• Can One Spouse Refuse a Divorce in Florida?
  • January 25, 2013 | Author: Christian Denmon
  • Law Firm: Denmon & Denmon Trial Lawyers - Tampa Office
  • In Florida, a spouse who does not want a divorce cannot prevent the process from happening if the other spouse is determined to get divorced. Instead, it can make the process cost more and take longer. Since it is not a requirement in Florida for both spouses to agree on divorce, a court may grant a divorce even if one spouse refuses it.

    The Only Two Grounds For Divorce in Florida

    Courts in Florida grant divorces based only on two grounds: irreconcilable differences, which are the most common reason, or mental incapacity. Any spouse who wants to divorce the other spouse is not required to prove fault. 

    If either of the divorce requirements is met, then a spouse may file a complaint for divorce to start the process. Key issues must be addressed in the complaint, such as child custody and division of property. Once your spouse has served you a copy of the complaint along with the summons, you are given 20 days to file a response.

    Are There Any Options?

    If you don’t want a divorce, you may consider filing a counterclaim and requesting the divorce to order counseling in an attempt to rehabilitate the marriage.  You have a better shot at getting the court to order counseling when children are involved.

    If you refuse to respond to your spouse’s divorce complaint simply because you don’t want to divorce, then the process may proceed without your input. Your spouse may file a motion to request the court to enter a default divorce. This type of divorce has a similar effect to a divorce where both spouses appear in court, although your side, as can have devastating consequences, as your spouse may request, and get the “kitchen sink”.

    Overview of the Divorce Process

    In Florida, both spouses can agree on the terms of divorce and the court will adopt the agreement into the divorce decree. If you don’t reach an agreement, the court may then order mediation to address important issues such as child visitation and custody. If you cannot come to an agreement on terms during the mediation process, your divorce case can proceed to trial and the judge will determine the divorce terms.

    Although you can’t stop the divorce process from happening if your spouse is determined to get a divorce and the divorce requirements are met, it’s important to appropriately address your divorce.

    If you are looking for divorce counsel in the Tampa Bay area then contact Denmon & Denmon  at (813) 554-3232 or visit http://www.tampa-divorce-attorney.com