Aerial view of West Palm Beach, Florida

Florida as a “No Fault” Divorce State

Posted on June 9, 2015

Like many other states across the country, Florida has adopted a “no fault” approach to its divorce proceedings. This means that a spouse who wishes to end their marriage can do so without proving specific grounds to the court before the dissolution of marriage is allowed. However, issues can still arise in a “no fault” divorce petition that can slow or stop the divorce proceedings from continuing.

“No Fault” Grounds for Divorce

As a “no fault” state, Florida does not require that a spouse prove specific grounds for ending the marriage in court. Section 61.052 states that a person can simply plead in their petition for divorce that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that their spouse has been deemed mentally incapacitated for at least three years prior to the filing for divorce. The only corroboration needed when filing a petition for divorce is proof that the spouse filing has met the residency requirements for the state.

Contesting the “No Fault” Grounds

Despite Florida being a “no fault” state, the other spouse in the divorce filing can still contest the petition for divorce. In the case of mental incapacity, notice of the divorce must still be given to their nearest blood relatives or guardian to speak on their behalf during the proceeding. The guardian or family members have a right to protect their loved one’s interests and can challenge whether the spouse has been mentally incapacitated for the proper amount of time.

In addition, a spouse can contest the claim that a marriage has been irrevocably broken. This can happen when there is a minor child of the marriage or if the other spouse contests the petition. A judge has the discretion to do the following to determine whether the marriage is in fact irretrievably broken:

  • Order either or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court
  • Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed three months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation
  • Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage

However, it is important to note that if your marriage has had problems with domestic violence or other issues that you feel would make it unsafe to try to continue to work towards reconciliation you can bring those issues before the judge, who can then take that into consideration when determining whether the marriage is in fact irretrievably broken.

Call a Fort Lauderdale Family Law Attorney

Despite being a “no fault” state, filing for divorce in Florida can still be a complicated process. If you or someone that you know wishes to file for divorce in the Fort Lauderdale area, let the experienced family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Alan J. Braverman, P.A. help. Call or contact the office today for a private and free review of your case.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Alan is one of the most respected family law attorneys in South Florida. He handled a case for a close personal friend and did such a great job that I wanted to let the world know what a great man he is. If you need a family law attorney and you live in South Florida call Alan. Joe Harvey
★★★★★
Here is my experience with Alan Braverman. He is one of the finest lawyers I have ever worked with; I currently share office space with Mr. Braverman. He is a brilliant and thorough attorney. I met him as a new attorney doing family.....His experience and willingness to share his time with me has made me a better lawyer. I will always be grateful to him for the wisdom he has shared. His work ethic is incredible. His clients LOVE him because he gets great results. Katherine Corrigan
★★★★★
When I filed for divorce, I was very distraught and wasn't sure where to even find a reputable attorney. A friend recommended Alan Braverman. Mr. Braverman was wonderful throughout my divorce! Very attentive and understanding. The process was quick and painless, and beneficial too! Would recommend him to anyone going through a divorce. Justine Luzzi