What are the grounds for divorce in Florida?
Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal term for ending a marriage under Florida divorce law. The dissolution of marriage occurs when the court, through a legal proceeding, terminated a marriage contract. Based upon the Florida Dissolution of Marriage Statute, the court’s ultimate goal is to provide a framework for the amicable settlement of issues and conflicts which inevitably arise between unhappily married couples and to minimize the potential harm to the spouses and their children caused by the process of the marriage’s termination.
Under current Florida divorce law, a dissolution of marriage will not be granted based upon the fault of one or both of the parties. Therefore, in and of itself, the fact that one, or both. parties had an affair is not a sufficient grounds for the court to grant a divorce. There are only two grounds for the dissolution of marriage in the state of Florida:
1. the marriage is irretrievably broken, or
2. mental incapacity of one of the parties.
Although the grounds of mental incapacity is rarely used because no dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated according to the provisions of Fla Stat.. 744.331 for a preceding period of at least 3 years. Notice of the proceeding for dissolution shall be served upon one of the nearest blood relatives or guardian of the incapacitated person, and the relative or guardian shall be entitled to appear and to be heard upon the issues. If the incapacitated party has a general guardian other than the party bringing the proceeding, the petition and summons shall be served upon the incapacitated party and the guardian; and the guardian shall defend and protect the interests of the incapacitated party. If the incapacitated party has no guardian other than the party bringing the proceeding, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to defend and protect the interests of the incapacitated party. However, in all dissolutions of marriage granted on the basis of incapacity, the court may require the petitioner to pay alimony pursuant to the provisions of FlaStat..61.08.
More often, the reason used to obtain a dissolution under Florida divorce law is that the marriage is demonstrated to be irretrievably broken, meaning the parties have differences or disputes that cannot be settled, and are so severe that they have caused the total and complete breakdown of the marriage.
If there are minor children, or if a claim of irretrievable breakdown is denied, the court may order counseling, continue the proceedings for three months, or take such other action as may be in the best interests of the parties and children of the marriage.
Divorce is a traumatic situation and presents many questions about support, child custody and property distribution. If you find yourself in a conflict what your rights are when considering a divorce, you owe it to yourself to obtain advice from a qualified, experienced and compassionate attorney before making a major decision that could have a lifelong impact on the lives of you and your loved ones. Dan Newlin & Partners are exactly those types of attorneys. Call now for free advice on family law, and other legal issues. The call is free, but the advice could be priceless. Call Dan now at (407) 888-8000.