Destin, FL – Because Florida is a state with a large population of people from other states and countries, it is important to ensure that residency requirements are met before filing for a divorce. A family law court will not allow the dissolution of marriage to proceed unless these legal requirements are satisfied at the time of filing.   

Florida’s residency requirements

Chapter 61 of the state’s divorce statute says that at least one party to the divorce must have resided in the state for at least six months before the initial filing. This can be proven by affidavit, witness testimony, or documentation such as a driver’s license or voter registration. There is essentially no way around proving residency, as prior appellate cases have established a rule that the parties cannot merely choose to waive residency requirements and continue with the litigation, or contract around this issue through a divorce agreement. 

Property distribution issues and jurisdiction over things and people

Even if a couple meets the residency requirements, property division may pose more significant issues if a large amount of their assets or real property is not located in Florida. As a procedural matter, courts must obtain in rem jurisdiction over any item to take legal action over it. Courts in Florida often do not have jurisdiction over things and people in other states. This line of reasoning can be extended to issues of child support or custody as well, if the couple has a child that resides out of state they may need to have additional hearings in another state’s family court. 

Other requirements to go through with a divorce

Because Florida is a no fault divorce state, there does not need to be any specific documented reason for the couple to separate. At least one spouse only has to file and tell the court that the marriage has broken down. The motivations for the divorce do not matter, and neither party will have to prove adultery, abandonment, mental incapacity, or any other ground for the marriage to be invalidated. When considering the six month residency period and the possibility of a no fault divorce, the state actually has fairly lenient divorce laws.  

Issues such as alimony, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and child support may all be addressed throughout the course of the divorce proceedings if relevant. 

Professional advice from local family law lawyers

Destin divorce attorneys at ASG Legal assist clients with the process of reviewing residency requirements and filing divorce paperwork. It is always better for a person going through a divorce to have adequate legal representation, rather than trying to go through the court procedures on their own.  

Firm contact info:

ASG Legal

909 Mar Walt Drive, Suite 1014

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547-6711


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