Chadwick M. Layton, Esq.[i]
Harvey Waddell & Layton, P.A.
One of the first questions that should be asked in a potential divorce action is, where should I file for divorce?
In Florida, one of the parties to the marriage must reside in the State of Florida for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the divorce action.
This is the basic threshold requirement for jurisdictional purposes to assure that the court has the authority to grant you a divorce. The court has no power to grant a dissolution of marriage if compliance is not shown with this residency requirement.
The county to file the divorce action in is generally the county where the parties last resided in together as Husband and Wife. This is sometimes referred to as the location where the marriage was last intact.
The jurisdictional requirements for divorce in Florida have been intentionally drafted to allow for one spouse to obtain a divorce in Florida after their spouse has decided to move out of the county, State or country.
There are however, notice requirements and multiple other safeguards in place to assure that a spouse whom has moved away must receive legal notice that a divorce action has been filed against them in Palm Beach County and they should respond in writing to the civil action.
In the event the spouse whom has moved away decides not to respond or participate in the divorce action in any manner, the filing party will have the ability to move forward and obtain a divorce in their absence.
The law firm you choose in divorce should match your goals for divorce.
[i] Chadwick M. Layton is a partner and shareholder at Harvey Waddell & Layton, P.A., located in downtown Lake Worth.
Mr. Layton is also a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section and the Susan Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches,
101 North J Street, Lake Worth
Phone (561) 585-4631