The following is a practical guide to what you and your spouse will need to complete the necessary court forms to file for a divorce in Florida. Don’t be overwhelmed by other divorce checklists that you may see during your internet search. If you and your spouse generally agree to the elements of the divorce agreement, such as child visitation and distribution of assets and liabilities, divorce litigation may not be necessary and you may not want to hire attorneys. .
Rather, you can hire someone other than an attorney, such as a certified family mediator, to help you identify and complete the court forms. If that is the case and there are no other complicated circumstances (such as the division of a retirement account), the following list identifies the twenty documents and pieces of information that are needed for the person other than an attorney to select to help complete court forms and preparing you to file the divorce petition.
1. Proof of residence. You or your spouse must be able to show that one of you has lived in Florida for at least six months. Residency can be proven with a valid Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, or voter registration card. The date of issuance of the document must be at least six months before the date of filing the case with the clerk of the circuit court;
2. Full and formal names of each spouse;
3. Complete residential address of where each spouse lives;
4. Email address of each spouse;
5. Telephone number of each spouse;
6. Name, address and telephone number of each spouse’s employer;
7. Date of birth of each spouse;
8. Social Security number of each spouse;
9. Date of marriage;
10. If separated, date of separation;
11. The full and formal name of each minor;
12. The date of birth of each minor child;
13. Social Security number of each minor child;
14. Total annual compensation of each spouse (eg salary, bonus, tips, etc.);
15. Gross pay rate by pay period and pay period (eg weekly, every other week, monthly);
16. A pay stub from each spouse will go a long way in completing the court financial affidavit forms. The pay stub will indicate the types and amounts of deductions from gross wages (for example, income tax, Medicare, insurance, employer loans, union dues, etc.);
17. Marital status for tax filing purposes (eg, probably married) and number of dependents claimed by each spouse. Your employer or your payroll department would have this information. Knowing the filing status and the number of dependents to be claimed after the divorce will give you more accurate financial affidavits;
18. List of ongoing monthly expenses separately anticipated by each spouse after divorce, including credit card and loan payments, food, gas, car maintenance, and children’s expenses (for example, daycare, clothing, money for lunch and medical and dental insurance);
19. A list of assets, such as cars, clothing, jewelry, furniture, cash, televisions, retirement accounts (account names and account numbers), bank accounts (bank name, name on accounts, and account numbers) . Walk around your house and make a list. Estimate the value of each asset and be realistic. Identify any assets that you believe are uniquely yours and should not be divided (for example, non-marital assets). As stated on the financial affidavit court form, it will generally only list an asset as non-marital if it was owned by one of the spouses before the marriage. Florida Statutes Section 61.075 (1) defines marital and non-marital property.
20. A list of liabilities, such as credit card balances, auto loans, mortgages, employer loans, and so on. Be specific and identify the names and account numbers of the lenders. Identify any liability that you believe belongs solely to you and should not be divided (for example, non-marital liability).