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Divorce in Polk County
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Online Divorce in Polk County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com is the leading company for providing legal paperwork drafting services, but OnlineDivorce.com does not give legal advice. All the information on the website is for informational purposes only.
Those who are going to get a divorce in Polk County, FL can enjoy the easy, fast, and cheap service of OnlineDivorce.com for their divorce procedure. Onlinedivorce.com offers an affordable solution to simplify the process of divorce paperwork preparation.
Preparing divorce forms online is rapidly becoming more popular in Florida since the spouses can fill out divorce papers without leaving home by choosing the easiest and most affordable way.
For a fair price, and with no hidden fees, OnlineDivorce.com will prepare all the legal forms required for your specific case and provide you with clear guidance through all the steps of a divorce in Polk County.
The legal forms required for the dissolution of the marriage are not the same in every state. The state of Florida, and Polk County, in particular, have their own unique set of papers.
OnlineDivorce.com always takes into account the peculiarities of Family Law for each state and filing rules of each county to offer the necessary and correct printable divorce forms in Polk County. Our step-by-step instructions will clarify the local rules of the filing process and other essential information about the fastest and most inexpensive way to get a divorce in Florida.
Completing the divorce paperwork using an online service is appropriate for all couples who are able to reach an agreement on all issues and want to obtain an uncontested divorce in Polk County. As long as a couple can come to an agreement, neither divorce with children nor cases in which marital property must be divided are restrictions for using OnlineDivorce.com.
Hiring an attorney for this stage of the process is not necessary in most cases. So, if both parties agree to get an uncontested divorce, why pay more for the document preparation?
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Clients save at least $1,700 on lawyer fees
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Polk County
Florida is a “no-fault” state. Therefore, no fault-based grounds are provided. As a “no-fault” state, neither spouse has to prove any reason for the separation.
Mental incapacity of one of the parties for a preceding period of at least three years. This ground must be proven by competent medical or psychiatric testimony to apply for divorce in Polk County, FL.
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For a divorce case with a child in Florida, judges are eligible to award either sole or joint custody to either party or both parents.
Nevertheless, following the Family Law of the state, joint custody is preferred. The court will order that both parents share parental responsibility for a minor child unless the court finds that this type of custody would be detrimental to the child.
Each child custody issue of a divorce proceeding is considered separately based on the determination of the best interests of the particular child involved in the case.
Following the Florida Statute, Sec. 61.13 (3), the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the minor child and the circumstances of the case, among others, include:
The capacity of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule with the non-custodial parent and other family members, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
The capacity of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child.
The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
The moral fitness of both parents.
The mental and physical health of the parents.
The home, school, and community record of the child.
The preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be capable of expressing a preference.
The capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.
The capacity of each parent to provide the child with food, medical care, and other material and physical needs, as well as to provide a consistent routine for the child.
Any evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect. Also, any proof that either parent has lied to the court in any matter involving the actions above.
Any other factors that are essential to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule.
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Rules for child support in Polk County
In Florida, the court may order either parent to pay child support during and after the dissolution is finalized.
The worksheet generates an appropriate Florida child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.
The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available had the parents remained married. This sum is then divided proportionally to the parents based on each parent's income.
Rules for spousal support in Polk County
In a divorce in Polk County, alimony is granted on a case-by-case basis. You may resolve this issue by yourself. Otherwise, the judge can order support as a result of a court hearing.
Two notable facts about spousal support in Florida are that alimony significantly affects the property distribution and that marital fault, e.g., adultery, is considered while making an alimony order (even though Florida is a no-fault state).
Other factors and circumstances that play a role in the award of alimony include:
The duration of the marriage.
The financial condition of each party.
The habitual standard of living established while married.
The age and health of each party.
Each spouse's contribution to the marital property and marriage, including non-marital contribution like homemaking, child care, education, and career-building of the other party.
The time needed for the party requesting alimony to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment and become financially self-sufficient.
Any other reasonable factors necessary to ensure equity and justice between the parties.
After these considerations, one of two types of alimony can be awarded:
Permanent alimony which lasts for the rest of the life of the spouse receiving support or until remarriage.
Rehabilitative alimony which supports the party receiving alimony until he or she is able to gain the needed skills or education to become financially self-sufficient.
Uncontested Polk County divorce with children
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Property division in Polk County
To understand how property is divided in a divorce in Polk County, it is worth noting that Florida belongs to equitable distribution states. The spouses may divide their joint property on their own, or the court will distribute the property in an "equitable and fair" manner, after thorough consideration of numerous circumstances.
Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal. So the final share the spouses receive may vary, sometimes quite significantly. Nevertheless, there is no need to divide assets which are recognized by the court as separate property of either spouse.
The factors the judge takes into account when determining what property division is fair include:
The length of the marriage.
Each spouse's financial condition.
The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition and enhancement of both marital and separate assets of the parties.
The contribution to the marriage of each spouse, including non-material contributions as homemaking and child care.
The contribution of each spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other party.
The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for the child of the marriage.
Any cases of intentional waste, dissipation, or destruction of marital assets within two years before the filing of the petition.
Any other factors the court considers to be essential to establish equity between the parties.
Mediation support in Polk County
Mediation in Polk County is an alternative dispute resolution, typically, under the guidance of a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator. The mediator is a neutral and unbiased professional who cannot provide legal advice or force an agreement. The mediator helps the parties to negotiate and resolve the issues of their dissolution for the mutual good by offering them different settlement options.
Under the Florida Statutes, Sec. 61.052 and 61.183, if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court has the right to order the mediation session. If mediation fails, the spouses have to go to court so that the judge can make the decision.
In a divorce in Polk County with children, or if the defendant of a case does not agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the judge can also order the couple to participate in parenting classes or mediation sessions and even delay a dissolution motion for up to three months.
