Do I Qualify For An Uncontested Divorce?
Divorce is a big decision, and it can seem like a daunting or intimidating prospect. Many people worry that a divorce will turn into an expensive and drawn out legal proceeding, and for good reason. However, that is not the only possible outcome. Not every divorce is adversarial, and not every divorce even has aspects that need to be litigated. In some cases, where the spouses can agree on all key aspects of a divorce, they may qualify for an uncontested divorce, which can be a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional divorce.
Criteria for an Uncontested Divorce in Florida
In order to qualify for an uncontested divorce in Florida, there are certain key criteria that must be met. For starters, there is a requirement that either you or your spouse must have been residing in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for an uncontested divorce. The other threshold requirement is that there are grounds for the divorce. Florida is a no-fault divorce state. This means that one party does not have to be at fault (for instance, adultery) in order for the divorce to proceed. However, there still need to be grounds. There are two legal grounds in Florida — an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and mental incapacitation of your spouse. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is by far the most common grounds used, as it is essentially just both spouses agreeing that regardless of the reason, the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed. What this means to the court, is that no time needs to be spent determining whether the grounds for the divorce are valid and the divorce can proceed. For instance, if (in another state) adultery is selected as a grounds, it will need to be established in court that adultery occurred. This can be time consuming and counter-productive for two people who just want to get out of the marriage and on with their lives. By selecting the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, you are letting the court know that you are ready to cut to the chase and dissolve the marriage.