What is a No-Fault Divorce?
Florida is one of many states which allows for no-fault divorce. Put simply, a no-fault divorce means neither party is required to give a reason for the divorce other than the union is irretrievably broken, meaning there is no chance of getting back together.
Why is This a Good Thing?
One benefit to all parties is that if your divorce ends up in court, you do not have to talk about the personal reasons leading to the divorce. This does sometimes help de-escalate tension in the proceedings, which may play a part in why many states allow no-fault divorce. For example, if you have to provide details regarding an affair, mental or physical abuse, or gambling issues, your soon-to-be ex-spouse could also come back with their own accusations. This could raise animosity and increase the amount of time it takes to carry out the divorce.
Is This the Same as an Annulment?
No, Florida only allows for a few reasons that the marriage can be voided or annulled. They include things like bigamy, inability to consent to marriage, and fraud. In order to pursue an annulment, sufficient proof of eligible reasoning is required.
What if I Do Not Agree the Marriage is Over?
Your spouse can still file for a no-fault divorce. This will not stop the divorce. It will simply take more time. The spouse wishing to end the marriage will be required to provide proof that there is no chance of reconciliation, however.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney if it is a No-Fault State?
The fact that Florida is a no-fault divorce state has nothing to do with the actual proceedings of the divorce. For those that meet certain criteria, it is not required to have an attorney for “simple” divorces which the state calls Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
When children, a pregnancy, or alimony are involved, the state’s simplified approach is not an option. In addition, if there is animosity or fear involved on either side, a divorce attorney may help you bear that weight. With a divorce attorney, you have someone on your side navigating the division of assets and liabilities, child custody, child support, alimony, and other legal matters. Your divorce attorney is there to help you reach a fair settlement.
The attorneys at Wagstaff Law Office are experienced divorce attorneys. We will help you navigate your divorce with compassion. If you are facing divorce, call us for a confidential consultation at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form for more information.