Getting Acquainted with Florida Divorce Laws
Like those of the other states, Florida divorce laws are also unique to the state. One striking difference is that Florida has abolished most of the fault grounds for couples seeking a divorce. (It is one of the no-fault divorce states.)
To date, the divorce requirements are that the marriage had been irretrievably broken or one of the spouses is mentally incapacitated for the past three (3) years. The filing spouse should be a resident of the state for at least six (6) months prior to filing for divorce.
Florida divorce laws are also different from the other states with regards to properties division during divorce. Basically, marital property is not divided equally between the spouses. (It is not a community property states.)
However, the spouses are given the opportunity to privately agree on the division by themselves, through their lawyers or a mediator, or through their signed prenuptial agreement.
The court will then settle property distribution if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Mandated by Florida divorce laws, the court takes into account several factors related to this – properties gained during marriage, inheritance, gifts, the spouses’ jobs, and their financial status.
Like in other states, divorces in Florida give premium to the question of child support and custody. There are specific provisions in Florida divorce laws that spell out these concerns. The court will establish the custody and visitation rights to the spouses after verification of the child’s principal residence.
There is also a formula where incomes of both spouses (custodial and non-custodial) are calculated, how much share they need to pay for support for each child, including health care costs. The non-custodial parent is the one who will hand over his or her share to the custodial parent who is expected to pay his or her share directly.
On the other hand, Florida divorce laws do not have guidelines in calculating amounts in alimony payments. However, there are some factors that a judge will consider when deciding on the amount.
These factors include the couple’s standard of living before the divorce, the length of their marriage (usually 14 years and above are payable), and the total sum of their mutual properties. Alimony is reduced if the settled property division amount can support the spouse, which includes the consideration if one spouse is able to pay and support the other.
Florida also has specific rules for a military divorce in conjunction with other state and federal rules. The basis (6 months residence and broken marriage) is actually the same as that of civil divorces.
However, divorce trials can be deferred if the military person is on active duty. (This is allowed up to 60 days after the end of the military person’s tour of duty.) All things considered, Florida divorce laws are perhaps the easiest to understand and apply.