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From Wikipedia, the encyclopedia

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse.

It can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects
of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support or Alimony, child custody, child
support, and distribution of property.

In many developed countries, divorce rates increased markedly during the twentieth century. Among the
states in which divorce has become commonplace are the United States, South Korea, and members
of the European Union, with the exception of Malta (where all civil marriages are for life, because civil
divorce is banned). In the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and some other developed
Commonwealth countries, this divorce boom developed in the last half of the twentieth century. In
addition, acceptance of the single-parent family has resulted in many women deciding to have children
outside marriage, as there is little remaining social stigma attached to unwed mothers in some
societies. Japan retains a markedly lower divorce rate, though it has increased in recent years. The
subject of divorce as a social phenomenon is an important research topic in sociology.

A divorce must be certified by a court of law, as a legal action is needed to dissolve the prior legal act of
marriage. The terms of the divorce are also determined by the court, though they may take into account
prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses have agreed
on privately. Often, however, the spouses disagree about the terms of the divorce, which can lead to
stressful (and expensive) litigation. A less adversarial approach to divorce settlements has emerged in
recent years, known as mediation, an attempt to negotiate mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts.

Types of Divorce in Florida

No Fault Divorce
Florida is a No-fault state. This means that it does matter whose "fault" the divorce is, and fault will not
be a factor in the distribution of assets, unless it can be shown that a party dissipated a martial asset
for non-marital purpose.   A couple only need to state that their marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain
a divorce.  There is no requirement that the couple live separate and apart for a period of time prior to
receiving a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

Contested Divorce v. Uncontested Divorce

A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties do not agree on certain terms of the divorce,
whether that be division of property or custody of children.   If a matter is contested, the issues will be
presented to a Judge who will decide the distribution of assets and custody of the children.  

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties agree on all terms of their divorce and have
entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement which solemnizes the parties' agreement with respect to
their assets, child, child support, alimony, etc.   The Marital Settlement Agreement will be incorporated
into a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage at a short Final Judgment Hearing.

Simplified Divorce

Florida has a procedure for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. In order to qualify to use this
procedure, the spouses must certify that: (1) there are no minor or dependent children of the spouses
and the wife is not pregnant; (2) the spouses have made a satisfactory division of their property and
have agreed as to payment of their joint obligations; (3) that 1 of the spouses has been a resident of
Florida for 6 months immediately prior to filing for dissolution of marriage; and (4) that their marriage is
irretrievably broken. The spouses must appear in court to testify as to these items and file a Certificate
of a Corroborating Witness as to the residency requirement. Each must also attach a financial affidavit
to the Simplified Dissolution Petition. Specific forms and an instruction brochure are available from the
Clerk of any Circuit Court. In addition, sample forms for various aspects of a standard dissolution of
marriage are available in the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. Financial disclosures are now
mandatory in Florida. [Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Appendix 1; Rules 12.105 and 12.285 and
Family Law Forms 12.900+].

Each state has its own unique filing procedure. When filing for dissolution of marriage in Florida, you
must adhere to the strict filing guidelines and prepare and submit the appropriate mandatory
dissolution of marriage documents to the county court. You can visit the Florida state statutes located at:
http://www.flsenate.gov/ to learn more about these documents. You will discover that some documents
may be provided by the Florida Legal System and others must be constructed on a case-by-case basis
containing certain information and criteria to adhere to the Florida Laws and the filing requirements.

Research by British website http://www.insidedivorce.com which questioned over 2,000 people who are
married, divorced, separated or living together found that nearly one in five marriages (19%) – that’s half
a million people – are on shaky ground and could be heading for the divorce courts, according to
research* by the website. Key findings from the report, which takes an in-depth look at modern love and
the social, economic, sexual and psychological ups and downs that make and break Britain’s
relationships, include:

  • Sex, infidelity, falling out of love and abuse are the primary reason for divorce in Britain.
  • One in five women cite a serious incident of abuse as the reason for relationship breakdown.
  • One in three men are currently bored with their wife and marriage.
  • The average length of marriage before it hits the rocks is seven years, three months.

