Your spouse might be abusive, gambles excessively, or regularly engages in adultery, but none of them will be cited as grounds for divorce in Florida. This is a no-fault divorce state with only two potential grounds for dissolution of marriage.
No-fault divorces were meant to spare couples the embarrassment of airing dirty laundry for neighbors, family, and friends. Couples can divorce while keeping their privacy intact. However, bad behavior can play an important role in the aftermath which you should discuss with a Coral Gables fault-based divorce lawyer.
Grounds for Divorce
Florida’s only two grounds for divorce are that a marriage is irretrievably broken (called irreconcilable differences in some states), or the mental incapacitation of a spouse, which requires one spouse be mentally impaired for at least three years before the divorce filing. Both grounds are no-fault.
“Irretrievably broken” means the spouses cannot resolve the reasons the marriage broke down and it does not matter if those issues are about finances, a lack of communication, serial cheating, or just incompatibility from growing apart after years together. The parties do not have to prove wrongdoing. If the spouses agree, the divorce can be quick and painless, but that is not always the case. One party can contest the divorce over issues such as alimony, division of property, and child custody.
How Behavior Can Affect Divorce Actions
The courts consider many aspects of a couple’s relationship when deciding if they are incompatible and should be granted a no-fault divorce. Part of the divorce includes dividing assets acquired during the marriage and deciding the best arrangement for children. One of the aspects the Judge might consider is if one spouse used marital funds during an adulterous relationship or from an addiction to gambling. A Coral Gables fault-based divorce attorney can explain how a person’s personal actions can still influence asset division.
In Florida, assets acquired during the marriage are distributed equitably, which is not the same as equal distribution. The Judge has the authority to consider many factors when determining who gets what, including personal relationships and actions. Judges could consider whether adulterers have spent marital assets on other people, although any unappealing behavior can result in a division of property more favorable to the other spouse.
Child Custody in a Fault-Based Divorce
When determining a custody arrangement for divorcing parents, the Judge considers many factors, such as job stability, income, the ability to provide a loving home, and the negative aspects that may favor one spouse as a custodial parent over the other. A spouse who is addicted to drugs or might have a tendency for violence is likely to be granted less visitation time with their children. A person filing for divorce can get experienced and compassionate guidance from a Coral Gables attorney, including when the estranged spouse behaved badly, since there are fault-based divorce issues the Judge can consider.
Talk to a Coral Gables Fault-Based Divorce Attorney Today
Divorce is never a breeze, and The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm understands how to maximize your options if your estranged spouse has exhibited behavior that would have been grounds for the divorce in the past. Florida’s two options now are both based on no-fault by either spouse, which hopefully makes it less stressful.
If your spouse engaged in behavior that might affect how your divorce agreement is finalized, we can argue that you deserve a larger share of the marital assets you were deprived of because of it. Contact a Coral a Gables fault-based divorce lawyer to schedule a free case evaluation and understand the best ways to get the most out of your divorce.