What Does the “No Fault” Part of Florida Divorce Law Mean?

divorce.jpgFlorida is a “no-fault” divorce state. The idea is that you do not litigate why you are divorcing, but simply litigate a resolution to the divorce (i.e. distribution of assets, child support, alimony, etc.). To that end, Florida Statute 61.044 abolished certain defenses, such as condonation, collusion, recrimination, and laches.

Condonation is the defense that basically says, “You knew I was doing it and you were fine with it at the time.” This is not a defense to divorce because ultimately, it does not matter why the marriage broke-up, just that it’s not getting fixed.

Also, the defense of collusion has been abolished, so the parties cannot have a secret agreement being held over each other. For example, if a party tries to go to court and say, “She told me she would not ask for alimony.” That is not a defense to a request for alimony.

Recrimination, under Florida Statute 61.044 is abolished. Again, when the reason for divorce is not an issue, saying, “Well you also had an affair,” does not really help your legal case for the division of assets.

Laches are also abolished from a divorce defense because laches ultimately gives rise to another being responsible for a debt. However, a marital debt is going to be divided equally and the idea that the other party is responsible is not at issue in Florida.

Speak with a divorce lawyer to better understand your rights and options.