Nearly half (44%) of married people surveyed say that their sex lives have decreased while a further one
in ten married couples are having no sex at all. These figures are particularly worrying for men, with
“lack of sex” being cited as the single biggest factor in relationship breakdown. Tellingly, 36 per cent of
men and 44 per cent of women said a partner’s affair was a key problem in their marriage.

27% said that discovering their partner was having an affair was the defining moment that signalled the
end of their marriage. In terms of how they discovered their partner’s infidelity: 54% discovered the affair
themselves, 20% confessed, and 4% were told by the ‘other woman/man’. 1% simply got a text or letter.
22% said falling out of love was what lead to the breakdown of their relationship, while 15.9% women
and 6% of men said a serious incident of abuse is what pushed them over the edge. 40% of women
claim physical and mental abuse was a problem during their marriage and 24.5% say that they have
encountered drug and alcohol abuse in their relationship before its end.

Top ten reasons for relationship meltdown

  1. My partner had an affair
  2. Abuse (physical and/or mental)
  3. Boredom
  4. Lack of sex
  5. Financial disagreements
  6. Alcohol/drug abuse
  7. Debt
  8. My career took priority
  9. Hobbies (e.g. football)
  10. I had an affair

How kids cope The research found that:

  • 80% of children of divorced parents consider themselves to be “quite happy” or “very happy”.
  • 60% say it is better for parents who argue to split up.
  • 80% of children of divorced parents say their home life is the same or better after divorce.
  • Just 28% of children of divorced parents want them to get back together.
  • The biggest benefit of a break-up for children is an end to arguments.
  • The greatest impact of divorce on children is a sense of helplessness and pressure to take
  • The worst drawback is continuing arguments between parents over the time they spent with their
    children and the need to travel between two homes.
  • Few children – just 13% - object to their parents finding someone new after divorce.
  • 70% of children of divorced parents say a definite “yes” to wedding bells at some point in their

Divorce Demography
In the United States, in 2005 there were 7.5 new marriages per 1,000 people, and 3.6 divorces per
1,000, a ratio which has existed for many individual years since the 1960s.[1] As many statisticians have
pointed out, it is very hard to count the divorce rate, since it is hard to determine if a couple who divorce
and get back together in that same year should be considered a divorce, so there is in fact no predictive
relationship between the two annual totals. This method does not take account of the length of
marriage, just the fact that a certain percentage of people were divorced and a certain number of people
are married, rendering the statistic almost meaningless. Nonetheless, the claim that "half of all
marriages end in divorce" became widely accepted in the US in the 1970s, on the basis of this statistic,
and has remained conventional wisdom. Pollster Lewis Harris in his 1987 book "Inside America" wrote
that "the idea that half of American marriages are doomed is one of the most specious pieces of
statistical nonsense ever perpetuated in modern times."

To establish an actual divorce rate requires tracking and analyzing significant samples of actual
marriages through decades, which is not an easy task. Recent US scholarship based on such long
term tracking, reported for example in the New York Times on April 19, 2005, has found that about 60%
of all marriages that result in divorce do so in the first decade, and more than 80% do so within the first
20 years; that the percentage of all marriages that eventually end in divorce peaked in the United States
at about 41% around 1980, and has been slowly declining ever since, standing by 2002 at around 31%.
Some have attributed this decline to the popularity of cohabitation without marriage. While in the 1960s
and 1970s there was little difference among socioeconomic groups in divorce rates, diverging trends
appeared starting around 1980 (e.g., the rate of divorce among college graduates had by 2002 dropped
to near 20%, roughly half that of non-college graduates).[2][3][4]

In the decades following introduction of no-fault divorce laws, there was an extraordinary increase in
divorce rates, and more recent research has clarified that US divorce rates had been on a gentle
increase since the 1890s (with a short-term decline during the Great Depression and a spike just after
World War II). The long-term rate of increase steepened with the advent of no-fault divorce laws in the
late 1960s; the gradual decline starting in the early 1980s has continued for a quarter-century thus far,
though much of the divorce decline can be attributed to the increased social acceptability of co-
habitation without the benefit of marriage.

