People often ask, “What does it take to get a divorce in Florida?” The answer is fairly simple. People need to be a Florida resident for the six months prior to the filing of a divorce action, and they must allege and establish that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” meaning that it cannot be repaired under any circumstances. We also frequently hear people say that his or her spouse won’t “agree to the divorce.” We have to explain that it is not up to the other spouse to agree or disagree. If one spouse wants a divorce and the above two criteria are met, it is a certainty that the Court will dissolve the marriage. Sometimes, however, we see situations where one party truly wishes to oppose the divorce, wanting to keep the marriage together, for whatever reason. So what happens under those circumstances?
Divorce Courts in Florida have great discretion in how they handle this type of issue. For example, the Court might refuse to grant the divorce without first requiring the parties to participate in some form of marital counseling in an effort to save the marriage. That does not frequently occur, but it is within the Court’s power to do so, particularly where one spouse requests that it do so. Should the other spouse be strongly opposed to the marital counseling, some Courts will see the counseling as a likely waste of time, and will refuse to grant such a request. The facts and circumstances of each divorce case will ultimately guide the Court’s decisions in this regard.
Remember, it is not up to the other spouse to decide if you get a divorce. It is up to the Court. If you need help deciding if a divorce is right for you, or how you should proceed once you have decided to divorce, you need experienced attorneys handling your case.