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Could no-fault divorce be eliminated in Florida?

When a marriage encounters trouble, most spouses will bend over backwards to do whatever it takes to get things back on track. In some cases, those efforts will pay off. For other couples, however, things will deteriorate, and the marriage will eventually end in divorce. Having access to no-fault divorce is a privilege that many Florida residents do not recognize until they have reason to make use of it. One state is considering the elimination of this path to divorce.

A lawmaker has proposed a bill that would eliminate "incompatibility" from the list of reasons that a couple can use to seek a divorce. That would leave only extreme cruelty, impotence, fraudulent contract, adultery and abandonment as grounds for divorce. Couples who wish to divorce would have to prove that one of those issues was behind their marital discord in order to move beyond the broken marriage.

Supporters of these types of laws feel that placing obstacles in the path of a divorcing couple will lead the spouses to try and work through their differences. Opponents believe that when a marriage is beyond repair, no amount of inconvenience will prompt the couple to work things out. They argue that preventing a relatively easy path to divorce only serves to make both spouses miserable for a longer period of time.

For those in Florida who are preparing to end a marriage, no-fault divorce allows the union to end without a bitter or lengthy court action. However, it is important to keep an eye on national legislative trends, and to keep in mind that divorce laws change over time. If this other state decides to enact a law that prevents incompatibility as a reason for divorce, other states could follow suit.

Source: kfor.com, "Oklahoma lawmaker proposes bill to do away with "incompatibility" criteria for certain couples seeking a divorce", Jan. 30, 2017

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