According to a study published in the American Law and Economics Review, women currently file
slightly more than two-thirds of divorce cases in the US.[5] There is some variation among states, and
the numbers have also varied over time, with about 60% of filings by women in most of the 19th century,
and over 70% by women in some states just after no-fault divorce was introduced, according to the
paper. Evidence is given that among college-educated couples, the divorce filing rate by women
approaches 90%.

States in the US handle billions of dollars in alimony and child support arrangements, which commonly
result from divorces. (According to a 2003 US census report], 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of
custodial fathers, are divorced or separated.[6]) A 2005 Census Bureau Report found that in 2002, $40
billion had been paid in support arrangements by 7.8 million payers, 84% of whom were men. States
also collected federal incentives to collect support payments, with a potential incentive pool of up to
$454 million in fiscal 2004.[7]

The divorce rate is generally low among Muslims, in comparison to other religious groups.[citation
needed] However, at least in some Muslim populations, that rate may be rising. For example: in 2004 in
Singapore (which has an 18% Muslim population) many feared that the divorce rate among Muslims
had risen too high: 9 out of every 1,000 marriages, a ratio 3 times higher than Malaysia, and 5 times
higher than Indonesia.[8]

Divorce existed in antiquity, dating at least back to ancient Mesopotamia. The ancient Athenians liberally
allowed divorce, but the person requesting divorce had to submit the request to a magistrate, and the
magistrate could determine the reasons given were insufficient. Although liberally granted in ancient
Athens, divorce was rare in early Roman culture. As the Roman Empire grew in power and authority,
however, Roman civil law embraced the maxim, “matrimonia debent esse libera” ("marriages ought be
free"), and either husband or wife could renounce the marriage at will. Though civil authority rarely
intervened in divorces, social and familial taboos guaranteed that divorce occurred only after serious
circumspection. The Christian emperors Constantine and Theodosius restricted the grounds for
divorce to grave cause, but this was relaxed by Justinian in the 6th century. After the fall of the empire,
familial life was regulated more by ecclesiastical authority than civil authority. By the 9th or 10th century
of the Christian era, the frequency of divorce had been greatly curtailed by the influence of the Christian
church. ( 2 Kent's Commentaries on American Law, p. 96 (14th ed. 1896)). The Christian church
considered marriage a sacrament instituted by God and Christ indissoluble by mere human action.
Canons of the Council of Trent, Twenty-fourth Session.[9]

Although divorce, as known today, was generally prohibited after the 10th century, actions allowing the
separation of husband and wife and annulment of the marriage were well-known. What is today referred
to as “separate maintenance” (or "legal separation") was termed “divorce a mensa et thoro” (“divorce
from bed-and-board”). The husband and wife physically separated and were forbidden to live or cohabit
together; but their marital did not terminate. 2 Kent's Commentaries on American Law, p. 125, n. 1 (14th
ed. 1896). Because the marriage did not end, the husband had a continuing duty to support his wife
(alimony). From the earliest years of the Christian age until the 18th century, annulment was the only
means by which a marriage could be dissolved, and the circumstances under which annulment was
proper was solely within the province of ecclesiastical courts. The common-law courts had no power
over marriage since it was a status granted by the Church. The grounds for annulment were determined
only by Church authority. Annulment was known as “divorce a vinculo matrimonii,” or “divorce from all
the bonds of marriage,” for canonical causes of impediment existing at the time of the marriage. “For in
cases of total divorce, the marriage is declared null, as having been absolutely unlawful ab initio.” 1 W.
Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 428 (Legal Classics Library spec. ed. 1984); 2
Kent's Commentaries on American Law, p. 1225, n. 1; 1 E.Coke, Institutes of the Laws of England, 235
(Legal Classics Library spec. ed. 1985). The Sacrament of Marriage produced one person from two,
inseparable from each other: “By marriage the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very
being of legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage or at least incorporated and
consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs
everything.” (Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, p. 435 (Legal Classics Library spec.
ed. 1984). Since husband and wife became one person upon marriage, that oneness could only be
dissolved if the parties improperly entered into the marriage initially.

