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What are the requirements for a divorce?

by St. Petersburg/Florida Family Law Attorney on 02/28/16

Here, I will provide a very brief overview of the divorce process in Florida.  As a family law attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida, I assist individuals with divorce along with other family law issues in Pinellas County and the surrounding counties. 

Is Fault an issue? 

Contrary to popular belief, Florida is a no-fault state.  This essentially means that you don't need a reason as to why you're getting a divorce.  In most instances, one spouse will declare that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," or irreconcilable differences."  

Please understand however, that spousal misconduct may still have an impact on a divorce and issues such as alimony, child custody, and distribution of marital property.

Jurisdictional Requirements for a Florida Divorce

There are two kinds of jurisdictional issues that arise in divorce proceedings. They are personal jurisdiction and subject-matter jurisdiction (please see earlier posts regarding these terms).  With subject matter jurisdiction, only of the two spouses must be a resident of Florida for Florida to assert subject matter jurisdiction and grant the divorce.  As for personal jurisdiction, Florida does not need personal jurisdiction over the non-filing spouse in order to grant a divorce or adjudicate issues related to child custody.   However, it's very important to note that Florida does need personal jurisdiction over the non-filing spouse in order to adjudicate issues of property, spousal support, and child support.  If the non-filing spouse resides in Florida, then the court will have personal jurisdiction over that individual (spouse).  However, if the non-filing spouse does not reside in Florida, then the court must look to Florida's long arm-statute to assert persona jurisdiction.  Personal jurisdiction will be asserted if the parties maintained a marital domicile in Florida, or if the other spouse resided in Florida prior to the action. 

To quickly sum up, to obtain a divorce in the Florida, one of the spouses must have been a Florida resident for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce.  

Hopefully, this article helped you gain a rudimentary understanding of the divorce requirements in Florida.  If I can be of any assistance to you in regards to your family law matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.  We offer free over the phone consultation along with low-cost in office consultations.  

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