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What are Florida’s divorce requirements?

It may seem strange to you, as it does to many other individuals, to think that states have divorce requirements. After all, should not the only requirement be that the parties no longer want to be together?

Unfortunately, divorce is not that simple. According to FindLaw, Florida does have divorce requirements that couples must meet. Fortunately, The Sunshine State’s laws on the matter are far more lenient than those in other states.

Divorce waiting period

Divorce can quickly become long, drawn-out and expensive, and not just for the divorcing parties. Courts may be party to contested divorces at every stage, which requires both taxes and judges’ time. To prevent the waste of either, the courts attempt to minimize the number of frivolous hearings by asking couples to go through a “cool-down period” before filing for divorce. The courts mandate a cool-down period to force couples to think about whether they really want to end their marriages.

In some states, the cool-down period is as long as one year. In many others, it is six months. In Florida, it is just 20 days.

Residency requirements

The residency requirement is the most basic requirement in any divorce. Court dockets are full in just about every jurisdiction. To keep them from overflowing, states make sure that judges do not have to preside over divorces of people who do not live in their states by implementing a residency requirement. If you want to get divorced in Florida, you must be a resident of at least six months.

Fault requirements

Most divorces these days are no-fault, meaning parties agree they have irreconcilable differences and can no longer make their marriage work. In a no-fault divorce, neither party must prove that the other somehow caused the breakdown of the union. In a fault-based divorce, however, the filing party must show that the marriage underwent an “irretrievable breakdown” due to the other party’s actions or mental incapacity.

The Florida divorce requirements are not difficult to meet. However, they still exist, so you want to be sure you meet them before paying filing and other fees.


Christine S. Cook has earned a reputation in the legal community for her professionalism and among her clients for the care and personal attention she gives to every case.

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