Divisible Divorce Law and Legal Definition

Divisible divorce refers to a divorce whereby, the marriage itself is dissolved. However, the issues incident to the divorce, such as alimony, child custody, and visitation, are reserved until a later proceeding. This type of divorce is granted only when the court has subject-matter jurisdiction but lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant spouse.

Under the divisible divorce doctrine, an ex parse divorce decree is given full faith and credits only on the issue of the dissolution of the marriage. The ex parse decree does not affect the economic issues such as alimony or support. The purpose of the divisible divorce is to prevent the runaway spouse from prejudicing the financial interests of the abandoned spouse and from placing another welfare burden upon the matrimonial domicile.[ Sorrells v. Sorrells, 82 So. 2d 684 (Fla. 1955)].