Recently, religious broadcaster Pat Roberson made controversial comments regarding whether a person should divorce a spouse with debilitating case of Alzheimer’s disease:
The fact is that a spouse may have an unimaginably difficult and deeply personal choice of how to handle this type of situation. But it is a decision that Florida marital and family law has contemplated.
Section 61.052 of the Florida Statutes provides two bases for granting a dissolution of marriage: (i) the marriage is irretrievably broken; or (ii) one of the spouses is mentally incapacitated. Florida law prescribes strict procedures when moving forward on the basis of mental incapacity:
[N]o dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated according to the provisions of s. 744.331 for a preceding period of at least 3 years. Notice of the proceeding for dissolution shall be served upon one of the nearest blood relatives or guardian of the incapacitated person, and the relative or guardian shall be entitled to appear and to be heard upon the issues. If the incapacitated party has a general guardian other than the party bringing the proceeding, the petition and summons shall be served upon the incapacitated party and the guardian; and the guardian shall defend and protect the interests of the incapacitated party. If the incapacitated party has no guardian other than the party bringing the proceeding, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to defend and protect the interests of the incapacitated party. However, in all dissolutions of marriage granted on the basis of incapacity, the court may require the petitioner to pay alimony pursuant to the provisions of s. 61.08.
If you have questions regarding divorce and wish to schedule a consultation with a Florida divorce lawyer, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.