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Requirements for Divorce in Florida


There are certain procedures to be followed in order to obtain a divorce. During this process, a couple must come to agreement on numerous factors, including alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, and property division. When going through a divorce, hiring a Jacksonville divorce attorney can ensure that your rights are always protected, regardless of whether it is a contested or uncontested divorce.

First, proper grounds for divorce must be established for the dissolution to even be possible. Either both parties must agree to recognize the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or it must be shown that one spouse is mentally incapacitated.

Next, one of the spouses needs to have been living in the state of Florida for at least six months before filing the petition. The dissolution of marriage form can be filed in the county where either or both spouses live.

A separate set of requirements is involved for obtaining an uncontested divorce:

  • Neither spouse may have minor or dependent children under 18 years old
  • The wife may not be pregnant
  • Both spouses must agree to the division of assets and liabilities
  • Neither spouse wants alimony
  • Both spouses agree to give up the right to a trial or appeal
  • Both agree that they do not need to provide any additional financial information to each other
  • Both must appear at the court clerk's office to sign the petition requesting the dissolution
  • Both spouses must attend a short court hearing

Contested Divorce Issues

If the divorce is contested, that is, the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all points, the two will go to divorce court to settle the outstanding conflict.

Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court will do its best to distribute all marital property fairly. This includes personal possessions, real estate, income, and debts acquired during the course of the marriage.

If one spouse has a financial need and the other has the ability to pay, the court can also order alimony to be paid for one of the spouses. The court considers all relevant factors to determine how much should be paid.

The court can apply similar measures if children are involved and if they need support from one spouse. In determining custody and support, the court tries at all times to look to the child's best interests.

For further information about the divorce process in Florida, call Hutchinson Law and speak with an experienced Jacksonville divorce lawyer.