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Grounds for Divorce in Florida

In Florida, as in other states, state law provides for dissolution of marriage between couples. In order to be granted a divorce, the marriage must have suffered an “irretrievable breakdown” or there must be incapacity of one of the spouses. By far, the most common grounds for divorce in Florida is referred to as the existence of “irretrievable differences.”

Irretrievable Breakdown

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage means that the parties are not able to maintain the marriage. They are no longer able to live together in a marriage and are no longer able to work things out. When the respondent does not deny that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and there are no minor children, the court will enter a divorce judgment. However, if there are minor children, the court may order the couple to seek counseling prior to granting dissolution of marriage.  That this will happen is extremely rare, although it is allowable in the language of the Florida Statutes. 

Incapacity

Incapacitation of one spouse may occur due to a number of reasons. Incapacity generally means that the person is unable or unwilling to make logical decisions or has a problem which is debilitating. The spouse must be deemed incapacitated based on the provisions of the law (s.744.331) for a time period of a minimum of 3 years. The divorce proceeding must be served to the incapacitated spouse along with the guardian. If the person does not have a guardian, the court will appoint one for the purposes of the divorce. It is imperative that the person be properly represented in order to understand the divorce proceedings.

What the Court May Require

Rarely, if ever, the court may not agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, although it is possible under the Florida Statutes.  If this were to happen, the judge may require the parties to seek counseling in some form or fashion. For example, the judge may require parties to spend time working with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, or rabbi, or other professional that is acceptable for consultation. Other actions may be required as well, especially if they are in the best interest of the minor child or children. A continuance of the proceedings will thus be put on hold for a period of not more than 3 months. This is considered time to allow for a possible reconciliation.  Again, this is extremely rare.

Help From a Qualified Divorce Attorney

Not all divorces are easy. In fact, many of them are quite complex and each has its own set of circumstances which must be reviewed and resolved.  However, it is important to note that the court will proceed with a divorce regardless of whether both parties agree that there are irretrievable differences, and which irretrievable difference do not have to be proven, just alleged. If you are about to go through a divorce, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.

By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

All Family Law Group, P.A.
The law firm of All Family Law Group (Lynette Silon-Laguna, P.A.) provides legal services to the cities of Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon, Riverview, Lakeland, Valrico, Gibsonton, Lithia, Mango, Palm River, Plant City, Seffner, Sun City Center, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Thonotosassa, Lutz, FishHawk, MacDill Air Force Base, and all of Hillsborough, Pinellas & Polk Counties.

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