Florida is what is known as a “no fault” divorce state. Simply put, this means that an individual seeking a divorce from their spouse does not need to provide a reason for the divorce. They can simply state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” and the validity of their claim is not questioned. Also, there does not need to be agreement between the spouses on the matter, since the court sees a desire to dissolve a marriage as reason enough for divorce.
Benefits of No Fault Divorce
As of 2010, all states now have no fault divorce options, though some of the specificities vary. The primary reason behind the shift from “fault” divorce to “no fault” divorce is that it gives spouses the right to leave a marriage whenever they choose. This has led to a decrease in domestic violence and has sped up the processing time for divorces, since spouses do not have to wait for a court to investigate and determine the validity of a claim before dissolving the marriage. The law recognizes that two individuals involved in a marriage each own the marriage, and its existence and legitimacy should not be decided by judges who have no stake in the lives of the couple.
The Limits of No Fault
If you are considering a no fault divorce, there are some important things to keep in mind. Most notably, no fault applies only to the grounds for divorce – it does not mean that fault will not be considered when determining child custody, property division, or alimony. Therefore, even if it is not relevant to the grounds of a divorce that a spouse cheated or was physically or psychologically abusive, these facts could be considered in the divorce proceedings. Other things that could impact the outcome of a divorce include:
For example, if one of the spouses has abused their child, this would affect how the court allocates time and responsibilities to the parents. Florida law states that divisions of assets and liabilities are to be equitable. Nevertheless, this does not guarantee “equal,” and divisions can ultimately be affected by many factors, including fault.
For example, if one of the spouses was having an affair and using marital assets for expenses and gifts associated with that affair, this could change the outcome of their property division.
Need Help With Your No Fault Divorce? Contact a Florida Family Law Attorney
If you need help understanding your options for divorce, or if you need someone to represent your financial and parental interests during a divorce, the attorneys at McMichen, Cinami & Demps are here to help. We know that a divorce is an emotionally difficult time, so let us take care of the legal aspects while you work on getting on with your life.