How to File for a Divorce in Jacksonville, Florida

By Christine Funk, J.D.

How to File for a Divorce in Jacksonville, Florida

By Christine Funk, J.D.

If you are interested in filing for divorce in Jacksonville, Florida but don't have an attorney, you can represent yourself. Jacksonville, Florida is in Duval County. You can file for divorce in Duval County if you are a resident of Florida (for at least the past six months), including, but not limited to, the city of Jacksonville.

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1. Follow the general rules when filing for divorce.

When filing for divorce, the Duval County Clerk of Court requests you include the following information on every document you file: your name, address, email, and telephone number. Make certain forms are complete and correct. Where applicable, you should sign the forms and have them notarized.

2. Determine which type of divorce fits your circumstances.

A person filing for divorce in Duval County has to choose to file for either a simple or regular divorce.

Simple Divorce

In certain situations, couples may file for a simple divorce. In a simple divorce, both parties agree to all issues. They must understand they are giving up certain legal rights available under the regular dissolution procedure. Couples qualify for a simple divorce if:

  • They have no children under the age of 18.
  • The wife is not pregnant.
  • One party has lived in Florida for the past six months.
  • Both parties agree to the division of property.
  • Both parties agree to the division of debts.
  • Both parties sign the joint petition.
  • The parties paid the filing fee.
  • Serious permanent differences result in both parties wanting the marriage to end.

Regular Divorce

Where a couple has minor children together, the wife is pregnant, or the parties don't agree to the terms of the divorce, the parties must proceed with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

3. File the appropriate forms with the court.

There are a number of different forms that a couple might use when filing for divorce. First, choose the correct petition form according to your situation. Depending on the petition form that best fits your situation, there are other required forms to file along with or after the petition. The petition form options include:

  • Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Form 12.901(a))
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (Form 12.901(b)(1))
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (Form 12.901(b)(2))
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with No Dependent or Minor Child(ren) or Property (Form 12.901(b)(3))

When the couple has minor children, one of the additional forms they must file is a Parenting Plan. There are different parenting plans depending on a family's situation. These include:

  • Parenting Plans involving time-sharing (Form 12.995(a))
  • Supervised/Safety-Focused Parenting Plan (Form 12.995(b))
  • Relocation/Long Distance Parenting Plan (Form 12.995(c))

4. Pay the requisite filing fees.

Any time you start an action with the court, you must pay a filing fee. Fees vary depending on the nature of the action filed. To determine the appropriate fee schedule, consult with the Duval County Clerk of Courts.

5. Serve your spouse and comply with situation-specific requirements.

If a couple is filing for a regular divorce, the filing party must serve the other party. After service, if the parties cannot agree to the division of assets and debts or to a parenting time schedule, the parties are required to attend a mediation hearing.

Further, in a case where the parties have minor children, both parties must pay for and attend a parent education course.

6. Appear before the judge.

To complete a divorce, the parties must appear before a judge at a final hearing. The court schedules the hearing well in advance, and the parties receive notice of the hearing. At the hearing, the judge signs the petition for divorce if the parties have reached a resolution. When parties cannot reach a resolution, they have a trial before the judge, who makes a determination about all areas of the divorce that are at issue, including parenting time, custody, and allocation of assets and debts.

If you are filing for a divorce in Jacksonville, Florida, you should first consider your options. Once you know your circumstances and the type of divorce petition you must file, you can follow these steps.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.