DO FLORIDA COUPLES NEED A STATE SANCTIONED “MARRIAGE GUIDE?”
Nobody heads into marriage expecting to get a divorce, but even once-happy couples end up separating after many years of marriage to seek greener pastures. As ABC reports, Florida lawmakers are now proposing a new “State-sanctioned guide to a healthy marriage. Everyone tying the knot would be required to have access to it before getting their marriage licenses.”
The state already requires a marriage course, but that can be waived if the couple agrees to wait three days to marry before applying for their licenses.
SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET MARRIED IN FLORIDA?
One important thing to note about marriage in Florida is that there are limitations on when and how quickly you can apply for and receive a license of marriage. A marriage license may be issued the same day as your application, but that is only if all general requirements have been met. For example, any couple who wishes to be married on the same day must prove they have taken and completed a “Premarital Preparation Course.”
As the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida notes, the curriculum standards focus on the following categories:
- Conflict management
- Communication skills
- Financial responsibilities
- Children and parenting responsibilities
- Data compiled from available information relating to problems reported by married couples who seek marriage or individual counseling
Florida’s mandatory 3 day waiting period can be waived if a couple completes a premarital course. Simply find a registered provider, attend the course and present a certificate of completion when applying for a license. No waiting period applies to Non-Florida residents.
THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF FLORIDA’S PROPOSED MARRIAGE GUIDE?
Dennis Baxley, a State Senator in Florida believes, “It’s time we help those marrying to prevent the heartbreak and damage of divorce.” Should the bill go through, a small committee and group of politicians would create the Florida Marriage Guide with the intention of preventing the types of conflict that generally cause marriages to dissolve.
Not everyone is excited about this legislation, however, opponents view it as paternalistic and out of step with new generations. For one thing, whether intentional or not, this legislation demonizes divorce proceedings and fails to acknowledge the benefit and happiness that may be secured through a healthy, moderated Divorce. While divorce is generally a difficult time in a person’s life, it may also be viewed as the first step to a better life. And while no marriage should be entered into without careful consideration, it is helpful to know that there is a legal means of addressing and disentangling your life from your partner’s should you need to. If Florida’s legislators decide to go through with their Marriage Guide it is important to accurately characterize Divorce, not as terrible outcome, but in fact a “Guide” through the end of marriage if and when needed.
WHAT TYPES OF DIVORCE ARE THERE IN FLORIDA?
Because Florida is a “no-fault divorce state,” this means that either individual can file for divorce for any reason. One party simply needs to state that there are “irreconcilable differences” and the two parties can no longer coexist. The types of marriage, as defined in the state of florida are as follows:
- Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
- Dissolution of Marriage without Children or Property
- Dissolution of Marriage with Property, but no Children
- Dissolution of Marriage with Children
So, is it necessary to think about what type of divorce you may need while still in your marriage? No, but it can help make overall divorcer proceedings go more smoothly. In a perfect scenario, a conversation takes place early in a couple’s relationship, that if divorce becomes the likeliest outcome, the two will remain civil with each other and seek a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. A Simplified Dissolution which may only be obtained if:
- Both parties agree to get a divorce
- Don’t have children
- Both parties agree on how to divide all assets and debts
While preferable in most cases, not all Florida divorces go smoothly. Learn more about the ways Brodie & Friedman P.A. can help with:
With over 20 years of combined experience, Jason Brodie Esq. and Joshua Friedman Esq. will guide you toward realistic goals and provide committed advocacy toward achieving them. They are known throughout South Florida for dedicated client service, tenacity and success in complex divorce litigation involving property division, child custody and spousal support.
To get a better understanding of the qualities our reputation is built on, Contact Our Office in Boca Raton to schedule your initial phone consultation (561) 392-5100