State Laws

Florida Divorce


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 petitions.

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.

Filing Grounds
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 petitioning.

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 Agreement form.

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 change.

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.

See also:
Florida Gun Laws
Florida Bankruptcy Laws
Florida DUI Laws
Florida Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Florida Felony External link (opens in new window)
Florida Divorce External link (opens in new window)