Is Mental Incapacity Grounds for Divorce in Florida?

There are several grounds for divorce in the state of Florida, and mental incapacity is becoming a more common reason to end a marriage. This is a sensitive issue, though, and there are many factors that determine how a spouse may seek divorce under these circumstances.

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If you live in Florida and wish to file for divorce because your spouse is mentally incapacitated, it is important to know how the state’s laws may affect your case, and what the procedure entails.

At the Law Office of Curtis R. Cowan, we can guide you through this process. Mr. Cowan is a Broward County divorce lawyer with more than 29 years of experience in family law. He is also a certified mediator.

Mr. Cowan can answer your questions and remove the confusion that comes with the legalities of ending a marriage. To get started, call our firm at 954-768-0720 to schedule a consultation.

Divorce Due to Mental Incapacity

According to Florida Statutes, a judge will only grant the dissolution of a marriage under certain circumstances. Mental incapacity is one such circumstance, but many people do not understand how to prove mental incapacity.

Florida Statute 744.331 says that in order for a judge to grant a divorce based on mental incapacity, he or she must be satisfied that the individual in question is in fact incapacitated, and that he or she has been in this state for three years prior to the proceedings.

There are several factors that the court will consider when determining mental incapacitation. For example, the spouse may be unable to manage personal property, run a business or generate income.

At the same time, the spouse must be unable to meet basic requirements to maintain his or her own health and safety due to mental issues. According to Florida law, basic requirements for health and safety include taking actions to acquire food, health care, shelter and clothing, and to maintain personal hygiene. If your spouse cannot complete these tasks, then mental incapacity may be valid grounds for divorce.

Petition to Determine Incapacity

According to Florida Statute 744.3201, spouses who seek this type of divorce must file a petition to determine incapacity in a Florida court. The court will appoint a committee to investigate the claims and the incapacitated person.

Upon conclusion of this investigation, if the court finds that the individual is in fact incapacitated, then it may grant an order of incapacity. At this point, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian to help manage the incapacitated person’s affairs.

Regardless of the reason for your divorce, ending a marriage can be a complex legal process. But with the support of an experienced family attorney, you can focus on your personal well-being rather than the legalities of the proceedings.

If you would like to speak with a Broward County family attorney, call the Law Office of Curtis R. Cowan at 954-768-0720 to schedule an appointment.