Divorce American Style
In Florida you must be a resident of the state for at least six months before filing for divorce. Florida law equitably divides a couple’s assets and liabilities and requires that both parties attend a mediation conference prior to the final hearing or trial. Further, Florida is a no-fault state, which means that either the Husband or Wife may file for divorce without a specific reason other than irreconcilable differences. But what about other states? Is it easier or harder to get a divorce?
According to a study conducted in 2010, the American states with the lowest divorce rates are: North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Utah, Illinois, Virginia and Minnesota. The states with the highest divorce rates are: Washington, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Wyoming, Vermont, Oregon, Oklahoma, Maine and Nevada.
In New Jersey getting a divorce is more difficult than in Florida. For example, residents have to wait a period of one year before proceeding with a divorce action. Also, you must plead grounds for the divorce which could range from extreme cruelty, desertion, adultery to imprisonment. Unlike New Jersey and Maryland, North Dakota has a six month waiting period, but specific grounds for divorce must also be pled.
In Nevada, however, you only have to be a resident for six weeks before filing for divorce. Legal grounds for divorce are incompatibility, separation for at least one year, and insanity. In Maine, for example, other grounds for divorce include impotence, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication from liquor or drugs, and cruel and abusive treatment. Mediation is usually required in Maine, but the Court can waive it in certain circumstances.
No matter where you live in the United States, the divorce laws are as wide and varied as our country. Considering the laws of other states, obtaining a divorce in Florida appears to be fairly easy as long as the statutory requirements are met.
Our firm has over 43 years combined experience in Florida divorce and family law matters, including experience in equitable distribution, alimony, child support, timesharing and co-parenting. Attorney Mark Maynor is Florida Bar Board Certified in Marital and Family Law and is AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.