- At least one of the spouses must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to filing for the divorce.
- One of the spouses must allege and prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. Thus, a spouse is not required to prove fault or misconduct or establish grounds for the divorce. We often have to explain to our prospective clients that the court, as general rule, is not interested in hearing about the parties’ dirty laundry. This can be a difficult pill to swallow for some clients who feel that they’ve really been wronged by their spouse, and they want the judge to hear about it. Under certain circumstances, a spouse’s bad behavior such as substance abuse, dishonesty, violence or adultery, among others, is admissible as evidence if it is relevant to a particular issue in the case such as custody. Adultery is typically not relevant to the alimony issue unless a party can show that his or her spouse was wasting marital assets or money on the affair.
If a marriage is irretrievably broken then essentially it cannot be saved through counseling or other means. There is no separation requirement which means that the parties do not have to live in separate residences before seeking a dissolution of their marriage. The court has the authority to dissolve the marriage even if one spouse does not consent to it. In other words, your spouse does not have to agree to or “give you a divorce.”
As part of the dissolution of marriage proceeding, the court will address numerous other issues including division of assets and liabilities, alimony, child custody and child support, among others. If any of these issues are disputed by the parties, the divorce is a “contested divorce.” It there are contested issues in the divorce, it is recommended that a party seek the services of an attorney. When the parties cannot reach an agreement, either on their own or at mediation, the case will proceed to trial before a judge, who will decide the remaining issues.
The qualified and experienced family law attorneys at the Rice Law Firm understand the intricacies of Florida divorce law and are dedicated to providing superior legal representation. We will carefully analyze the facts in your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. Just write call us, and we’ll take it from there. We know what we’re doing.