09 Oct Important Information Regarding No-Fault Divorce in Florida
Couples who reside in Florida, who no longer wish to remain married, can file for dissolution of the marriage. Although many states require a statement of grounds (such as adultery) for a divorce to be granted – Florida is a no-fault divorce state. That means neither member of the divorcing couple need allege that the other party’s wrong-doing is the cause of the break-up of the marriage. Below is some valuable information Florida residents should know about no-fault divorces.
What is a no-fault divorce?
A no-fault divorce, as its name suggests, is an option for a couple who simply no longer wish to be married to each other. Neither member of the couple must provide proof of wrongdoing by the other party. All that is required for a no-fault divorce is for one member of the separating couple to allege in the petition for dissolution that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. A benefit of this type of marriage dissolution is that it relieves the court from having to decide the issue of fault, and the divorcing parties are spared from discussing such personal matters on the record.
What must a divorcing couple prove to receive a no-fault divorce?
Qualifying for a no-fault divorce in the state of Florida is relatively easy. All that must be shown is that there was definitely a legal marriage and that at least one of the parties has been a resident of Florida for at least six months (180 days before filing papers for the marriage dissolution.
Types of Divorce
The state of Florida has two types of divorce procedures: “regular” (contested and uncontested) and “simplified”. A couple can obtain a simplified divorce under the following circumstances:
– There must not be any dependent children
– The wife cannot be pregnant
– Each party must agree on property division and debt payment
– No alimony can be requested
– Both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken
If these qualifications are met, the divorce process is as simple as submitting a fill-in-the-blank form. If these criteria are not met, the couple must go through the regular divorce process. That process involves a trial, presentation of evidence, discovery and court procedures.
Dividing marital property
Although Florida is a no-fault state, it is also an equitable division state. That means each spouse owns the income he or she earns during the duration of the marriage. Each person also has the right to manage property that is only in his or her name. The Florida courts will also take into consideration other factors when dividing property. The court may take one party’s fault into account when allocating marital property. Often the court will consider the length of the marriage, conduct within the marriage, and finances when determining how to divide the property. In the end, the judge will divide the property in a way he or she deems to be the fairest.
Florida courts consider the best interests of the children when determining custody. The court begins by assuming that a joint custody arrangement where the children have a sufficient amount of contact with both parents is best for the children. The judge will then evaluate many factors that involve the children including their wellness and the moral, mental, and physical wellness of each parent to make the final decision.
Child Support Payments
Regardless of which parent is awarded custody of the children, the other parent is still required to pay child support. The amount of money that is owed is determined by the court system. The ruling judge must consider the income of the non-custodial parent. Other factors that are considered include the custodial parent’s income, other financial resources, the amount of time the non-custodial parent spends with the kids. Whenever it is necessary, the court will also take into consideration the amount of money the non-custodial parent is capable of making rather than the actual amount that is being made.
In a no-fault divorce, two qualifications must be present for alimony to be granted by a Florida court. First, the requesting party must be in need of the money. Secondly, the other party must be financially able to make alimony payments. If both of these qualifications are met, the court will decide on a fair amount to award the requesting spouse by taking into consideration factors such as marital contributions, standard of living, length of marriage, financial resources, and future earning capacity.
Florida’s divorce laws are among the most progressive in the country. The law makes it possible for two people who are simply no longer happy being married to have a non-complicated way to dissolve the union. If you have additional questions regarding Florida’s no-fault divorce laws or are interested in filing for a no-fault divorce, consult a qualified divorce lawyer in your area.