When your spouse asks for a divorce, even if you might have expected it, your initial reaction may be not to accept it. You may want to try to work things out. Your spouse may not want to do this. You may be wondering whether you have the option of opposing the divorce or, somehow, blocking it from proceeding. The bottom line, however, is that you cannot prevent the divorce process from happening if your spouse wants a divorce in Florida. We will go into more detail here.
Can I Oppose Divorce?
There are only two grounds for divorce in Florida. A Florida court will grant a divorce based on irreconcilable differences or mental incapacity. “Irreconcilable differences” is the most commonly asserted grounds for divorce. As Florida is a no-fault divorce state, a spouse petitioning for divorce does not need to prove fault. This means that, as long as either of the two grounds are asserted and can be substantiated, a spouse can file the divorce complaint to get the process started regardless of whether his or her spouse objects to the divorce.
While you may not be able to stop a divorce from happening, you may still have some options. For instance, you may be able to file a counterclaim that requests the court order marital counseling to try and save the marriage. If there are children involved, the court may be even more amenable to such a request. If your spouse is vehemently opposed to counseling, however, the court may not agree that the marriage is salvageable and deny your request.
Should you refuse to accept or acknowledge the divorce proceedings and refuse to respond to the divorce complaint filed by your spouse, the process can still proceed without you. In fact, your spouse has the ability to file for and be granted a default divorce. This means that the divorce will be granted in your absence. This can have additional negative consequences of you not having a chance to advocate for yourself and your rights to things such as marital property.
In the end, opposing a divorce will not prevent your spouse from being granted a divorce if he or she is set on it. Opposing a divorce is, however, likely to make the process more stressful, more time-consuming, and more expensive. While you may not be able to stop divorce from happening, you can do your part to try and get the process over with reduced stress and anxiety. Florida allows both spouses to agree on divorce terms and the court will usually adopt the agreement in the final divorce decree. Reaching an agreement on your own with your spouse will help ensure you both have more control over the outcome of the divorce.
Without an agreement, the court may order mediation to try and encourage you and your spouse to reach an agreement on key issues of the divorce such as child custody. Should mediation fail, the court will be tasked with determining the terms of the divorce.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
Divorce can be one of the most trying processes anyone faces. At Orlando Family Team, we are here to support you in any way we can. Contact us today.