Monday, March 5, 2007
What Is No Fault Divorce?
In my practice, many times clients are confused as to what is meant by "no fault" divorce. In its simplest terms it means that the parties need not show fault on the part of one of the parties in order to obtain a divorce. Additionally, fault will not factor into the distribution of assets, unless a parties' non-marital activities contributed to the dissipation of a martial asset. The parties must only state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. By this, we mean, the parties can no longer live together because their difficulties are so substantial that no reasonable effort could enable the parties to live with one another in a normal martial way. The Court will ask a couple whether their marriage is irretrievably broken, however, there is no requirement that a written finding be made that the marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce. Even though there is usually one party who is more at fault than the other, generally speaking "fault" does not need to be placed in a divorce petition, and can further be struck as immaterial or scandalous. If you are planning on divorcing in Florida, it is important to understand this basic divorce rule so that you are not confused as to why information regarding fault is not placed in your divorce petition.