Few people get married with the idea that they will one day be thinking about divorce, and the first steps in figuring out how to actually go about obtaining a legal order granting you the divorce can be deeply confusing. One of the first questions people considering divorce in Florida have is about who is eligible to actually seek a divorce in the state, especially where the couple was not married in Florida and/or where one of the spouses does not live in the state.
THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR A FLORIDA DIVORCE
There is no requirement that you have been married in Florida in order for a Florida to be able to grant you a divorce. Based on the principles of U.S. federal law, a Florida divorce will be recognized in all 50 states, including the state you were married in.
You do, however, have to have lived in Florida for at least six months before filing the initial divorce papers. This does not mean that you should wait to speak to a family law attorney about filing for divorce until you have lived here for six months, as your attorney can prepare all the necessary paperwork and advise you of important steps you should be taking in the meantime while you wait for the six month period to complete.
Only one spouse needs to be living in Florida, which means that you can file for divorce in Florida even if the other spouse does not live in Florida or indeed if that spouse has never set foot in Florida. That said, if the other spouse has no connection to Florida, there may be some complications with regard to having a Florida court order that alimony be paid or that property located out-of-state be returned to you, but your attorney can provide you with further counsel on these issues.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ESTABLISH FAULT TO OBTAIN A FLORIDA DIVORCE
Florida law does not require that you or your spouse establish "fault" in order to grant you a divorce, meaning you do not have to prove there was a specific problem in the marriage such as adultery or abandonment. Instead, a Florida court can grant a divorce so long as one spouse claims there has been an "irretrievable breakdown" in the marriage, which is tantamount to simply saying that one spouse no longer wishes to be married to the other person.
A Florida court may in some cases delay granting the divorce for up to three months to give the spouses time to reconcile if one of the spouses requests this, or where there is a potential adverse effect on minor children. This will not prevent the court from ultimately granting the divorce, however.
CONTACT FLORIDA FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY RYAN MYNARD TODAY ABOUT YOUR DIVORCE MATTER
If you have any questions about alimony in Florida, or you are seeking counsel in any other Florida family law matter, contact Florida family law attorney Ryan Mynard at 850-683-3940 today to get started.