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What Are Common Grounds For Divorce In Florida?

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Like many other states, Florida has put an end to using fault as a ground for divorce, known legally as dissolution of marriage. Either spouse can now file for a divorce, only needing to prove that the marriage exists and that either spouse has lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing and to declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

While the petitioner doesn’t have to list the reasons for the marriage’s breakdown in the divorce petition, these “grounds” may be considered by the court in certain circumstances for determining alimony, developing a parenting plan and calculating an equitable division of marital assets and debts.

Common Reasons For Divorce

Since fault isn’t necessary to dissolve a marriage in Florida, divorce is chiefly a financial transaction. Still, some of the common reasons marriages break up are:

  • Adultery or infidelity
  • Physical or mental abuse
  • Financial difficulties
  • Addiction, including drugs, alcohol or gambling
  • Neglect
  • Desertion
  • Mental illness
  • Criminal behavior or incarceration

In some cases, judges may consider these factors when setting alimony or establishing a parenting plan.

Types Of Florida Divorces

The length and cost of the process largely depend upon whether both parties agree or disagree on any or all issues. The two main types of divorce in Florida are:

Simplified dissolution of marriage: This is the fastest and typically the lowest-cost method. To qualify, spouses must:

  • Agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken
  • Not have minor or dependent children
  • Not request alimony
  • Have a written agreement for dividing debts and assets
  • Agree to the simplified process, which includes giving up their right to a trial and appeal

Regular dissolution of marriage: This is the traditional form of divorce where either spouse files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. The petitioner must state that the differences are irreconcilable and establish their preferences for dividing assets, alimony, child support and a parenting plan.

The other spouse is served with the petition and files an answer, either agreeing or disagreeing with the terms. Couples can work out disagreements by themselves or through alternative dispute resolution, including mediation or collaborative divorce. If these attempts fail, their case usually goes to trial, where a judge decides all issues.

Fighting For A Fair Divorce Outcome

Seeking a no-fault divorce can seem pretty straightforward since you only have to claim that you and your spouse cannot make the marriage work. However, navigating all the issues can still be highly emotional and complicated in Florida, and it’s advisable to consult with an experienced divorce attorney to protect your interests and future well-being.

Your lawyer can offer guidance by helping you understand your rights and work for a fair outcome when dividing marital assets, establishing support and devising a parenting plan that’s in your child’s best interests. Your lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement if your spouse is willing to cooperate or can fight for you in court if necessary.

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