Florida Family Law Handbook

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Required Reading for a Florida Marriage License

You might be surprised to discover that Florida has some required reading material for couples that intend to get their marriage license. Before a couple can apply for their license, they must confirm with the county clerk that they have reviewed this short handbook that has been designed to give couples a general overview of the marriage contract, and basic laws associated with a marital relationship. It explains some of the ways that changing from a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to a marital relationship will impact you legally. The main topics of the handbook are changes in financial responsibilities and economics, as well as the difficulties that come with divorce-- should it ever come to be.

Short Overview of the Handbook

Economics Change

One of the big aspects of the Florida Family Law Handbook is making sure that couples understand how your financial and economic responsibilities change.

When two people marry they form both a social and an economic partnership. That partnership does not need to be renewed every year, as you would a car registration. Rather, it exists until either one party dies or the parties’ marriage is dissolved (divorce).

The handbook draws attention to the fact that there are certain laws that determine what happens to a person's property in the even of divorce or death. Consider how your financials will change after marriage. Who will be given your property if you die? How will your belongings be split if you choose to divorce? Prenuptial agreements can structure financial aspects of a relationship should either individual of the couple die, or in the unfortunate event that the couple chooses to divorce.


The main focus for the handbook is to express to couples the consequences of divorce and how it impacts financial, social, and family aspects of your life. The handbook explores:

  • Who gains assets (during a divorce)
  • Liabiltiies and money you owe
  • Spousal support or alimony
  • Child issues
    • Who gains custody
    • How much time will each parent have with the child
    • If one parent wants to move with the child

Finished reading?

Learn what you'll need to bring to your county clerk to get a marriage license.