What Is A No-Fault Divorce?


In terms of dissolution of marriage law, Florida is a “no fault” state. At common law, a lawsuit for divorce had to be based on specific factual grounds, which was usually the “fault” of the other spouse in breaking up the marriage. Adultery, spousal abuse, or insanity were typical grounds or “fault” that had to be alleged and proven to justify a divorce. Modern law permits either spouse to pursue a divorce if they no longer wish to be married, regardless of fault. You can read more about how to get a divorce here.

Marital Fault Is Not Required

The only “fault” that has to be alleged in a Florida dissolution of marriage case is the simple statement that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Other than one sentence to explain why the marriage is irretrievably broken, no other evidence is needed to support one spouse’s request for a divorce in Florida. Hence, the name “no fault divorce.” Any other fault in breaking up the marriage can be taken into account by the court in determining an appropriate parenting plan or in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. For example, see Florida Statutes s. 61.08 (1) (“The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.”) Do not confuse a “no fault” divorce with an uncontested divorce though.

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