Florida Divorce Laws

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Florida Divorce Laws

Planning to get a divorce in Florida? If so, then there are a few things you need to know about Florida divorce laws.

Residency and Filing Requirements

One of the first issues to consider, when filing for dissolution of marriage under Florida divorce laws, is whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. A key factor to determine jurisdiction is the residency of the filing party - that is, the spouse who initiated the divorce proceeding. If the court finds that it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case, the same shall not be accepted or the court will have to order a dismissal of the case.

Under Florida divorce laws, specifically Chapters 61.021, Florida Statutes, the requirements are as follows:

* One of the parties to the marriage must have been a resident for not less than six months in the state before the filing of the petition.
* The petition for dissolution of marriage may be filed in the county where either or both of the spouses reside.

Grounds for Divorce

Under Florida divorce laws, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage needs to be filed by one spouse (petitioner). This Petition must be based on appropriate divorce grounds as provided for in Florida divorce laws. These grounds are the following:

'No judgment of dissolution of marriage shall be granted unless one of the following facts appears, which shall be pleaded generally:

* The marriage is irretrievably broken;
* Mental incapacity of one of the parties. However, no dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated according to the provisions of s. 744.331 for a preceding period of at least 3 years.' (Chapters: 61.052, Florida Statutes)

Primary Documents

Florida divorce laws provides for two primary documents which are essential for starting and finalizing a dissolution of marriage. These documents are: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

There may also be ten to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process. These documents may include an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness, Marital Settlement Agreement, Family Law Financial Affidavit, Answer, Waiver, and Final Disposition Form.


* Filing Spouse Title: Petitioner - the spouse who initiates the filing procedure with the family law or domestic relations court.
* Non-filing Spouse Title: Respondent - the spouse who does not file the initial dissolution of marriage papers, but rather receives them by service.
* Court Name: In the Circuit Court in and for the County of _________, Florida - the Florida court designated by Florida divorce laws to hear dissolution of marriage cases. Upon filing, the court will assign a case number and have jurisdictional rights to facilitate and grant the orders concerning, but not limited to: property and debt division, support, custody, and visitation.

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