What are the Legal Requirement to File for Divorce in Florida?

Under Florida law, the requirements for filing a divorce action are not complicated. Florida does not recognize “fault,” such as a spouse’s infidelity or squandering of money on an addiction, as a legal grounds for divorce. Florida is a “no fault” state.

Instead, Florida requires that your marriage is considered “irretrievably broken.” This fact should be alleged in your divorce petition and is usually proven to the court through your testimony that your marriage is, in fact, irretrievably broken.

You must also confirm the existence of your marriage. Your marriage certificate or testimony can establish this requirement. Importantly, either you or your spouse must be a Florida resident for the six months immediately preceding your filing for divorce. You will have to show proof of residency for this time period. A Florida driver’s license is commonly used to prove six months of residency, but other forms of proof are also acceptable.

Florida offers both regular divorce/dissolution of marriage proceedings and a simplified form of divorce if you meet certain qualifications. The simplified form will be less expensive and faster. Even if you choose this form, it is advisable to consult with an attorney before filing the forms.

You and your spouse may file a simplified dissolution of marriage petition if you meet the following requirements:(a) you both agree to use this form of dissolution proceeding; (b) you have no minor children (under age 18), no adopted children under the age of 18, or dependent children (including adult dependent children); (c) the wife is not pregnant; (d) at least one of you has lived in Florida for the past six months; (e) you and your spouse agree on the division of all of your assets and debts, (f) neither of you seeks alimony; and (g) both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, contact an experienced family law attorney for a consultation to learn about your legal rights.   Even if you plan to file a simplified dissolution of marriage, it is important to do it right. A divorce attorney will make sure your rights are protected.

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