What evidence do you need to file for divorce in Florida?
Going to court is a technical and sometimes expensive process. For some people court is unavoidable. If you want to divorce your spouse, you will need to prepare for hearings in the Florida family courts first. There is no way to end your marriage without going to court.
You may have heard that people need grounds to file for divorce and may wonder what you need to prove to qualify. Florida currently allows people to divorce for two specific reasons. Understanding those reasons can help you understand what evidence, if any, you need to gather.
Long-term mental health issues
Some people have mental health issues that only manifest later in life. Some people have a healthy adolescence and early adulthood, only to develop severe bipolar disorder symptoms in their 30s. Others may develop mental health issues because of chemical exposure, trauma or an injury to the brain.
The issue needs to be serious enough to meet the state criteria for mental incapacity. If your spouse has such serious mental health issues that they have had to remain in an inpatient mental health facility or remain incapable of managing their own affairs for at least three years, you can qualify for divorce based on those circumstances.
Proof of incapacity is necessary for this kind of divorce filing. For those with a spouse living in a facility, the case is simple. The records from the facility showing your loved one’s diagnosis and long-term separation from your family will likely be all you need before the divorce. Others may need to go to court to establish incapacity before they can file for divorce.
For those who want to divorce for any reason other than mental health problems, Florida offers a no-fault divorce. Regardless of whether your ex cheated on you or you grew apart due to changing values or political opinions, you can request a divorce based on your claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Such a claim is inherently subjective and therefore requires that no evidence in court. You can divorce even if your spouse does not want to and you don’t have any evidence of significant misconduct.
Understanding the divorce laws in Florida can help you prepare for your possible filing.