Florida, along with most states, is a "no-fault" divorce state. Generally speaking, this means that one party's infidelity will have no bearing on a divorce. However, like many legal issues, there are always exceptions. For example, if one party spent a significant amount of money on an extra-marital affair, the Court can consider this when distributing the parties' property.
Equitable Distribution is the division of marital assets and liabilities. Marital assets and liabilities are generally defined as those obtained from the date of marriage until the date of filing for divorce. As the name implies, the Court will attempt to divide the parties' marital assets and liabilities as equitably as possible.
Alimony is based on one spouse's need and the other's ability to pay. Determining alimony is a complex analysis based on many factors including the parties' earning ability, the length of the marriage, and the standard of living established during the marriage.
Whether through or independent of a divorce, the Court will attempt to establish a child custody / timesharing schedule which is in the best interest of the parties' child(ren). In making this determination, the Court is required to treat both men and women equally.
A divorce begins with one of the parties filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition is then served upon the other party who has twenty days to respond. The parties will then engage in mandatory disclosure whereby each will provide financial documents to the other. After mandatory disclosure is completed, the parties will attend a mediation in an attempt to resolve their case. If the case is not resolved in mediation, the Court will set a final hearing.