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Florida Divorce Law

Divorce Laws in Florida

According to Florida divorce laws, you do not need to prove cause for a divorce. The court will issue a decree of divorce by simply stating that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This is referred to as a no fault divorce. In the final decree of divorce in Florida, a plan must be established for child custody, child visitation and child support. These issues are typically resolved through mediation or by attorneys and then approved by the court. If these matters cannot be resolved, a trial must be held.

Alimony & Equitable Distribution in Florida

Florida is known as an equitable distribution state. According to the divorce laws in Florida, marital property must be divided fairly or equitably, but not necessarily equally, between the parties regardless of title.

Alimony can be granted to either the husband or wife under Florida divorce laws. Such relevant economic factors as the length of the marriage, the parties’ prior living standard, etc. are considered in determining the amount that should be paid. The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses.

Florida Child Support and Child Custody

The main focus in determining child custody is the best interest of the children, which can encompass the needs of the children and the parents’ ability to meet those needs, according to Florida divorce law. Both the father and the mother are given the same consideration in determining custody regardless of the child’s age, sex, etc. However, in the majority of cases dealing with minor children, joint custody is awarded. This requires that both parents confer so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child are determined jointly.

Child support (a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income paid to assist with the support of his children) is determined by the “child support guidelines” set forth by divorce law in Florida. A Child Support worksheet and instructions can be found at your local Florida State Court. In the matter of child support, both parents have an obligation to support their children in accordance with their needs and financial abilities. Expect to pay child support until 18 years of age or when the child marries or becomes financially independent.