There are few actual divorce requirements in Florida. First, it is important understand that the legal term for divorce in Florida is a ‘dissolution of marriage.’ This terminology, while somewhat clinical sounding, is actually appropriate because a dissolution of marriage has many similarities with a dissolution of a business partnership. While there are many legal similarities to this analogy, clearly a divorce is much more personal.
It is important to understand that the laws which apply to divorce are state laws, not federal ones. This means that the rules which apply in Florida are different than those which apply to someone in another state. In addition, while Florida dissolution of marriage laws apply to the entire state, there often other rules, requirements and procedures that vary by county and judge.
There are no jury trials for family law cases in Florida. Decisions in court will be made by a judge.
Divorce Requirements In Florida
At least one member of the married couple must have lived in the state of Florida for six months prior to filing paperwork asking for divorce.
The law requires legal grounds for a divorce. For most people, the only required legal grounds are that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This means that in one partner’s opinion, “nothing can save the marriage.”
You can also get divorced on the grounds of one party’s mental incapacity.
Know The State Law Regarding Divorce
We suggest that learning about divorce should include reading actual Florida statutes regarding dissolution of marriage. This is the primary set of state laws that the attorneys and judges will follow. You don’t have to read them all, or even understand everything. Focus on reading the sections that may be most important for your situation. For example, if child support is a big issue, spend some time reading what the law is regarding it.
This will help you to understand the basic divorce requirements and framework that will be used to make decisions in your case.
Every Divorce Is Unique And The Law Is Often Flexible
Every family and marriage is different. Many people make the mistake of thinking the experience and outcomes will be the same no matter who they are, what they need or who they choose for an attorney. That is often not the case.
The law deals with family differences by creating lists of factors that judges use when making decisions. This gives judges broad discretion to determine what they believe to be fair. Outcomes can vary from case to case and judge to judge even when the basic facts of the case are similar.
While a divorce attorney clearly needs to understand family law, often the attribute which sets them apart is their ability and experience to understand the dynamics of everyone involved in the case. Too many people settle for cookie cutter explanations and solutions which may later turn out to be a mistake. Families are unique, family law is flexible and each family deserves a unique solution that accommodates their differences.
Next Step: Learn about the actual divorce process and options available.
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