Fault & No-Fault Divorce in Florida


When filing for divorce, a spouse usually has two options. He or she can choose to petition for a divorce based on no-fault grounds or can file for divorce based on fault-grounds. The option he or she chooses will be based on the state laws sent in place and the particular circumstances for the reason of divorce. Divorce for fault grounds is generally harder and more expensive to obtain, but depending on the reason for the divorce it may have outcomes that are more favorable to the spouse filing for divorce. If you are involved in a fault or no-fault divorce, contact the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates. We can provide you with a divorce attorney Gainesville, FL, residents trust to protect their rights.

What is Florida No-Fault Divorce?

All states now recognize no-fault grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds is a type of divorce in which the spouse filing for the divorce does not need to prove any fault on the other spouse as to why the marriage didn’t work out. Instead, no-fault is based on any reason that the state honors for divorce such as “irreconcilable differences” or “irreparable breakdown of marriage.” All this means is that the spouses no longer get along for the marriage to work. In this grounds for divorce, neither of the spouses have to state a specific reason in court as to why the marriage failed. They must simply meet the requirements placed by state law. Also, a spouse cannot object to a petition for divorce under no-fault grounds as it is viewed as an irreconcilable difference. Some states require the spouses to be separated for a period of time before they can file for divorce with no-fault grounds.

What is a Florida Fault Divorce?

Although all states recognize no-fault grounds for divorce, some states still allow fault grounds. In a fault divorce, the spouse that files for divorce argues and tries to prove that the other spouse did something that was responsible for the failure of the marriage. Most people who file for fault divorce do it because they have not met the period of separation required by their state for no-fault divorce and there is no required separation time for fault divorce. Another reason to file for fault is if the spouse hopes to gain a benefit from the fault divorce, such as a larger portion of the assets during the distribution. If both spouses file for a fault divorce and both are able to prove that the other spouse is at fault, then the court will decide who is least at fault. This is called “comparative rectitude” and the spouse who is found to have the least fault is the one granted the divorce.

Common Issues that Lead to Each Type of Divorce

When filing for divorce in Florida, you should file the “dissolution of marriage” form in the county where you live and you must have been a resident of that county for at least six months. It is important to check if your circuit court has any particular requirements before filing. Having a Gainesville divorce attorney by your side can help you through the process and with any questions you may have. Florida does not have fault-based divorce, however fault can still be considered when deciding alimony, property division and child custody. Some of the most common grounds for fault divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Physical, emotional or mental abuse (cruel treatment)
  • Abandonment
  • Pregnancy at the time of marriage unknown to the husband
  • Insanity
  • Incarceration
  • Impotence
  • Infection with an STD
  • Substance abuse

Grounds for no fault are mostly the same concept but worded differently depending on the state:

  • Living apart for a period of time
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Marriage is irretrievably broken
  • Irremediable breakdown of marriage

Divorce Lawyers in Gainesville, FL

If you or your spouse has filed for divorce, whether on fault or no-fault grounds, it is important to have an experienced divorce attorney by your side. The right attorney can help walk you through the process of divorce, protect your rights, ensure you receive your fair portion of assets, help you prove fault, or help you disprove or present a defense to a fault divorce claim against you. Contact the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates today for a divorce lawyer Gainesville, FL, residents can rely on to protect them during the divorce process.