No Fault Divorce in Florida
What is no fault divorce and what does it mean for a party who has other grounds for divorce? Can you file for separation under multiple grounds? What is the difference between no fault and irreconcilable differences? Each state has different laws and rules for divorce proceedings. For example, in Maryland, no fault divorce is referred to as “mutual consent”. In Florida, the parties do not have to go into great detail explaining why their marriage is ending, they only have to file a claim under the grounds of no fault. However, if one party has been deserted, committed adultery, or there is any form of abuse occurring, the party can seek relief and absolute divorce using more than one ground.
What are Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
In Florida, parties do not need to state a specific ground in order to file for divorce. No fault means that both parties recognize they have irreconcilable differences and there is no hope for reconciliation or future of the marriage. Unlike other grounds, there is no qualification or waiting period necessary to file. The term Florida courts use is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. While not a requirement, some couples seek therapy or counseling prior to consulting with a divorce attorney. It’s also encouraged to seek individual counseling when going through a divorce because of the personal and emotionally draining nature of the proceedings. It can be difficult to process your feelings and think logically when dealing with a marriage ending because the foundation of your life will irrevocably change. If during your marriage you have suffered under the yoke of physical, emotional, financial or psychological abuse you may qualify for immediate relief and filing for a domestic violence protective order.
How to File
To file for a divorce in Florida, you first have to determine which county has jurisdiction. You can file in the county you were married in, in the county you reside in, or the county in which or your spouse works. If you or your spouse has moved out of state, the State of Florida still has jurisdiction as long as one of you maintains permanent residence in the state. Once you have determined jurisdiction, you will want to gather pertinent documents like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, all financial and identification records and evidence of abuse, adultery or misdeeds if applicable.
If you have shared children, you should start contemplating what custody arrangement would be in their best interest, and what parenting plan would work for both parties. You will also need copies of W-2’s, paystubs and other income and bank account information. Also make a list of your assets and liabilities and inventory of personal property, real property, furniture, gifts and jewelry. After a consultation with Attorney Wallshien, we will work to file a complaint for divorce along with a writ of summons to serve the other spouse. The defendant receives a copy of all pleadings filed with the courts. If you think your spouse has moved to avoid service of process or you cannot locate your spouse to serve a writ of summons, contact our office for assistance. We have various resources at our disposal to locate defendants.
Contact Attorney William Wallshein
If you and your spouse are considering legal separation and are ready to file for divorce, call West Palm Beach family attorney William Wallshein. He focuses on family law including divorce filings and has more than two decades of experience advocating for his clients’ interests. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss options for resolution.