Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you can file for divorce at any time without blaming either party for the dissolution of the marriage. The requirements for filing for divorce are: (1) there was a legal marriage, (2) at least one spouse has been a Florida resident for six months immediately preceding the divorce filing, and (3) either the marriage was “irretrievably broken” or one of the spouses was found to be mentally incapacitated.
If these requirements are met, the parties may choose from one of three processes for obtaining a divorce in Florida, (1) regular dissolution of marriage, (2) simplified dissolution of marriage, or (3) collaborative dissolution of marriage.
A simplified dissolution process can be used when there are no minor children and both spouses are in agreement on certain key matters, including the following:
- They agree on the division of all property and debts
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony
- Both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken
If there are contested issues in a divorce, or if children are involved, the parties can obtain a divorce through the regular dissolution of marriage process, which involves filing for divorce before a local court. In a regular dissolution, both parties must be prepared to fully disclose all relevant financial information and other documentation. Depending on the extent to which the two parties agree or disagree on a divorce settlement, they may present a settlement in writing to the court, engage in mediation, or proceed to a full trial. Lungarelli Law can help you to navigate these potential options.
Distribution of Assets
Although fault is not considered in the determination of divorce under Florida law, it may be considered when courts address the distribution of marital property that typically accompanies a divorce. This can be one of the most difficult and complicated aspects of a divorce, and is often deeply emotional because of the nature of the property involved. Marital property may include:
- Retirement Benefits
- Personal Property
Debts, including credit cards, mortgages, tax liabilities and car loans
Generally, any asset or debt obtained during the course of a marriage is considered to be marital property to the successful dissolution of a marriage. Under Florida law, these assets and debts are generally distributed equally between both parties based on a variety of factors.
The court will also carefully consider the allocation of child custody and child support, as these are often the most emotionally challenging aspects of a divorce proceeding.