Florida's No Fault Divorce Law
What Does “No Fault” Divorce Really Mean?
It means a great deal. It means that in order to get a divorce in Florida, you do not have to prove that your spouse is guilty of some kind of wrong. You don’t have to prove that your spouse was unfaithful to you, injured you or your children in some way or was at fault in any other way before you can ask for a divorce. Thus, Florida is a “no fault” state.
What Is the Ground for Divorce in Florida?
That the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” (1) All you have to allege in your divorce papers (your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage) is that your marriage is irretrievably broken. As proof of this fact, husbands and wives often say that their marriage is irretrievably broken because there is no love left in the marriage, there are constant arguments, there is absolute marital disharmony and marriage counseling would not put the marriage back together again.
(1) Under certain circumstances, Florida also permits a person to file for divorce when the “mental incapacity” of one of the parties is alleged in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
Is It Easier to Divorce in a No Fault State?
Yes. It is far easier to get a divorce in a “no fault” state such as Florida than in one where a spouse has to prove the other spouses is “at fault” in some way before the court could grant a divorce.
Adult Decisions Have Consequences For Children
We as adults decide to marry. We as adults bring children into this world. We as adults decide to divorce. Certainly, there are many compelling reasons to seek a divorce. As we adults make these adult decisions, however, let us not forget the children. If their feelings are ignored, our children will be the true victims of divorce. May we first set forth certain principles about divorce and children which will underscore all future dialogue about children in future issues of this newsletter. These principles are as follows: All children deserve the love, protection and respect of both parents.
- Children have feelings and their emotional health must be our first concern.
- Children must not be used as instruments of vengeance in divorce proceedings.
- Children deserve a childhood. Let both spouses and their attorneys do all within their power to keep the tragedy of divorce from scarring our children.
- One spouse must never speak ill of the other spouse in the presence of the children nor knowingly permit anyone else to do so.
- Every effort must be made to foster the love and affection of the child for both parents.
- It is right and proper for a spouse to zealously seek legal protection for a child in the divorce proceedings when there is real cause for concern about the child’s safety.
Talk to an Experienced Tampa Divorce Lawyer
If you have any questions or would like to further pursue a no-fault divorce, speak with our firm's divorce attorney in Tampa for the advocacy your case requires.