Question: What are the requirements to get a divorce in Florida?
Answer: First, your marriage needs to be irretrievably broken. Since Florida is a no- fault state, issues such as abuse, abandonment and alcoholism are not something that you need to prove in court. These situations might still be important for the issues of equitable distribution, alimony or the establishment of a parenting plan.
If counseling can help you fix your marriage, then your marriage is not irretrievably broken.
An exception to the irretrievably broken requirement is the mental incapacity of one of the spouses. If a spouse is mentally incapacitated, that spouse must have been found to be mentally incapacitated under a specific Florida statute by a judge for the 3 year period prior to the start of the divorce case.
The second requirement is one of the parties – not necessarily both – needs to have been a resident of the state of Florida for the 6 months immediately prior to the filing of your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. You don’t need to be a Florida resident on the date of you Final Hearing – just for the 6 months before you file your case with the Clerk of Court.
The last requirement is that there must be a valid marriage. You can’t get divorced if your marriage is not valid. If you think your marriage is invalid, you should speak with an attorney about the differences between divorce and annulment.