In order to be granted a divorce in Florida, you must be able to prove that one spouse has been mentally incapacitated for a period of time, or that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Florida is also a no-fault divorce state, which means that, when spouses divorce, there is no need for evidence that one spouse is to blame—proof of adultery, financial indiscretions, etc. However, deciding to divorce can still be complicated, particularly when one spouse does not agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Divorce can sometimes come as a surprise. One spouse filing for divorce on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken does not ensure that the other spouse concurs. Additionally, the spouse filing must prove his or her claim, and that can be harder if spouses are not in agreement. Even if one person believes that all terms of divorce are accepted, proceeds to file, seeks legal help, and other steps in the process, the judge may still delay the decision, seeking additional proof that the marriage is, in fact, broken. This is particularly true if one party responds to the petition by claiming that the marriage is not so.
While this circumstance could mean that the divorce process is drawn out and more difficult, it may also mean the possibility for reconciliation. The latter is not impossible, but should one spouse be unwilling to reconcile, or should the conditions be such that reunion is not what is best for all involved, then mediation may be the best step to avoid a lengthy, expensive divorce. However, you may still have to work in order to prove the marriage cannot be saved.
If you have filed for divorce and found your spouse does not agree that the marriage is irretrievable, but reconciliation is not possible for you, then you must be prepared to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If you must respond to a petition for divorce and you do not agree that the marriage is broken, claiming so does not guarantee that the divorce will be stayed, or not granted.
Do you need to file for divorce, or respond to a filing? Come see us at Steven Bowden, Attorney at Law. We can help you no matter what your position.