Chapter 61 of the Florida state statutes deals with the laws and requirements for filing for dissolution of marriage in the state. The laws that are defined by the statutes also apply to anyone filing for divorce in Ocala, a small city in north central Florida. Divorce filings are processed by the Marion County Clerk of Courts and court hearings for couples residing in Ocala take place in the Marion County family court.
Establish residency in Ocala, Florida. According to the state statute for dissolution of marriage, one or both spouses must live in the state for at least six months before filing for the petition. If you want to file for divorce in Ocala, then you should establish residency in Ocala if your spouse does not already live there or has lived there for at least six months.
Go to the Marion County Clerk of Court’s office and file either a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage Petition or a General Dissolution of Marriage Petition (with or without minor children). If you and your spouse agree to divorce and seek an uncontested divorce, you can file a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage Petition together at the courthouse. If there are minor children of the marriage or if the divorce is contested in any way, including the division of marital property, you will need to fie a General Dissolution of Marriage petition, with or with your spouse.
List the grounds for divorce on the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. In Florida, there are only two grounds for divorce. The first is irreconcilable differences. The second ground is mental incapacity that has been ongoing for at least three years before filing. If you allege that your spouse is mentally incapacitated, there is a lengthy process of proving his or her mental incapacitation that must take place before the court will decide on dissolution of marriage. The additional procedures for mental incapacitation as grounds for dissolution of marriage are defined by Florida State Statutes, Chapter 744, Section 331.
Keep track of all court dates, which will be assigned to you by the Clerk of Court’s office. These include any preliminary hearing dates and trial dates. If you miss a court date or fail to provide information requested by the court, the court could dismiss your petition.
The state of Florida does not legally require you to hire an attorney to represent your interests in a divorce case. If your spouse contests the divorce, or if you have a large amount of marital property to divided, you may want to consider hiring an experienced attorney. The Florida Bar Association provides a legal referral service, which you can contact, to find a reputable and experienced divorce attorney in the Ocala area ). You can contact the Florida Bar Association at 850-561-5600 or through their website.