Clients often express surprise that we generally may not ask the family law and divorce court for a final judgment the day we file their case. A reason we wait approximately three weeks from the date of filing to ask for your final divorce decree Florida to be granted is because of Florida Statute § 61.19. Florida Statute 61.19 governs the timing of the entry of a final judgment in a dissolution of marriage case. Does Florida have a waiting period for divorce? According to the Statute, an entry of final judgment may not be entered until at least twenty (20) days have elapsed. This is known as the delay period. There is an interesting distinction in the language you have just read. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, flat fee divorce attorney Orlando today for a consultation.
Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage
The official language of Florida Statute 61.19 provides: “No final judgment of dissolution of marriage may be entered until at least 20 days have elapsed from the date of filing the original petition for dissolution of marriage; but the court, on a showing that injustice would result from this delay, may enter a final judgment of dissolution of marriage at an earlier date.” A final divorce decree Florida may not be granted until 20 days after the filing of the ORIGINAL petition for dissolution of marriage. This means a divorce may be granted shortly after a filing of an amended petition for divorce provided twenty days have elapsed since the original had been filed. Timelines are important in dissolution of marriage cases and rules exist to protect one or both litigants and the integrity of the court.
Florida Statute 61.19
Consider the District Court of Appeals case of Magaziner v. Magaziner, 434 So. 2d 10, 11 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983). See Also Golub v. Golub, No. 5D21-421, 2021 WL 1326316, at *5 (Fla. 5th DCA 2021). In Magaziner the Court heard a case in which a final judgment was entered prior to the lapsing/expiration of the statutory 20 day waiting period. The District Court conceded the trial court’s procedural error in its early entry of final judgment. However, the Magaziner Court found there “was no showing in the record that injustice would result from the statutory 20-day delay”. Therefore, a Rule was violated, but that early entry of final judgment did not impact the outcome of the case. This should not encourage a violation of the Rule, but it should be a cause for concern as a judgment could be at risk if the Rule of Florida Statute 61.19 is not followed. If you intend to ask the family court for an early entry of final divorce decree Florida, there should be a mutual agreement of the parties and a valid reason justifying that time is of the essence. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, flat fee divorce attorney Orlando, uncontested divorce attorney Orlando today for a consultation.