Do I Qualify to File for Divorce in Florida?

Divorce in Florida

Do I Qualify to File for Divorce in Florida?

Qualify for Divorce in Florida

There are two topics that you should discuss with your prospective Florida attorney at the beginning of your divorce consultation in order to determine if you qualifications for filing for divorce in Florida.

The first topic that you should discuss is which state has the proper jurisdiction in which to file for divorce. As we have discussed in past posts, Florida has some residency requirements that you must meet prior to submitting your petition for divorce. If you have not met the residence requirements of Florida Statute §61.13 (2010), you cannot file for divorce in Florida. What happens in practice is that some petitioners simply wait and take steps in order to establish (and gain proof of) their residency prior to filing for divorce.

The second (and easily met) qualification for filing the petition for divorce in Florida is whether there are sufficient grounds for the state granting the dissolution. As we have discussed in prior posts, Florida is a “no fault” state. That is, one need not be specifically “at fault” for the demise of the relationship and the estate will not be divided in a different manner (save for a few circumstances) as a sort of assignment of blame. Rather, the person attempting to qualify for a Florida divorce simply need to allege one of two grounds for dissolution.  The petitioner must allege either “the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” or  “the mental incapacity of one of the parties”.  (See Florida Statute §61.052(1)).   While either (or both) grounds for divorce can be alleged in a particular case, the common practice in Florida divorces is to allege both grounds in the petition, due to the possible technical defenses to the grounds of mental incapacity of your spouse.

It is not difficult to qualify to file for a petition to Divorce in Florida.  The state leaves the decision up to the petitioner, for the most part – as it should. The question that we should address, as attorneys, is whether or not our client is sure that they want the divorce. We receive a lot of calls where people had a somewhat severe argument with their spouse, but really are not sure whether (or not) they want to go through with it. We do our best to let our potential clients know that while it isn’t difficult to qualify to file for divorce in Florida, and we do everything in our power to make sure that the process goes smoothly, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. There are financial and time costs involved, as well as an impact on the couple’s respective families and/or children.

If you have any questions regarding the divorce process in Florida, give us a call and let us field your questions and address your concerns. We can help or will try to find someone that can.