Florida calls divorce a "dissolution of marriage.
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Some other states call this " irreconcilable differences. At least one spouse must be a Florida resident for at least six months before filing for a dissolution of marriage. If neither spouse meets the residency requirement, legal separation is an option in the meantime. Normally, a dissolution of marriage begins with a petition which states that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and describes what the petitioner would like from the court.
The other spouse will file an Answer, which gives the second spouse the opportunity to reply to the petition. Some spouses will agree on basic divorce issues, like separating propert, child custody, child support, and spousal support. If this is the case, the spouses will also submit a written agreement to the court. If the spouses agree on all terms of the divorce, the divorce may be final in only a few weeks.
If the spouses do not agree on issues, the divorce may end in a trial. Some Floridians may end their marriage in a simplified procedure, called a simplified dissolution of marriage. There are other mandatory financial disclosure documents that need to be filed during the case. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and accompanying documents are filed at the family law courthouse in the jurisdiction where you and your spouse last lived as husband and wife. The documents are generally taken to the courthouse by the process server who asks the clerk of court to file the documents and issue a summons.
Once the summons has been issued and documents filed, the process server will personally serve all the documents on your spouse. You must hire a process server or sheriff to serve the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and accompanying documents. You will have to go to court if you are the petitioner and prove the residency requirements and grounds for divorce if all of the issues in the case have been agreed upon by the parties and memorialized in writing in a Marital Settlement Agreement.
If the parties have not settled all of the issues, the court will make rulings on the issues and then grant the divorce. A person representing his or herself called a pro se litigant will have to become familiar with state procedural laws and circuit court procedural rules to obtain a divorce.
What typically happens is that the pro se litigant will learn the procedural rules by first not following proper procedure, which is extremely time-consuming and frustrating. Having an experienced family lawyer will ensure that proper procedures are followed for expedient adjudication of your case. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
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Can I get an annulment in Florida? When can I file for divorce in Florida? How long does it take to get a divorce in Florida? Do I have to go to court? A divorce begins when one spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court in which they seek to obtain a divorce. There is a Florida residency requirement that says at least one spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months before the divorce began. Although this is not to say that one spouse must be physically present in Florida for the entire six months.
Florida residency may be proven by presenting government identification e. Florida recognizes two major types of grounds for divorce. The first and most common reason is when a court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken. As a matter of public policy, Florida and all other states have abolished the at-fault standard of divorce, which declares one party to be more or less the cause of the divorce, in favor of the irretrievably broken standard.
Divorce Laws in Florida
When a marriage is declared to be irretrievably broken, it means that the marriage has become so dysfunctional that it cannot be recovered. A court may order the couple to go to marriage counseling to try to determine if the marriage is, in fact, irretrievably broken. In all cases, at least one spouse must testify in support of the marriage being broken. But it is important to note that even if the court finds that the cause of the marital dysfunction is the result of a condition that may be cured, the court may still declare the marriage to be irretrievably broken.
For instance, a marital counselor may determine that one spouse is suffering from treatable depression and that depression is the cause of related marital dysfunction. This finding in and of itself may not necessarily prevent a court from declaring a marriage irretrievably broken. However, the spouses may both agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
In these cases, if the court finds evidence that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court must grant a divorce as required by law.
Florida Divorce Guide
The occurrence of domestic violence within the marriage may also be a reason for the court to find a marriage irretrievably broken. The other major reason for divorce in Florida is what is called incapacity. Incapacity means that one spouse has been legally declared to be mentally incompetent for at least three years before the start of the divorce.
A spouse who has been deemed to lack the mental capacity to be married may also submit a petition to divorce through their guardian. In these cases, the court must determine that the spouse who does have capacity contributed to the failure of the marriage in some way. The only defense available to prevent this type of divorce is to deny the accusation of misconduct and present evidence to support the denial.