Grounds for Dissolution (Grounds for Divorce)
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In Florida, prior to 1971, there were nine possible statutory grounds for dissolution of marriage. A spouse had to plead and prove one or more of those grounds to obtain a dissolution. In 1971, Florida Statutes 61.044 became law, and removed the requirement that spouses in Florida needed to prove fault in a dissolution of marriage case.
Florida is now often referred to as a "no fault" dissolution of marriage state. In order to obtain a dissolution of marriage, a spouse need only prove one of the following:
- The marriage is irretrievably broken
- One of the parties has been adjudged mentally incapacitated for at least three years
Judges in Tampa dissolution of marriage cases must make a factual finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken, based on factual evidence presented by the parties.
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It is not necessary for both parties to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Obtaining a dissolution of marriage in Florida only requires evidence from one party that the marriage is irretrievably broken. One spouse cannot stop dissolution of marriage proceedings simply because he or she does not want to be divorced. However, a spouse may make a motion to the court to order the parties to attend counseling for three months.
If a spouse is seeking a dissolution of marriage on the grounds that the other spouse has been adjudged mentally incapacitated for at least three years, he or she must follow statutory provisions to prove that his or her spouse is mentally incapacitated. At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce attorneys can help guide you through the dissolution process. It is important to have legal counsel to help protect your rights during any divorce matter and our team can stand by your side.
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