Before 1971, Florida was among the states allowing you to sever marriage ties through only a fault-based divorce. However, since then, the Sunshine State has given couples the right to peacefully end their marriage when there is no chance of repair and neither person bears fault.
When you are seeking to move forward with a divorce, a Coral Gables no-fault divorce lawyer can timely file the dissolution of marriage petition on your behalf. There is a great benefit to working with a reliable divorce attorney while you plan for your next chapter.
Florida is A No-Fault Divorce State
Florida is among the states that do not generally consider fault aspects when making divorce determinations when both persons agree that “the marriage is irretrievably broken.” That term is the standard for non-fault divorce as written under Florida Code § 61.052. This standard means a court in Florida can grant a divorce if both spouses agree the marriage is no longer suitable.
There are various reasons why people may believe marriage is no longer beneficial and cannot be repaired, such as a breakdown in communication between the spouses or anything suggesting they are no longer incompatible.
However, this is far different from a fault-based divorce, where one spouse says the other has done something in violation of the marriage agreement. Traditional fault reasons for the dissolution of marriage are lengthy incarceration, abandoning a spouse, adultery, neglect, and abuse. For more details on the uncontested divorce process, a person should contact a Coral Gables no-fault divorce attorney.
No-Fault Divorce Court Process in Florida
The no-fault divorce process begins with one person typically working with legal counsel, filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. The spouse who files the divorce case with the court will have up to 120 days to have a process server or someone over 18 years old serve the other spouse with the paperwork.
Once service is effective, the responding spouse will have 20 days to file an answer. If the respondent agrees that the desire for a divorce is mutual, the court can grant a divorce within 90 days or less. If the divorce issue is resolved as no-fault, the court will determine custody for any minor children.
The benefits of a no-fault divorce are that both persons do not have to air their marital issues into the public eye. This aspect is crucial when people work in a public profession or have certain high-value assets. Also, this can protect minor children from learning information about their parents that might negatively impact the relationship.
Even though a fault-based reason is not necessary to file for divorce in Florida, the law says at least one of the spouses must have resided in the state six months or longer before filing (Fla. Stat § 61.021). A Coral Gables no-fault divorce lawyer can help people quickly sever marriage ties to move on to the next chapter in their lives.
Contested Divorce Process
When both spouses disagree with a no-fault divorce—or the court determines not to grant one—it could take up to a year or longer for the court to dissolve the marriage. The reason the period to dissolve is extended is because the spouses will have to undergo marriage, mental health, or faith-based counseling.
Furthermore, during the extension of divorce proceedings, the court may issue orders determining alimony, education plans for any minor children, parenting plans, and temporary custody orders. If there are prenuptial agreements, the court will generally enforce them or send them to arbitration.
Contact a Coral Gables No-Fault Divorce Attorney Today
Even though a no-fault divorce does not have as much pressure as a fault-based divorce, challenges can still arise in filing the petition and during the divorce hearing, especially if there is disagreement between the spouses.