It is not uncommon in a divorce case for one of the spouse’s not to want to end the marriage. One partner may think that there is a chance of working things out and resolving their differences, or they may not want to legally dissolve the marriage for other reasons. If your spouse has started divorce proceedings, and you really don’t want a divorce, your options may be limited but there is something you can do. Florida is one of seventeen states that follow No-Fault laws in divorce cases. The Petitioner only has to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If you really do not want a divorce you should answer the Petition for Dissolution by alleging you do not believe the marriage is irretrievably broken. Florida Statute §61.052(2)(b)1 allows you to request the Court to Order you and your spouse to marriage counseling. It is rarely done and there are specific requirements that must be met. Your Jacksonville Family Lawyer can assist you in understanding this law and representing you in Court.
In order for a spouse to utilize this statute, the parties must have a child together. If the Court grants the request for marriage counseling, psychiatrist, priest, minister, rabbi, or any other professional the divorce will be placed on hold for approximately three months to allow the counseling to take place. Florida Statute §61.052(2)(b)2 allows the Court to continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation. During any period of continuance, the Court has jurisdiction to make appropriate orders for the support and alimony of the parties; a parenting plan, support, maintenance, and education of any minor children of the marriage; attorney’s fees; and the preservation of the property of the parties. Consult your Jacksonville Family Lawyer for assistance with your case.
As previously stated, the above statute is rarely used. This is because if one person wants to end the marriage, counseling is usually not effective. By the time a person has made the decision to start the divorce process, they have usually given it a lot of thought and intend to go through with it.