Grounds for Divorce in Florida

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No-Fault Divorce - Florida Family Law

Divorce in Florida - From the Florida Bar

There are three principal players involved in your marriage that will also be involved in your divorce: you, your spouse, and the state. You cannot simply break up, saddle your charger, and ride off into the sunset. Among other legal considerations, you have to give the state an acceptable reason why you should be allowed to break up. The reason is known as the ground for your divorce. Over the years each state has enacted legislation that governs acceptable grounds.

There are different grounds for a divorce, separation, and annulment. There are two (2) grounds for divorce in Florida:

  • the marriage is irretrievably broken;
  • mental incapacity of one of the parties for a period of three years;

From Florida Statute Chapter 61.052, Dissolution of Marriage:

If there is no minor child of the marriage and if the responding party does not, by answer to the petition for dissolution, deny that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of the marriage if the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken;

When there is a minor child of the marriage, or when the responding party denies by answer to the petition for dissolution that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may;

1.  Order either or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation; or
2.  Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation; or
3.  Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage.


If, at any time, the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of the marriage. If the court finds that the marriage is not irretrievably broken, it shall deny the petition for dissolution of marriage.

(3)  During any period of continuance, the court may make appropriate orders for the support and alimony of the parties; the primary residence, custody, rotating custody, visitation, support, maintenance, and education of the minor child of the marriage; attorney's fees; and the preservation of the property of the parties.

(4)  A judgment of dissolution of marriage shall result in each spouse having the status of being single and unmarried. No judgment of dissolution of marriage renders the child of the marriage a child born out of wedlock.

(5)  The court may enforce an ante-nuptial agreement to arbitrate a dispute in accordance with the law and tradition chosen by the parties.

(6)  Any injunction for protection against domestic violence arising out of the dissolution of marriage proceeding shall be issued as a separate order in compliance with chapter 741 and shall not be included in the judgment of dissolution of marriage.

(7)  In the initial pleading for a dissolution of marriage as a separate attachment to the pleading, each party is required to provide his or her social security number and the full names and social security numbers of each of the minor children of the marriage.

(8)  Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Each party is also required to provide the full name, date of birth, and social security number for each minor child of the marriage. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.

 
 

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