What are grounds for divorce in Florida?
Under the Florida Divorce Law, divorce or dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of ending a marriage. This takes place when the court, in a legal proceeding, terminates 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.
The current Florida divorce law states that dissolution of marriage will not be granted based upon the fault of one or both of the parties. Hence, the fact that one, or both parties had an affair is not enough grounds for the court to grant a divorce. There are only two grounds for the dissolution of marriage in the state of Florida:
- The marriage is irretrievably broken, or
- Mental incapacity of one of the parties.
The grounds of mental incapacity is rarely used because under the provisions of Florida Statute 744.331, “No dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated 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 guardians 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 Florida Statute 61.08.”
Commonly, the reason for obtaining a dissolution of marriage under the Florida divorce law is that the marriage has become irretrievably broken, and the parties’ differences or disputes cannot be settled causing the 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.
For divorce assistance, contact the Divorce Attorney Tampa for your Free Consultation at (813) 336-3616.
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