Florida, like many states, is a no-fault state in matters of divorce. Put simply, this means that a couple doesn’t have to put forth a reason in seeking a divorce. In terms of the law, all that is necessary is a desire to longer be married. So this isn’t about legal “reasons” to petition for divorce.
Aside from a therapist, a divorce lawyer deals with the particulars of a divorce more than any other profession. As a divorce lawyer for more than two decades, I have seen it all when it comes to divorce. However, there are a few things that consistently present in those seeking a divorce. In my experience as a Florida divorce lawyer, here are the top four that I’ve experienced most often:
1)Money-fighting over money is perhaps the most common reason couples seek to divorce. Sometimes, life circumstances change and one of the spouses can’t earn as much as he/she had previously. This can lead to friction and problems. That’s the earning side. The other side of it has to do with spending. When one of the spouses spends more than the other believes is prudent, there are going to be problems.
2)Substance Abuse-this is so prevalent, it’s scary and sad. Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs ruin relationships. If the abuser spouse doesn’t seek help and get it, the problem is bound to end the marriage. A home where one spouse is alcohol or drug dependent is no place to live for the other spouse or children.
3)Refusal to seek counseling-I’ve witnessed this breakup otherwise good marriages. When one spouse refuses help, the other spouse often becomes resentful and feels helpless. Counseling may be necessary for major psychological disorders or everyday issues such as stress, anger, or depression. Counseling can and does help.
4)Infidelity-I put this last because it doesn’t necessarily terminate a marriage. I’ve witnessed many couples weather the storm of infidelity and live a happy married life. However, many spouses will go talk to a divorce lawyer as soon as they discover infidelity. While I’m not a counselor, I often caution patience before rushing to divorce.
Why did I put this list together? I guess I hope it will be a cautionary tale. This is what I’ve experienced as a divorce lawyer. It’s what I’ve heard from across the table and if I can put this list out there, perhaps spouses will make an extra effort, if possible, to keep their marriages together.