(954) 981-2200



There are two types of divorce in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as well as in the entire state of Florida: (1) a simplified dissolution of marriage and (2) dissolution of marriage. 

The Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys at Fixel Neave, P.A., can help you decide which divorce process is best for you whether you are in Fort Lauderdale or another Florida city.

What is a simplified dissolution of marriage?

A simplified dissolution of marriage is one in which you and your spouse have no minor children together and own no property together.  Don’t let the name fool you.  You and your spouse may own many assets and parcels of real property together and still elect to file a simplified dissolution of marriage because you resolve all divorce matters before filing a divorce lawsuit. 

What is a dissolution of marriage?

A dissolution of marriage is the type of lawsuit filed in the circuit court of Florida wherein you seek to be restored to the status of being single and you ask the court to equitably divide your assets and liabilities and to determine a parenting plan and timesharing schedule for your minor children.  You may elect to file a dissolution of marriage action if you and your spouse cannot agree upon the division of assets and liabilities or you have minor children.

What are the advantages of a simplified dissolution of marriage?

The advantages of a simplified dissolution of marriage are numerous.  First and foremost, you retain confidentiality regarding your financial condition because you are not required to conduct discovery in the same manner as a dissolution of marriage.    Second, you and your spouse are electing to resolve your divorce issues prior to filing a lawsuit.  That means both of you are committed to being honest with one another and to preserving your assets rather than litigating your issues and spending your assets on expensive litigation.  Third, you are not letting the attorneys or the Court drive your divorce case.  You and your spouse are in charge.  Lastly, you can fast track your divorce because the judge does not need to review your settlement to determine whether any agreements you have made with your spouse are in the best interests of the minor children.

What are the advantages of a dissolution of marriage?

If your spouse has tried to hide or dissipate assets, you will likely need to file a dissolution of marriage action.  Having your action filed with the court and having a judge looking over everyone’s shoulder will likely help you obtain documents and information you might need from your spouse that may not be forthcoming.  Further, if you are prone to procrastination, there are deadlines that everyone must comply with and you are required to take actions to move your case forward.

If you have minor children, you cannot file a simplified dissolution of marriage.  The court is required to make determinations about your children taking into consideration their best interests.  There is no mechanism in a simplified dissolution of marriage for child issues to be resolved.

Is a dissolution of marriage always contested?

Just because you filed a dissolution of marriage action in the circuit civil court does not mean you have a contested divorce.  An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse agree on how to divide your assets and liabilities, and resolve all issues involving your children.  This can be done without expensive litigation if everyone is reasonable and honest.  Most cases filed in the circuit court end up being uncontested actions because all issues are resolved prior to, during, or after mediation, requiring no judicial intervention or decision making.  Once you have resolved your matter and reduced it to a written agreement, you will attend an uncontested final hearing in which you tell the judge that your marriage is irretrievably broken, that you resolved your issues, and ask the court to ratify your agreement.  Only you or your spouse will be required to attend the uncontested final hearing, both of you are not required to attend.  If you or your spouse is electing to restore a prior name, then that spouse will attend the final hearing.

When is it appropriate to have contested dissolution of marriage?

It is always beneficial to you and your family for you and your spouse to resolve your matters without involving the judge.  However, in certain circumstances, judicial intervention is required.  For example, if your spouse is hiding or depleting assets, you may need the judge to enter orders preventing your spouse from continuing to engage in those behaviors.  If your spouse refuses to provide financial support to you during the divorce process, you may need the judge to enter an order requiring him or her to maintain the status quo to ensure bills are paid, and the assets are supported. 

If your spouse is extremely unreasonable and will not settle your matter amicably or reasonably, you may need to have a trial and have the judge make the determination of how you and your spouse share your assets and liabilities and how your children share time between you and your spouse.  This is the least cost efficient manner in which to resolve your matter, but is sometimes required.

If you have further questions regarding a simplified dissolution of marriage, a dissolution of marriage, a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, the Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys at Fixel Neave, P.A., are happy to help.  We offer free consultations and accept all major credit cards as payment for services.  We can be reached by calling 954-981-2200 or by completing our online contact form.

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(954) 981-2200

12 SE 7th Street
Suite 601 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301