Mediate This!

What are Legal Grounds for Divorce? At-Fault vs No-Fault States

October 22, 2021 Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell Season 1 Episode 40
Mediate This!
What are Legal Grounds for Divorce? At-Fault vs No-Fault States
Show Notes Transcript

Can you get a divorce simply because you want to move on? Well, that all depends. What state do you live in? Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell answer their most frequently asked questions about divorce as they go over several key points:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Know who you are before you get married. 
  • Know who you're getting married to. 
  • Know the laws and statutes in the state you live in.
  • Don't take advice from anyone who isn't a legal professional in the state in which you're getting married and living in.

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Matthew Brickman is a Florida Supreme Court certified family and appellate mediator who has worked in the 15th and 19th Judicial Circuit Courts since 2009 and 2006 respectively. But what makes him qualified to speak on the subject of conflict resolution is his own personal experience with divorce.

Download Matthew's book on iTunes for FREE:
You're Not the Only One - The Agony of Divorce: The Joy of Peaceful Resolution

Matthew Brickman
President iMediate Inc.
Mediator 20836CFA
iMediateInc.com

Sydney Mitchell:

Hi, my name is Sydney Mitchell. Hi,

Matthew Brickman:

Hi, I'm Matthew Brickman, Florida Supreme court mediator. Welcome to the Mediate This! Podcast where we discuss everything mediation and conflict resolution.

Sydney Mitchell:

Welcome everybody to this episode of Mediate This! I'm Sydney sitting here with Matthew and today we are going to be answering some of the questions that you, our listeners have been submitting to us about all things, divorce and mediation. So , um, let's just jump right in. If you do have a question in the future that you would love for us to dive into on an episode of mediate this, you can just send an email, submit your questions to info@ichatmediation.com. It'll get sent directly to us and we'll , uh, hopefully be able to answer your questions here.

Matthew Brickman:

Let's see . What's let's see. What's next.

Sydney Mitchell:

All right. So we've got a question here, which I think is really some of these questions that we're receiving. They really are good questions. I'm so excited to tackle them. This question reads what are legal grounds for divorce? Can I be granted a divorce? Just because I want to move on. Um, are there legal grounds for divorce?

Matthew Brickman:

All right . So when in doubt, go back to question number one, know the laws in your state? What are they Lie ? Yeah. So what are the legal grounds for divorce? And again, this is not, this is not legal advice. This is , I'm just telling you that , like what I know. And so it depends. Are you in an asphalt state or a no fault state?

Sydney Mitchell:

I know we've talked about asphalt dig into that a little bit. Yeah .

Matthew Brickman:

Okay. So, so it used today used to be the most of the United States was what they called an app false state, which meant that somebody had to have screwed up the marriage in order for the court to even have the power to grant a divorce. Just because you want to move on. It's like, well, what happened? I just don't like him anymore. Sorry, we can't. We just can't grant you a divorce. What? I don't like them anymore. I don't want to be married. Well, did they cheat? No. Were they abusive? No. So you're just like, you're just done. You just want to check out. Okay. Well, the judge didn't have the power or the authority to grant a divorce. Like somebody had to have screwed up now.

Sydney Mitchell:

That's so interesting because that is how many at fault states are there now in the us . I don't know.

Matthew Brickman:

Not a lot of 'em . A lot of them have gone to no fault. And here's an , and so, so here's, here's a little history lesson, so I think it was back in the seventies or so , um, they came up with, and when I say they, I don't know who they are, but they came up in society, came up the term irreconcilable differences. That was how they got around the app fault because they just want to move on. So they would go to court and be like, okay, so who screwed this thing up? It's like, well, you know, it was there. Was there infidelity? Well , no. Was there abuse? No, we just have irreconcilable differences. Okay. We'll go ahead and grant the divorce. So, and that is still, you know, some states that they're still at fault, it's cited all the time, irreconcilable differences, because that's how then the judges or even had the power to grant a divorce. So again, what are the legal grounds for divorce check with your state? Because every state is different. For example, in Florida, if you just want to move on, move on, you don't even have to have irreconcilable differences. If you're done, you're done.

Sydney Mitchell:

I was going to say a lot of the divorces that I've observed, whether it be in my family or close friends or whatever the case. I mean, obviously as you know, a child, there are always things that I don't know about, but I was never familiar with infidelity abuse or anything like that. In some of these relationships I've observed get divorced. So from my perspective, I read this question and I'm like, can you not just divorce if you just want to move on. And so I'm glad that we're talking about this. So we don't know exactly how many states are at fault, but most of them are no fault with this.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. A lot of them, a lot of them are, are, are no fault. Now here's, what's interesting is , um, in Florida, if you look at Florida statute, you know, we're, we're a no fault state, but it still gives the courts the ability to look at , um, an affair when it comes to , uh, the divorce. The problem though, is judges tend to not touch that with a 10 foot pole, because even if they touch it for alimony purposes or equitable distribution purposes, it's like, well , wait a second. We're no fault. You're actually punishing me, which makes it at fault. And so even though it's still in a statute and I don't know why it's in the statute, I know why it hasn't been updated or whatnot, but you know, it's still there. So, you know, it really depends on your particular state. Here's, here's something else. So I've got a friend who was in South Carolina, North Carolina. Um, and in order to get divorced, you have to have some sort of like a , what they call like a cooling off period. Like you have to like file and then be separated for like a year before though . Granted it's , it's weird . I'm not exactly sure. Like that works. Okay .

Sydney Mitchell:

Yeah. I've got a family member of mine who, yeah, she , um, she was separated from the person, had a child, baby daddy abandoned them the day the baby was born. And then she couldn't file for a divorce until a year after they had been living in different states, I think was the,

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. So again, you know, you know, you can't be granted a divorce until there's a cooling off period. So it's not even in case is at fault. It's like, well, there has to be a cooling off. It's like, all right , I'm cool. Why can't I be like, I'll tell you Sydney , if they were like, okay. So like if I wanted to get divorced and so I could move on and I'm not allowed because I have to cool off for a year, I'm going to get more off, not cooled off.

Sydney Mitchell:

I think that makes sense to me if you're living in, like, for example, the people that I know they were living in two different states, so that is like, clearly they're separated, but if they're either still living together and just say they want to get a divorce or living nearby, it's a little bit different, but yeah. And that I, when we went through that whole situation and I was told that I was, yeah, because we don't have that in Florida, you know, that I know of. So,

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. That's interesting. So, yeah. So again, you know , question number two, refer back to question number one.

Sydney Mitchell:

I love it.

Speaker 3:

Occasionally Sidney and I will be releasing Q and a bonus episodes where we will answer questions and give you a personal shout out.

Speaker 4:

If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us@infoatichatmediation.com that's info@ichatichatmediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your questions answered here on

Speaker 3:

For more information about my services or to schedule your mediation with me either in person or using my I chat mediation virtual platform built by Cisco communications. Visit me online at [inaudible] dot com. Call me at (561) 262-9121 toll free at 8 7 7 8 2 2 14 79. Or email me@mworkmanatichatmediation.com .