When there is a death during divorce and before the judge can determine an adequate settlement, the surviving spouse must file a “suggestion of death” according to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.260 (a)(1). A suggestion of death informs the Florida courts that one spouse has passed.
Notably, in Florida, Courts will not grant a divorce when one spouse has died.
The state loses all jurisdiction over the marital property when one spouse passes away before the divorce can be finalized, and the deceased’s property goes into probate, as it would have under normal circumstances.
If there is a spousal death during a divorce proceeding, the surviving parent obtains sole custody of the minor children. Any visitation with the deceased spouse’s family members is at the sole discretion of the surviving parent. Remember, in Florida, grandparents do not have visitation rights.
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