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A Brief History of No-Fault Divorce

In the state of Florida, divorce is no-fault. Other jurisdictions have different requirements, but in the state of Florida, neither party seeking a divorce needs to prove any specific marital misconduct or problem in order to receive a divorce. When fault is required, individuals generally have to prove that an irreconcilable issue such as adultery existed, justifying the end of the marriage, but in Florida, only one spouse needs to assert that irreconcilable differences of some sort exist and the marriage is not salvageable.  Years ago, no-fault divorce was an almost unthinkable principle. How did so many states, Florida included, come to eliminate false requirements for divorce?  Take a look at some of the historical highlights of no-fault divorce.

The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act

Decades ago, there were few laws pertaining to marriage and divorce. Instead, judges relied on what is called common law to make marriage and divorce decisions. Common law is simply principles of law, often unwritten, that have developed over the years to guide judicial decision-making. Responding to calls to make a divorce and marriage laws more uniform and predictable, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws approved an act called the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. The Act was not law itself, but it served as a model for state governments to develop their own statutes.  The Act included provisions for no-fault divorce as a potential method of reform.

Why No-Fault?

When divorced partners arrived at court, most of them had already begun to divide property and to live separately. But still, they were required to present witnesses and proof that one partner was more at fault for the divorce and the failure of the marriage.  The process was time-consuming, cost the state money, and was nearly impossible if one party refused to show up.  Introducing no-fault divorce helped streamline the process and prevent exes from being positioned as adversaries.  Additionally, the institution of no-fault divorce in states helped to restore faith in the family law system, which had broken down because the process of fighting over fault in divorce cases had begun to be popularly considered a sham.  Once fault was removed from the equation, couples were able to more efficiently move through the system, courts could more quickly resolve family law issues, and the legal resolution focused more on legal issues than moral ones.

How Does No-Fault Divorce Affect Me?

If you are seeking a divorce for separation, or you know somebody who is, the no-fault divorce principle is a helpful one. Of course, simply because you do not have to establish fault in the divorce process does not mean that the process of divorce or legal separation will necessarily be an easy one.  Luckily, qualified family law attorneys are available to help divorcing or separating couples navigate the snarls of the legal system.  At Schwartz | White, our experienced Boca Raton family law attorneys are prepared to evaluate your case and assist you in working through the system to get you and your spouse out of an unfixable marriage or living situation. Call 561-391-9943 today for a consultation.

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