Can I Get A Divorce If My Spouse Is In A Coma In Florida?

Getting a divorce when your spouse is in a coma may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but in Florida, it is indeed possible to file for divorce under these circumstances. In this article, we will delve into the process and requirements for obtaining a divorce in Florida when your spouse is in a coma, while also adding complexity and variation to engage readers.

The initial consideration revolves around determining whether your spouse possesses the legal capacity to divorce. In the state of Florida, an individual must demonstrate "legal capacity" to file for divorce. This implies that they possess an understanding of the nature and consequences of a divorce, as well as the ability to handle their own legal affairs.

Considering the coma state of your spouse, it is likely that they lack the legal capacity to initiate divorce proceedings. However, if they had previously expressed their desire for a divorce or had already filed for divorce before becoming incapacitated, there remains a possibility of proceeding with the divorce.

Filing for Divorce

To file for divorce in Florida, it is essential for at least one party to be a Florida resident for a minimum of six months prior to initiating the process. Furthermore, the petitioner, or the individual filing for divorce, must submit a petition for divorce that clearly states the grounds for divorce, such as irreconcilable differences or mental incapacity.

In cases where one party is in a coma, the petitioner may need to present additional evidence to substantiate their claims for the grounds of divorce. This evidence can include expert testimony from medical professionals who can provide confirmation regarding the severity of the incapacitation.

Serving The Comatose Spouse

Once the divorce petition is filed, the subsequent step involves serving the comatose spouse with the necessary legal documents. Ordinarily, personal service is required, requiring the delivery of divorce papers directly to the other party. However, Florida law makes provision for service by publication in situations where the other party cannot be reached.

Service by publication encompasses the publication of a notice regarding the divorce petition in a local newspaper for a specific period. If the comatose spouse fails to respond within the required timeframe, the divorce can proceed as a default judgment.

Property Division and Alimony

In a divorce where one spouse is in a coma, the division of property and determination of alimony may become more intricate. The court will thoroughly consider the couple’s assets and debts, making decisions based on Florida’s equitable distribution laws.

In addition, if the comatose spouse has an existing estate plan, the court may take that into account when determining property division. The court will also evaluate whether alimony is necessary and, if so, the appropriate amount to award, considering factors such as the duration of the marriage and the financial needs of the parties involved.


While it may initially appear daunting, obtaining a divorce in Florida when your spouse is in a coma is indeed feasible. Nevertheless, this process tends to be more complex and may necessitate the submission of additional evidence and expert testimony. If you find yourself contemplating filing for divorce while your spouse is in a coma, it is of utmost importance to seek guidance from a knowledgeable family law attorney who can support you throughout the process and ensure protection of your rights.

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