How to file for divorce in Polk County | Step-by-Step
To file for divorce in Polk County, the spouses have to meet Florida residency requirements. One of the parties must have been a resident of the state of Florida for at least six months before filing the petition. Proof of residency can be corroborated through a valid Florida driver's license, a Florida voter’s registration card, a valid Florida identification card, or the testimony or affidavit of a third party.
In Polk County, all dissolution cases, including regular dissolution of the marriage and simplified dissolution, are handled in the Family Court Division of the Florida court system. The dissolution process is initiated by filing a petition with the clerk of the Circuit Court's office.
The petitioner (the spouse who initiates a divorce) should prepare the legal forms required for their particular case, fill them out, and file them with the court clerk’s office. In the case of Simplified Dissolution, which is one more type of termination of marriage available in Florida, the spouses file the Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage jointly in the Circuit Court of their county.
In a regular dissolution process, the petitioner should make two copies of all the submitted forms. One copy will be for him or her and the other copy will be for the other spouse (called a defendant or respondent in a case). The original forms stay with the court.
Service means giving a copy of the divorce forms to the defendant using the procedure that the law requires. Serving divorce papers in Polk County can be done in two ways - personally or by mail. However, you cannot serve your spouse by yourself. Personal service means that a summons and copies of divorce forms must be delivered by a deputy sheriff or private process server. An Affidavit of Diligent Service form must be filled out to approve the delivery. The petitioner has to serve the documents to the other spouse within 120 days of initiating the proceeding. After being served, the second spouse must file a response.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse.
Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures.
Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal fees
Potential court battles adding to already high stress levels
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Filing fees for divorce in Polk County
The filing fee for divorce in Polk County, FL is a payment for the court's services, which is charged at the moment of filing. The average filing fee in the state of Florida is $400.
The court filing fee is mandatory. The only exception is for indigent petitioners who have submitted a filing fee waiver, providing financial information on total salary, other income, and any other liabilities and debts. If their request is approved, they will only have to pay $25.
How long will it take?
Since the waiting period between filing the Petition and the final hearing in Florida is 20 days, a divorce cannot be finalized before the 20th day after the suit is filed.
Exactly how long it may take to finalize a divorce in Polk County, FL is impossible to predict since the length of the divorce process depends on too many different factors.
If both parties agree and file the petition jointly (Simplified Dissolution), it can take much less time to obtain a Divorce Decree, in part because there is no time spent on the service process.
When it comes to regular dissolution, contested cases are typically twice as long as uncontested ones.
In theory, on average, an uncontested divorce in Polk County takes about five weeks from start to finish.
Filing for divorce in Polk County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Polk County?
The cost of any divorce in Polk County starts with a court filing fee. However, the rest of the potential expenses are as difficult to predict as the exact divorce timeline.
An uncontested divorce is typically more affordable, while the contested proceeding can cost much more.
Hiring lawyers and legal representatives usually makes up the lion's share of divorce prices in Polk County. Therefore, in a contested divorce, a lot will depend on how long it takes the couple to resolve their conflicts.
For those couples who decided to refuse a divorce trial, the main issue is to complete the papers correctly. In such a case, OnlineDivorce.com can be a quick, simple, and cost-effective option.
How do you file for divorce in Polk County without a lawyer?
It is legal and entirely possible to get a divorce in Polk County without a lawyer, especially in the case of amicable simplified dissolution.
Do-it-yourself divorce in Polk County and Florida, in general, implies that the petitioner arranges the entire process on their own, starting from collecting the needed forms and ending with the final court hearing. State and county courts' websites offer self-help guides to assist individuals with the DIY-divorce process. The guide outlines the process of a DIY-divorce so that you can better determine whether this option fits your situation.
Spouses who want to save time and effort often choose OnlineDivorce.com for their DIY-divorce, to resolve all the paperwork matters online and in the shortest terms.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Polk County?
The primary legal forms required to file for an uncontested dissolution in Florida include:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children;
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent or Minor Children;
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with No Dependent Children or Property.
Family Law Financial Affidavit
Notice of Social Security Number
Notice of Current Address
Marital Settlement Agreement
For primary legal forms to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage in Florida includes:
Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
Civil Cover Sheet
Family Law Financial Affidavit
Marital Settlement Agreement
Can I file for legal separation in Polk County, Florida?
No, the state of Florida has no formal procedure for legal separation.
The spouses can enter into a written agreement for property, custody, and support matters as part of a divorce procedure.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
Florida does not have a required waiting period after a divorce is final before ex-spouses can remarry. Either divorced person is allowed to remarry as soon as the Final Divorce Decree is signed and issued.
Divorce in Polk County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet that is required by a local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online.
In rare cases, some local forms specific to a filing county can vary in color, paper material, size and / or scanning bar code so they may need to be obtained from the county clerk's office directly.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on the answers they give in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to read through the legal jargon and try to figure out how to fill out those forms yourself.
We give the detailed and easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so a client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email or live chat and we'll do our best to help.
We save time and money for our clients - if divorcing spouses are in agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer
to handle their divorce forms and they don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or money back - we have 20 years of experience in completing divorce
forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents with no issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is
prepare, file and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for trial complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - expect at least $2000-3000 spending and more depending
on complexity of your case.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and averagely are $250-300 per hour. In rural areas,
attorneys may charge less, however, if you live in a large city local attorneys may charge up to
$1000 per hour.
At first glance using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing timeframes - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g. for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
actually based in other countries? No wonder that some clients are provided with outdated divorce
forms that will be rejected by the court. Result? Those people lose their time and money. Lacking
professionalism, these services are not keeping up-to-date with the state forms updates.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service it’s common that some
post reviews by non-existent "customers".
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