Marriage later came to be considered a civil contract, and civil authorities gradually asserted their power
to decree divorce. Since no precedents existed defining the circumstances under which marriage could
be dissolved, civil authorities heavily relied on the previous determinations of the ecclesiastic courts
and freely adopted the requirements set down by those courts. Although the common-law courts
gradually assumed the power to dissolve marriages, divorce was considered contrary to public policy,
and the courts strictly construed those circumstances under which they would grant a divorce.
Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, p. 429.

Because marriage could not be terminated except in the most extreme circumstances, common-law
courts refused the grant of a divorce if evidence revealed any hint of complicity between the husband
and wife to divorce, or if they attempted to manufacture grounds for a divorce. Divorce was granted only
because one party to the marriage had violated a sacred vow to the "innocent spouse." If both husband
and wife were guilty, "neither would be allowed to escape the bonds of marriage." Kent's Commentaries
on American Law, p. 401. Eventually, the idea that a marriage could be dissolved in cases in which one
of the parties violated the sacred vow gradually allowed expansion of the grounds upon which divorce
could be granted from those grounds which existed at the time of the marriage to grounds which
occurred after the marriage, but which exemplified violation of that vow, such as abandonment, adultery,
or “extreme cruelty.” Kent's Commentaries on American Law, p. 147.

An annual study in the UK by management consultants Grant Thornton estimates the main causes of
divorce based on surveys of matrimonial lawyers.[10]

The main causes in 2004 (2003) were:

  • Extra-marital affairs - 27% (29%)
  • Family strains - 18% (11%)
  • Emotional/physical abuse - 17% (10%)
  • Mid-life crisis - 13% (not in 2003 survey)
  • Addictions, e.g. alcoholism and gambling - 6% (5%)
  • Workaholism - 6% (5%)

According to this survey, men engaged in extra-marital affairs in 75% (55%) of cases; women in 25%
(45%). In cases of family strain, women's families were the primary source of strain in 78%, compared
to 22% of men's families.

Emotional and physical abuse were more evenly split, with women affected in 60% and men in 40% of
cases. In 70% of workaholism-related divorces it was men who were the cause, and 30% women.

The 2004 survey found that 93% of divorce cases were petitioned by women, very few of which were

53% of divorces were of marriages that had lasted 10 to 15 years, with 40% ending after 5 to 10 years.
The first 5 years are relatively divorce-free, and if a marriage survives more than 20 years it is unlikely to
end in divorce.

Regarding divorce settlements, as defined by this survey women obtained a better or considerably
better settlement than men in 60% of cases. In 30% of cases the assets were split 50-50, and in only
10% of cases did men achieve better settlements (down from 24% the previous year). The 2004 report
concluded that campaigns like that of Fathers 4 Justice must succeed in increasing the percentage of
shared residence orders, in order for more equitable financial divisions to become the norm.

To prevent jurisdiction shopping you can only now bring proceedings in England and Wales if you are
habitually resident there or have retained domicile in England and Wales. This applies to the whole of
the EU. Therefore if you live in France but were married in England, you should bring the proceedings in

Who invites divorce?
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that from 1975 to 1988, in families with children
present, wives file for divorce in approximately 2/3 of the cases each year. In 1975, 71.4% of the cases
were filed by women, and in 1988, 65% were filed by women.[11]

In their study titled "Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in the US," Kuhn and Guidubaldi find it
reasonable to conclude that women anticipate advantages to being single, rather than remaining
married.[12] , cited by [13] When women anticipate a clear gender bias in the courts regarding custody,
they expect to be the primary residential parent for the children and the resulting financial child support,
maintaining the marital residence, receiving half of all marital property, and gaining total freedom to
establish new social relationships. These are seductive enticements to divorce, rather than to remain
married. In their detailed analysis of divorce rates, Khun and Guidubaldi conclude the evidence suggest
that acceptance of joint physical custody may reduce divorce. States whose family law policies, statutes,
or judicial practice encourage joint custody have shown a greater decline in their divorce rates than
those that favor sole custody.

