What are Grounds for Divorce in Florida?

Coming to the decision to seek an end to your marriage is often a long and difficult process. You may have tried to resolve your differences but have been unsuccessful. Florida is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that you do not have to place blame on either party in order to get a divorce. A no fault divorce means that the marriage is irretrievably broken and it cannot be repaired. The only other grounds for divorce in Brevard County and elsewhere in Florida is if one of the spouses has been declared mentally incapacitated by a judge at least three years prior to filing for divorce.

What are the Requirements for Divorce in Florida?

Florida law has specific requirements for those seeking a divorce. In Florida, at least one spouse must be a Florida resident for a period of six months immediately prior to filing for divorce. In addition, you must be able to provide documentation that proves that a legal marriage existed. The marriage must be irretrievably broken. When you have minor children, you must agree that divorce is in the best interest of the children. The court may order the parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, or other professional and continue the proceedings for a period of not more than three months.

When one party wants a divorce and the other does not, it does not automatically mean the divorce cannot move forward. This is commonly called a contested divorce. It may also occur when the parties cannot agree to the terms of the divorce settlement. Both parties are to work together to come to an agreement regarding the issues of the divorce, including distribution of assets and debts, child visitation and support, and spousal support.

Should We Go to Counseling?

If you and your spouse are in agreement that the marriage cannot be saved, you may not want to go to any type of counseling. However, if you are still unsure about divorce and want to give the marriage some time, you might benefit from professional therapy. In some cases, a judge may request that couples go to counseling even if they are intent on divorce. Counseling may provide couples with the tools they need to communicate and co-parent following a divorce.

If you have not already attended counseling it may be helpful for both parties. When you have children, you may be required to attend some counseling to be better able to co-parent outside of marriage. When couples cannot agree to the terms of the settlement, the court may request that they seek mediation. Mediation is different than counseling because it helps couples communicate about particular issues of dispute in the divorce. A mediator is not a therapist and is not there to resolve emotional problems, but rather is supposed to facilitate resolution on difficult areas that are holding up the divorce.

Divorce can be complicated, especially if you have children or have been married a long time. Contact our experienced Brevard County family law attorneys at Henderson Legal Group to discuss your divorce today.


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