Filing for Divorce

One of the many states that has abolished fault as a ground for divorce is Florida. The only requirement to dissolve your marriage is to prove that your marriage is “irretrievably broken” or that one of the spouses has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years.

Divorce, also known legally as a dissolution of marriage, can be filed by either spouse in the state of Florida. The filing spouse, or petitioner in this scenario, must complete a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” and file for it in the county they live in which last resided together as husband and wife. The other spouse, or respondent in this case, is required to give an answer within 20 days after being served, to concede to the divorce or file a counter petition to bring up any additional issues he or she would like the court to address. In the event that the want for a divorce is not mutual a judge may move to have the couple seek counseling with a therapist, psychiatrist, priest, rabbi, or other qualified professional. Although fault, such as cruel treatment or infidelity, may not be grounds for divorce in Florida it can still be taken into consideration in limited circumstances when it comes to deciding alimony, the division of property, assets and debt, and child custody.

The process of getting a divorce requires mediation unless you and your spouse can come to an agreement prior to mediation. Both parties will be required to fill out a financial affidavit within 45 days of the date the petition for dissolution of marriage is served, and provide requiring documents such as income information, assets, debts, tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, personal financial statements, and any other imperative financial information concerning you or your spouse.

If both parties are unable to come to an agreement, the case will proceed to trial and a Judge will make a decision regarding all aspects of your case. The divorce process can be complicated and time consuming not to mention extremely emotional, or even traumatic. It can be beneficial to have a sensitive and knowledgeable divorce attorney in your corner for support to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of and have everything covered during such a trying time.