The Sanders Firm, P.A. is a family law firm located in the Orlando community of Winter Park and has been serving clients throughout Central Florida for more than 25 years. Practice areas include divorce, alimony, child custody and support, domestic violence, modification cases, paternity, collaborative law, and more.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. The two requirements that must be proven to obtain a divorce in most Florida cases are showing that the marriage is irretrievably broken and residency.
In Florida, it is not necessary to show mental cruelty, abuse, abandonment, or have a legal separation. If one spouse testifies that the marriage cannot be put back together, that is, the marriage is irretrievably broken, a divorce will be granted. In rare circumstances, a court can order a cooling-off period or require counseling. If one spouse is adamant that the marriage is broken, a judge usually will not delay the case moving forward.
A person must be a resident of Florida for six months before filing for a divorce in Florida. Residency is usually proven by the filing of a Florida Driver’s license or an affidavit sworn to by another Florida resident that the party has met the six-month residency requirement. Only one spouse is required to satisfy the six-month residency requirement for Florida to grant a divorce.
A divorce may also be granted in Florida if a spouse is guilty of being incompetent for three years.
Every marriage is unique, and every divorce is equally unique. The stated purpose of the divorce statute, if a marriage cannot be saved, is to promote the amicable settlement of disputes that arise between parties to a marriage and to mitigate the potential harm to the spouses and their children caused by the process of legal dissolution of marriage.
Divorce cases can be resolved in several ways. The process can be as simple or complex as the circumstances unique to the conflict and the parties. Some other cases that may arise from a divorce include domestic violence and spousal support cases.
Many couples can reach an agreement on most or all of their issues in regard to their case. When this occurs, it is recommended that the bullet points of the agreement, usually referred to as a “kitchen table agreement” be presented to an experienced family law attorney to draft a proper marital settlement agreement. The martial settlement agreement acts as a binding contract that the court, once ratifies, reserves jurisdiction to enforce.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that an attorney be present to draft the agreement and, if necessary, a different attorney is obligated to review the contract before signing and filing the agreement with the court. A final judgment is drafted, which allows the court to ratify and accept the marital settlement agreement and reserves jurisdiction to enforce it in the future
Under this scenario, a short hearing before the judge is all that is required to obtain the divorce. If children are involved, a parenting plan must also be drafted and filed with the court. Divorcing by agreement is by far the least expensive and least traumatic way to divorce.