What Are The Legal Grounds For Divorce In Florida?
When getting a divorce, many people do not realize that they may need legal grounds to initiate the divorce process. Some states, including Florida, are no-fault divorce states, which means you do not need to prove anything or anyone’s fault to obtain a divorce.
If you are considering ending your marriage in Florida, do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you have the legal grounds for divorce in your specific case. Schedule a case review with our Orlando divorce attorney at Arwani Law Firm.
Do You Need Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
Florida recognizes two grounds for a dissolution of marriage:
- Mental weakness of either spouse; and
- Marriage is irretrievably broken.
If your spouse has had a mental illness for at least three years before filing a petition for divorce, your case may meet the “mental illness” ground for a divorce. The second ground for divorce is that your marriage is irretrievably broken because one or both spouses no longer want to live with each other.
The vast majority of divorces in Florida are based on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Is Florida a No-Fault Divorce State?
Some states allow spouses to seek a divorce based on fault-based grounds, such as adultery. However, Florida is a no-fault divorce state. It means that a spouse does not need to prove that the other spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage to get a divorce.
All you need to obtain a divorce in Florida is to file for a divorce on the grounds that your marriage is irretrievably broken.
How to Get a Divorce in Florida
In Florida, spouses must meet residency requirements to file for divorce. Under Fla. Stat. § 61.021, one or both spouses must have lived in the State of Florida for at least six months prior to filing a petition for the Dissolution of Marriage.
If you meet the residency requirements, you can proceed with filing a petition for divorce to initiate the process. Once the petition is filed, the responding spouse will be served with divorce papers.
Florida law also imposes a mandatory 20-day waiting period from the date the petition for divorce is filed. The Respondent will file an answer to the divorce petition. After the response is filed, the divorce process depends on whether your divorce case is contested or uncontested.
If a divorce case is contested, it will take longer to get a divorce. If a divorce case is uncontested and the spouses agree on all the issues, they may be able to settle their divorce case within a month or two after the date of filing the petition.
In some cases, couples are eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage, which is a quicker and less complicated way to end a marriage in Florida. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if your case qualifies for a simplified dissolution of marriage.
Get a consultation with our divorce attorney Rania Arwani, the founding family law attorney at Arwani Law Firm, to discuss your unique case. Call 407-254-0060 to talk about your case.