In the 1970’s, Florida followed the trend of other states by adopting “no fault divorce.” Prior to this, parties needed to allege a reason for a divorce, such as infidelity, domestic violence, or impotence. Once Florida become a no fault state, all that needed to be alleged was that the marriage was irretrievably broken.
But what if one party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken? Florida Statutes section 61.052(2)(b) addresses this possibility:
(b) When there is a minor child of the marriage, or when the responding party denies by answer to the petition for dissolution that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may:
1. Order either or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation; or
2. Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation; or
3. Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage.
If, at any time, the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of the marriage. If the court finds that the marriage is not irretrievably broken, it shall deny the petition for dissolution of marriage.
Though a Florida judge has the option of pausing the proceedings or ordering the parties to counseling, the fact is that oftentimes, if one party maintains that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the judge will grant the divorce even over the objection of the other party.
The logic is this: It takes two to tango. A marriage won’t work if only one person wants to continue the marriage.
If you have questions regarding divorce in Florida and you wish to schedule a consultation with a Tampa Bay family law attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or by filling out our online form.