Divorce by Publication in Florida
A divorce by publication in Florida is a process used to get a divorce when you’ve lost contact with your spouse, don’t know where they are and have no way of finding them.
It is not a different divorce process as such but only a process established in an attempt to provide notice to your spouse that you want a divorce, and an opportunity for them to be heard in court regarding any issues of the divorce. (Notice and opportunity to be heard in court on anything that affects anyone is a constitutional requirement).
A divorce by publication can be use when you have children and property. But the only objective is to grant you a divorce.
As to children (assuming they are living with you), the Court may order sole custody for you. Child support is not set in a divorce by publication because there is no way to prove to the court how much the other parent makes. In these divorces, the court usually keeps jurisdiction to set child support and provide for timesharing in the future, should the other parent ever come into court to ask the court for timesharing with the children.
When it comes to property in a divorce by publication, the court will not be able to equitably divide it.
Time Frame for a Divorce by Publication
You can count on at least 4 weeks to get divorced by publication in Florida. But it’s usually 6 to 8 weeks, so this is not the process to use if you are in a rush to get divorced for any reason.
The process to follow is pretty detailed; and for pro se people (those without a lawyer) it will probably seem more time-consuming than other divorces. It includes, of course, steps to publish notice to your spouse in a local newspaper that you are filing to divorce them.
Cost of Divorce by Publication
Divorces by publication have additional costs, although the filing fee with the court is the same as for any divorce. Additional costs will include the cost of publishing the notice in the newspaper. Since you will have to contact a number of agencies to find out if they have any information on the whereabouts of your spouse, these agencies may charge separately.
To find out more about our services for a divorce by publication, contact us.
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