The official term for divorce in Florida is "dissolution of marriage."
Florida is one of the many states that has abolished fault as a
ground for divorce. This law lessens the potential harm to the husband
and wife and their children caused by the process of divorce. All
that is required is that the marriage be "irretrievably broken."
Either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. All that
has to be proved is that a marriage exists, one party has been a
Florida resident for six months, and the marriage is broken. (There
is another, little-used ground: incompetency of one's spouse). Fault,
however, may be considered under certain circumstances in the award
of alimony and determination of custody issues.
Each divorce case is unique and therefore settlements vary. Even
though fault is not an issue, the division of property and possessions
and responsibility for support may become contested matters.
The divorce process is highly emotional and traumatic for everyone
it touches. Marriage partners often do not know their legal rights
and obligations. Court clerks and judges can answer some of your
basic questions but are prohibited from giving legal advice. Only
your lawyer is allowed to do that. Court procedures must be strictly
followed or you may lose certain rights forever. It is recommended
that you obtain the services of an attorney concerning legal questions,
your rights in a divorce, your children's rights, your property
rights, your responsibilities resulting from the marriage or tax
consequences. A knowledgeable lawyer can analyze your unique situation,
and can help you to make decisions in the best interest of you and
To obtain a dissolution of marriage in Florida, at least one spouse
must have been a Florida resident for six months or more before
the case is filed. There are two ways of getting a divorce, or dissolution,
in Florida. The usual way is called a "Regular Dissolution
of Marriage." The second method is the "Simplified Dissolution