On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Is your marriage falling apart and you are inching toward a divorce and cannot stop thinking about how the court will establish “fault” when push comes to shove? Well, here is something you need to know: Florida is a “no fault” divorce state. Meaning: either spouse can file for divorce without having to provide reasons for ending their marriage.
But this has not always been this way. A while back, it you wanted to get a divorce in Florida and elsewhere in the United States, you had to establish “fault” as grounds for legal dissolution of a marriage (divorce). “Fault had a particular meaning in the context of divorce back then,” says our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney at the Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Difference between no fault and fault divorce laws
Back when Florida had fault-based laws regarding divorce, one spouse had to be found guilty or “at fault” by the court for causing the end of marriage, while the other spouse had to be found “innocent.” The innocent party had to consent to the divorce before it was granted by the court.
There were several standard statutory grounds for divorce in Florida, including but not limited to adultery (cheating), cruelty, and abandonment, all of which carried a rather vague definition. However, more often than not, finding another spouse guilty of one of the wrongdoings in marriage was not only costly and difficult, but also caused a great deal of tension and hostility between the divorcing couple, which was no good if they had to remain in contact after the divorce is finalized to raise their children.
“Also,” our experienced divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale says, “There were many situations when parties accused one another of fabricated or exaggerated wrongdoings to lie their way into getting the status of the ‘innocent’ party.”
A no-fault divorce is still a huge headache
The decision to turn Florida and other states into “no fault” divorce states was made to make divorces less hostile, complicated, and restrictive. Today, the divorcing process is as neutral as never before, because if either party wants to get a divorce, he or she will no longer have to jump through legal hurdles and put all dirty secrets of their marriage in plain view just to get divorced.
In order to get divorced in Florida in 2018, you no longer have to establish fault in your divorce. Instead, you and your spouse can end your marriage by simply citing “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage as the grounds.
Another advantage of getting divorce in a no fault divorce state is that the divorce and the ensuing child custody, child support, property division and other aspects will be handled fairly without having to base these decisions solely on the basis of the spouses’ guilt or innocence.
Getting divorced in Florida is a big headache as it is, but imagine how frustrating and stress-inducing it used to be back when Florida had fault-based divorce laws. Fault or no fault, getting divorced is like navigating a minefield when you are not represented by a Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney. And our lawyers at the Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., know this better than anyone else. Get a free consultation by calling our offices at 954-533-2756 or fill out this contact form to speak about your divorce.