21st Century Divorce
Until the advent of online commerce most divorces were handled by Solicitors; however, a number of
online divorce services have been operating for many years, cutting the costs of divorce. Online divorce
could account for about 1 in 5 of all divorces filed in England and Wales, if statistics are to be believed.

There are now internet-based divorce services all over the world, the majority being in English-speaking
countries such as the UK, USA, and the Commonwealth. Most of these websites charge considerably
less than lawyers or local attorneys.

The source of this information is from wikipedia.org

  1. ^ Marriage and Divorce. National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved on 2006-11-05.
  2. ^ Kreider, Rose M. (2005-02). Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2001. U.
    S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-09-10.
  3. ^ Martin, Steven P.. Growing Evidence for a “Divorce Divide”? Education and Marital Dissolution
    Rates in the United States (PPT). University of Maryland – College Park. Retrieved on 2006-09-
  4. ^ Martin, Steven P.. Education and Marital Dissolution Rates in the U.S. since the 1970s (PDF).
    University of Maryland – College Park. Retrieved on 2006-09-10.
  5. ^ Brinig, Margaret; Douglas W. Allen (2000). "These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most
    Divorce Filers are Women". American Law and Economics Review 2 (1): 126-129.  
  6. ^ Grall, Timothy S. (2003-09). "Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2001". U.
    S. Census Bureau - Current Population Reports. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.  
  7. ^ U.S. Census Bureau (2005-02-24). Annual Support Payments Up 18 Percent, to $40 Billion.
    Press release. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
  8. ^ Zainol, Vivi (2004-08-25). Muslim divorce rates: S'pore tops KL, Jakarta. Strait Times. Retrieved
    on 2006-09-10.
  9. ^ (1848) "Session the Twenty-Fourth", The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical
    Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth, London: Dolman, 192-232. Retrieved on 2006-09-
  10. ^ Extra-marital affairs remain biggest cause for divorce as major increases in family strains and
    emotional/physical abuse also cause more splits - new survey. Grant Thornton. Retrieved on
  11. ^ (1991-05-21) "Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics, 1988" (PDF). Monthly Vital Statistice
    Report 39 (12 (supplement 2)).  
  12. ^ Kuhn, Richard; John Guidubaldi (1997-10-23). "Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in
    the US". 11th Annual Conference of the Children's Rights Council. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
  13. ^ Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.


  • Amato, Paul R. and Alan Booth. A Generation at Risk: Growing Up in an Era of Family Upheaval.
    Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-674-29283-9 and ISBN 0-674-00398-5. Reviews and
    information at [1]
  • Gallagher, Maggie. "The Abolition of Marriage." Regnery Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-89526-464-1.
  • Lester, David. "Time-Series Versus Regional Correlates of Rates of Personal Violence." Death
    Studies 1993: 529-534.
  • McLanahan, Sara and Gary Sandefur. Growing Up with a Single Parent; What Hurts, What Helps.
    Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994: 82.
  • Morowitz, Harold J. "Hiding in the Hammond Report." Hospital Practice August 1975; 39.
  • Office for National Statistics (UK). Mortality Statistics: Childhood, Infant and Perinatal, Review of
    the Registrar General on Deaths in England and Wales, 2000, Series DH3 33, 2002.
  • U.S. Bureau of the Census. Marriage and Divorce. General US survey information. [2]
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Survey of Divorce [3] (link obsolete).
Orlando Divorce Attorneys
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