What are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
Most couples enter a marriage with the promise of “happily after after”. Unfortunately, not every marriage turns out that way. If you find yourself in a situation where you are contemplating ending your marriage, it is important to know the grounds for divorce.
In Florida, to obtain a divorce — called a dissolution of marriage – you or your spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Florida court. This is the official document that requests that the court terminate your marriage under certain grounds. The grounds for divorce vary from state to state.
No Fault State
You may have heard that Florida is a no fault state. But what exactly does this mean? Florida is one of many states that have abolished fault as a ground for dissolution. This means that, according to Florida law, one spouse does not have to prove to a judge that the other spouse was at fault for causing the breakdown of the marriage.
There are only two grounds — two legally acceptable reasons — to obtain a divorce in Florida:
1) an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or
2) the mental incapacity of one of the spouses for a minimum of three years immediately prior to the filing of the petition.
The grounds for dissolution of marriage must be declared and substantiated with testimony or evidence.
What constitutes irretrievably broken?
This is easier than it sounds. By declaring that your marriage is irretrievably broken, you are stating that it cannot be fixed. That there are no steps to take that will bring about a reconciliation or restore your marriage to a healthy one. Your reasons for this do not need to be complicated. Perhaps you and your spouse have grown apart. Or, you no longer have feelings for your partner and your lives have gone in separate directions. Sometimes spouses cannot agree on some major life decisions and the obstacle is just too great to overcome. No fault means you do not have to prove adultery, abandonment or the like in order to request that you be allowed to divorce your spouse. All you must demonstrate is that the marriage is irreparable.
While the process of filing for divorce in Florida is less complicated than in other states, divorce is difficult. It can be emotionally draining, extremely stressful, and confusing. When you petition the court for a dissolution of marriage, it is important to understand the grounds and have someone by your side to help you navigate this process.
Mark G. Rodriguez is an experienced Tampa divorce attorney who helps clients every step of the way, exploring each possible bargaining point and fighting for a full and fair settlement on your behalf. If your marriage did not end happily ever after, you are still entitled to be happy. The sooner you act, the sooner you can start your new future. Call the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez today at (813) 227-9642 or use our secure online form to schedule a free consultation.