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Florida Divorce Laws

All states have certain legal requirements you must meet before you can obtain a divorce. However, the specifics of these requirements often vary from state to state. Getting a divorce in Florida is no different. Below, you'll find information about the Florida legal requirements for divorce, including the "no fault" grounds for divorce, the required waiting period, and residency requirements.

To learn more about divorce requirements in general, take a look at our article on state requirements for divorce. Below are a table and summary about Florida divorce laws.

Code Section 61.021, et seq., 052, 19
Residency Requirements Petitioner must have residence in Florida 6 months before filing suit.
Waiting Period 20 days after petition filed.
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce Irretrievable breakdown; mental incapacity of one or the parties.
Defenses to a Divorce Filing -
Other Grounds for Divorce Mental incapacity of one party for preceding period of at least 3 yrs.

Florida Divorce Laws: Basic Requirements

Each state has basic requirements for a divorce, and Florida is no exception. Ensuring that you meet these requirements is the first stage in the divorce process. The following is a list of requirements for every divorce in Florida.

Residency

The most basic requirement to get a divorce in Florida is residency. State family law courts are very busy, and they want to minimize the hassle of presiding over a divorce for people who do not live in the state. As well, it may be difficult for that court to finalize the divorce if all the property is out of state. If you would like to get a divorce in Florida, the person filing for divorce must live in Florida for at least six months.

Waiting Period

Every couple has arguments and frustrations. Just like the court's desire to avoid divorcing a couple who does not live in Florida, the courts do not want to divorce a couple who may reconcile. In order to give the couple time to cool down and make sure that they really want to end the marriage, Florida requires the couple to wait twenty days after filing for the divorce until the divorce is final. Often, and especially when there are children or property involved, the divorce can take much longer than the twenty day requirement.

Requirements for No Fault Divorce in Florida

No fault divorces are significantly more common than fault-based divorces. This is because proving fault in a divorce is sometimes very difficult. Often, even when a spouse has a claim for a fault-based divorce, they will pursue a no-fault divorce because there is rarely any benefit for getting fault-based divorce.

In order to get a divorce that is not based on the fault, the divorcing spouse must show that there has been an "irretrievable breakdown" in the couple's marriage. Generally, this means that the couple has a substantial incompatibility that cannot ever be resolved. As well, no-fault divorce is available when one spouse has a mental incapacity.

If you would like to know more about divorce law, or if you would like to discuss the possibility of a divorce with a legal professional, there are many divorce attorneys throughout Florida who may be able to help.

Get a Free Legal Review of Your Florida Divorce Case

Getting divorced is hardly ever a pleasant experience, but things can really go wrong if you don't have the right understanding of the law or help from someone who does. Get a leg-up on your divorce process by having a Florida divorce attorney evaluate your case at absolutely no charge.

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