How Long Must I Separate Before Divorce in Florida?

Divorce is an incredibly emotional process, but it is also a legal one. Like all states, couples going through a divorce must meet several different legal requirements in Florida. This often only adds confusion to what is already a difficult time. One of the most common questions our Orlando family lawyers hear is how long a person must wait before they can get a divorce. Individuals who have lived in the Sunshine State for a long time may not have to wait at all. Those who are newer to the state though, may have a minimal waiting period.  

Florida Does Not Have a Mandatory Waiting Period

The majority of states throughout the country place specific waiting periods on when a couple can get a divorce. These waiting periods range anywhere from 20 days to one year. The waiting periods placed on divorce are intended to give the couple time to reconsider and possible reconcile their marriage. They are meant to help people avoid filing for divorce in the midst of a heated argument and then regretting their decision at a later time. Many states place a longer waiting period on couples who have children to try and protect them from unnecessary legal proceedings.  

In Florida, there is no waiting period onto file for divorce. If a couple, or even just one party of the couple, decides to get a divorce, the case can be finalized any time after they file. They must only resolve all of their issues, such as property division and child custody timesharing . Once all terms are decided on, either in the courtroom or outside of it, a divorce can be finalized. Before this though, at least one party must meet Florida’s residency requirement.  

The Residency Requirement in Florida

The residency requirement in Florida stipulates that at least one party involved lives in the state for at least six months before a divorce can be granted. The requirement only applies to one party, and not both.  

For example, you may have moved to Florida with your spouse three months ago. Since neither of you have lived in the state for six months, you would have to wait another three months before you can file. If you lived in Florida for a year before your spouse recently came to live with you, you can still file for divorce now even though your spouse has not resided in the state for six months.  

A Divorce Lawyer in Orlando Can Help You Through the Process

The residency requirement in Florida divorces is one of many legalities associated with the process. There are many more and one small mistake could cost you your rights. At O’Mara Law Group, our experienced Orlando divorce lawyer will advise you of all the legal aspects of your case, ensure you comply with the law, and help you obtain the full and fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and to learn more about how we can help. 


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