December 30, 2020

Divorce in Florida – 4 Requirements You Need to Fulfill

Among the different experiences that one may encounter in their daily lives, divorce is one process that can take the most significant toll on a person’s emotions and mental health. 

If you’ve been married for a while now and fear that it may all be meeting its end, now is the time to start preparing for the possibility that you may have to file for a divorce. Compared to a regular break-up or an annulment, the process in question can easily make for a rather complicated process because of all the different facts that must be considered. 

By now, you’ve probably done all the necessary research and gone over a handful of debates in your head over making the separation official or trying to work things out. However, in most cases, the final smart move will be to break things off before they get even messier. 

Once you’ve gotten all the necessary details and acquainted yourself with the fundamentals of divorce procedures, it may seem like nearly every detail that must be accounted for is taken care of. Yet, amid all the confusion and anxiety that you may be having, there’s one factor above all else that you must know about: The must-have requirements of a divorce in Florida.

Different requirements of divorce that you must comply with

Generally, filing for a divorce in Florida involves meeting and taking note of four specific requirements and details: 

  1. The residency requirement
  2. Florida statute 196.012 (17)
  3. Florida statute 61.052 (1)
  4. Florida statute 61.052 (2)

Let’s go over each specific component and jurisdictional requirement in further detail so that you can best prepare for the proceedings and filing process: 

1. The residency requirement

One of the primary jurisdictional requirements of filing for a divorce is a minimum residency requirement that applies to all civil unions. Based on Florida law, spouses that are looking to obtain a divorce must have resided in any city within the area for at least six (6) months before filing their petition for dissolution of marriage. 

2. Florida statute 196.012 (17)

Based on this specific statute, the bottom line is that those looking to separate legally must maintain an actual presence in the state with the intention to remain in the state. When it comes to satisfying this specific statute, it’s worth noting that the qualified documentation for doing so are as follows:

  • Florida voter registration card
  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida identification card
  • Testimony or affidavit of a third party

The excerpt from the statute is as follows: 

‘Permanent residence’ means that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning. A person may have only one permanent residence at a time.

3. Florida Statute 61.052(2)

After the residency requirement is complied with, couples must subscribe to the set terms that are expounded upon in Florida Statute 61.052(2)—also known as the legally-acknowledged grounds for divorce. The specific accepted grounds for divorce by law (according to the statute) are as follows: 

No judgment of dissolution of marriage shall be granted unless one of the following facts appears, which shall be pleaded generally:

    1. The marriage is irretrievably broken.
    2. Mental incapacity of one of the parties. However, no dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated according to the provisions of s. 744.331 for a preceding period of at least 3 years.

4. Florida Statute 61.052(1)

Apart from the specific grounds mentioned above, additional guidelines for unions are in place wherein only one party agrees that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Although couples may be granted a divorce even if only a one-sided decision, the law requires that they follow this specific set guideline: 

When there is a minor child of the marriage, or when the responding party denies by answer to the petition for dissolution that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may:

  1. Order either or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation
  2. Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation
  3. Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage”


Going through a divorce in Florida can prove to be a rather difficult process because of all the factors to consider before any major task or process is undertaken. With the help of this guide, you can be best guided during your filing experience to ensure that no unwanted hurdles or constraints appear and put you in a predicament.

At Dorsey Law JAX, we hold more than 35 years of experience handling family law in Jacksonville, Florida. If you’re about to file for divorce, and need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!


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