Florida Divorce Residency Requirements
Florida divorce cases begin with the determination of which court to
file. Since divorce proceedings are handled through the federal system,
the circuit court of each county will be responsible for any divorce
Individuals are required to file in their county of residency or the
county of their spouses' residency. To be eligible for Florida
residency, an individual must be a Florida resident for a minimum of
six months. If a petition is filed towards the incorrect court, the
case will be dismissed.
United States law mandates that any divorce petition require that there
be grounds for why the divorce is being petitioned. These grounds must
be legal under Florida law.
Both individuals have the opportunity to agree on the divorcing grounds
or one individual may bring the grounds for divorce to the court to be
proven before the respondent. Marriages may be dissolved if they fall
into one of the two grounds categories. Divorce petitioning under any
other circumstances will be dismissed.
Category A of divorce grounds is that of a marriage that has been
broken beyond retrieve. In these cases marriage counseling usually has
been attempted. Category A cases do not mark one individual responsible
for the failing of the marriage and name no one to be at fault.
Category B of divorce grounds is on the basis that one individual is
responsible for the marriage's destruction. This category includes an
individual developing a mental illness that is beyond repair. Certain
requirements apply for mental incapacity. Before a divorce case can be
filed for this reasoning, the individual in question must first be
examined by a mental professional and be adjudicated as being
permanently incapacitated under Florida statute 744.331.
At least three years must pass before a divorce may be filed after
incapacity has been determined according to Florida statues 61.052.
Filing for Divorce
Filing for divorce can be a very lengthy process and will include
several necessary documents. The documents can range from ten different
forms to as many as twenty different forms for a single divorce
The number of necessary documents depends on the length of the
marriage, children involved, the grounds for divorce, and spousal
support. Some of these documents can include a Final Disposition Form,
a Waiver form, an Answer form, an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness
form, a Family Law Financial Affidavit form, and a Marital Settlement
Equitable Property Distribution
All property within a marriage will be distributed equitably as stated
in Florida law. Equitable means that the property will be divided
fairly between the individuals and not necessarily equally.
Property distribution depends on the length of the marriage, personal
debts, child custody, career opportunities, contribution to the
household, education, economic status, and many others. The individual
who has custody of any subsequent children will most often receive the
family home in a settlement so that the children will not be subject to
In joint custody circumstances either individual may receive the rights
to the home, unless the individual who receives the home in the
settlement does not want it.