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How is Florida family law different from other states?

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Quick Answer

The differences between the family laws of Florida and those of other states are minor; for instance, the state's abortion laws are generally more restrictive, notes FindLaw. Florida is also one of the eight states that do not recognize legal separation between couples, according to Cheshire Family Law.

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Full Answer

A statute that Governor Rick Scott signed into law in 2013 requires physicians performing abortions to provide emergency care in situations in which fetuses are born alive, explains FindLaw. The state punishes violations of this law, which is a first-class misdemeanor under its code, with a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, or both.

The state regulates abortions only in the third trimester and only permits the procedure when it is necessary to preserve the mother's life, states FindLaw. The state requires two physicians to affirm the necessity of the procedure except in cases where one doctor certifies the need for an emergency abortion and other physicians are unavailable. With the exception of emergencies, the state requires the mother, or a court-appointed guardian in a situation where the woman is mentally incompetent, to provide written consent. Florida only permits physicians to conduct abortions in licensed medical facilities.

Another area where Florida family law differs from that of many other states is legal separation, which the state does not recognize, states Cheshire Family Law. Couples in the state can thus separate without first seeking court orders. However, because this lack of formal separation laws can lead to problems with child support, custody and visitation rights, the state's family courts have special provisions to help couples navigate these issues.

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