Many states have made it impossible for a couple to divorce solely on the basis of one or both spouses engaging in an affair. Florida is one of these states. Although infidelity may be considered a contributing factor, the only legal grounds for divorce in Florida are the irretrievable brokenness of the marriage or the mental incapacity of one of the spouses.
In most cases, the belief that the marriage is irretrievably broken is listed as the reason for proceeding with a divorce. Both spouses must agree that there are issues with the marriage that simply cannot and will not be settled, and that the issues are severe enough that the marriage has suffered irreparable harm.
However, the court will not simply accept a petition for divorce based on the couple’s word. The spouses must demonstrate, in detail, the brokenness of the marriage. If the court does not believe they have successfully done so, both parties may be ordered to undergo counseling or mediation. Whatever is recommended will be, in the court’s estimation, what’s best for the couple and for any children they may have.
Mental incapacity is cited considerably less often than irretrievable brokenness, largely because of the requirement that the spouse be incapacitated for at least three years prior to the initiation of divorce proceedings. The requirement that the divorcing spouse pay alimony to the incapacitated spouse may also be a significant deterrent.
If you’re considering a divorce in the St. Petersburg area, you will need a lawyer who will keep you informed and answer all of your questions. For the guidance you need during this difficult time, contact a Florida divorce attorney with the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.