Florida Representative and former state governor Charlie Crist and his wife and political adviser, Carole, have announced they are seeking a divorce. This was the second marriage for both.
“It just didn’t work out for us,” Crist told the Tampa Bay Times. “I wish all … the best for her.”
The divorce petition Crist filed last week in Pinellas County stated that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
Crist married Carole Rome, a New York socialite and business executive, in 2008, while he was serving as Florida’s governor, and she assumed the role as one of his top aides. The couple did not have any children from their marriage.
- Florida’s Collaborative Law Process
The Crist’s divorce filing states that Representative Crist anticipates a collaborative law process. This is a non-adversarial process in Florida, in which the spouses work together to settle all issues in private without a court proceeding. Throughout this process, an attorney represents each spouse who assist the parties with the drafting of a binding settlement agreement. Typically, jointly retained, neutral experts and professionals are retained to resolve issues of valuation of marital assets to assist both parties in obtaining an informed and equitable settlement. If settlement fails, the attorneys are required to withdraw, making the collaborative divorce method unique.
- Prenuptial Agreement
The Crists also signed a prenuptial agreement prior to their 2008 marriage. A prenuptial agreement—also known as a “premarital agreement” in Florida, is a contract signed by both spouses before the wedding that determines how certain issues such as alimony and property division will be handled in the event of a divorce. A “pre-nup” will detail each spouse’s financial rights and obligations during and after the marriage. Specifically, couples in Florida use prenuptial agreements to determine issues like the following:
• Each spouse’s ability to control property during the marriage;
• The division of property if they divorce;
• Whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other…and if so, the amount and duration;
• How retirement plans, pensions, and life insurance policy proceeds will be divided; and
• Whether either or both spouses must create a will to carry out the terms of the agreement.
- Contact Us
The collaborative law divorce process isn’t for every situation. With all eyes on Charlie Crist, he will try to create as little negative publicity as possible. In many other circumstances, the issues for a couple—especially the issues surrounding children—can be highly emotional and traumatic. In addition to the stress and emotions, some marriage partners don’t understand all their legal rights and obligations. An experienced divorce attorney can counsel you on issues specific to your situation and facts, as well as to answer all your questions and protect and guide you through the dissolution process. Work with an experienced divorce attorney in Orlando to advise you about your rights in a Florida divorce, especially concerning your children, your property, alimony, and tax consequences.
Contact DeVoe Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.