce lawyers. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises during the process.


Divorce decree duration is an important factor to consider when trying to understand the timeline of how long a divorce takes in Florida. This timeline will depend on the number of issues there are to resolve. This includes alimony payments or division of property assets. Also, how quickly both parties are willing or able to cooperate with each other.

Once all of the paperwork is filed, the judge must grant the decree of dissolution before a divorce can be finalized. Depending on the particular case, the judge could take minutes or weeks to issue the decree. But the entire process should wrap up within a few months if any matters requiring resolution are reasonable.

Additionally, obtaining certain documents or witnesses can also impact the time frame. Knowing the process step-by-step can help a person to understand the timeline of how long a divorce takes in Florida.

Factors That Impact the Timeline

Understanding the timeline of how long a divorce takes in Florida depends on many factors. All divorces must wait at least 20 days from the date of filing before either spouse may remarry.

If there are no contested issues, the entire process is much more likely to go faster. Without any disputes, the process may take around four months, from Petition to final judgment. On the other hand, if there are contested issues, the process could last much longer.

Unresolved issues may include division of assets, child custody, child support, or alimony that require negotiations and court intervention to settle. If both parties are willing to cooperate, the timeline may compress significantly. In either case, the longer the process drags on, the greater the legal costs will be due to numerous court appearances and attorney fees.

A Guide on How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida

Overall, divorce is a long and stressful process. It is important to understand how long does a divorce take in Florida.

Taking a lawyer’s help can help lessen the burden and navigate through the complex legal system. Gather more information on the timeline of divorce in Florida to be more prepared. Get started today and talk to a lawyer.

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