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What makes Florida divorces different from divorces filed in other states?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Divorce

To a certain degree, the process of pursuing a divorce is relatively similar in every state. One spouse files paperwork, the other responds and then the case proceeds in family court. Spouses preparing for divorce have to address issues related to property division and child custody if they have children together. In some cases, financial support including alimony and child support can factor into divorce negotiations as well.

Despite following the same basic formula, divorce can actually be significantly different from one state to the next. Every state has the authority to enact its own laws regulating family law matters. As such, certain statutes make divorce in Florida different than divorces in other states. For example, the following are some of the unique elements of Florida’s current divorce statutes.

No-fault divorce is the only option

In some states, people can pursue fault-based divorces. If their circumstances meet certain standards, they can blame their spouse for the divorce filing. Fault-based grounds for divorce include criminal convictions, marital violence and infidelity. Florida only permits no-fault divorces, meaning the courts won’t declare one spouse as the party at fault for the divorce and rarely factor in misconduct when dividing property.

Equitable distribution rules guide property division

Some states have community property rules that apply during asset division in a divorce. Florida has an equitable distribution statute instead. Equitable distribution rules require that judges look for solutions that are fair and appropriate when dividing both debts and assets acquired during the marriage. Factors including the length of the marriage and the economic circumstances of the spouses can influence how a judge divides property.

Florida’s parenting rules are unique

When couples must address custody matters in Florida, the language that applies is different. The courts don’t talk about physical custody but rather time-sharing. The state requires unique provisions in parenting plans, including rules for communication with the children when they are with the other parents. Particularly if people previously lived in other states, they may need to learn about the unique custody rules and jargon that apply in Florida divorces.

Permanent alimony is all but impossible to obtain

Many states have rules related to spousal support or alimony that can lead to a lifetime financial obligation after the end of a long-term marriage. Florida’s recent alimony reform efforts have all but eliminated permanent alimony and placed very strict timelines on other alimony orders.

Those preparing for a Florida divorce need to understand state law if they want to pursue the best terms possible. Seeking personalized legal guidance is a great way to get started.