Because divorces are one of the most stressful life events that some people have to deal with, it is important to prepare yourself and become informed about the process. Many people often hear about the concept of “no fault divorce.” This is a concept adopted by all states within the U.S. to varying degrees that allows people to decide to split up without any showing of serious wrongdoing such as criminal activity or desertion. In Florida, no fault divorces can be fairly simple if the spouses agree to separate without any major disagreements about things like property division or child custody. The state courts even supply dissolution of marriage forms on their website so that people can begin the process and find out what information they will need. The forms can vary based on whether there are children present or a settlement to divide property in place.
The history of divorce laws
Florida, like every other state in the nation follows the no fault divorce rule. This simply means that one or both spouses can file for a divorce without evidence of breach of the marital contract through acts such as adultery or abandonment. Such rules allow people to merely decide that they do not want to be married anymore and break the contract and end the relationship.
The history of this concept comes from previous times when marriages would not end unless there was a showing of “fault,” which meant that a spouse was either in jail, cheated with another person, found to be mentally incompetent, or was sexually impotent. Over time, these concepts became less important as some couples would just lie or conspire to create legitimate grounds for a divorce if they really did not want to be married anymore. There were also excessive costs and hours in court devoted to trying to prove one or more of these problems existed through private investigators or incriminating evidence, which eventually became unnecessary as the law evolved to allow people to just decide to split up.
Procedure to obtain a no fault divorce
In Florida, at least one spouse can allege that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” This phrase is the legal way of saying a divorce is pending. When spouses can come to an agreement regarding property and other important terms, there is usually only 20 day waiting period for a hearing where the marriage can formally end as long as the related paperwork is done properly.
When one spouse files the initial paperwork and the other does not respond in time, a court will enter a default judgment to dissolve the marriage based on the information available.
When couples disagree on things like finances, property, and custody, the contested items became part of the process in court and the whole procedure to finalize the divorce can take much longer depending on the number of issues the court needs to figure out and the length of the marriage. Contested divorces are responsible for the bad reputation that divorce proceedings have.
Once an order that dissolves the marriage is signed by the judge after one or more hearings, the process ends and the spouses will only have obligations to each other such as alimony or child support if they exist.
Speak to a divorce lawyer in Orlando now
While this is only a basic overview of no fault divorce, it is always much more beneficial to get specific advice from an experienced lawyer. The Aikin Family Law Group is available in the Orlando area to help with divorces and related issues.