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Grounds for Divorce

In Orlando, Tampa and throughout the State of Florida, there are two grounds for a divorce. The two grounds are (1) when the marriage is irretrievably broken and less commonly, (2) when one of the parties suffers from mental incapacity. In order for a divorce to be granted, one of the grounds must be plead in your initial filings. We will take a look at the two grounds for divorce in more detail below. 
 
The two grounds for divorce are (1) the marriage is irretrievably broken or (2) mental incapacity.
 

Marriage is Irretrievably Broken

 
Pleading and showing that the marriage is irretrievably broken is not as difficult as it might sound. Once one of the parties can show they have been a Florida resident for six months, a divorce will generally be granted if the couple has no minor children and the responding party does not deny that the ‘marriage is irretrievably broken.’ However, if the couple has a minor child or if the responding party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may postpone the divorce and proceed in two different ways. The court may order one or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, priest, or other qualified person. Alternatively, the court may extend the divorce proceedings up to three months to enable to parties to try to reconcile. However, if at any point during the proceeding the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will grant the divorce. 
 

Mental Incapacity 

 
While mental incapacity is a ground for divorce, it is a far less common and more difficult ground to prove than the ‘marriage being irretrievably broken.’ Before a divorce can be granted on this ground, the party alleged to be incapacitated must have been subject to a judicial proceeding to determine their incapacity at least three years earlier. If the alleged incapacitated party has a guardian that person may participate in the court proceedings and defend and protect the incapacitated party’s interests. If the alleged incapacitated party does not have a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to defend and protect their interests.

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