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Tampa Divorce Lawyers

Seeking a divorce is not something that should be done lightly. Divorce is a complicated experience for all parties involved, including spouses, children, family, and friends, even under the best of circumstances. We suggest that both spouses make every effort to save their marriage before they even consider divorce. That being said, the reality is that by the time most people contact our offices, they have already done all that they can to save their marriage, and divorce is the only remaining option. Our knowledgeable and compassionate Tampa divorce lawyers have extensive experience guiding clients through this process, and we’re prepared to put that experience to work for you as well. Please don’t hesitate to contact Tampa Law Group today.

Divorce Lawyers: Representing Clients in Tampa & Throughout Florida

Divorce is often a complex, emotionally charged issue. Unfortunately, all parties involved often have a lot at stake, including the distribution of assets, child custody issues, potential support arrangements, and more. For this reason, it’s paramount that all those going through a divorce have a team of seasoned Tampa family lawyers in their corner.

What Should I Do Before Filing for Divorce?

Before filing for divorce there are several things that you should do to prepare for the divorce process.

First, you and your spouse should talk about divorce and the issues that will be important in your particular case. For example, the issues important to your case might include the division of assets and debts, issues regarding your children, and alimony.

Next, start gathering the information that will be required by the court. This includes documents related to assets, debts, and income.

Always be careful what you post on social media, including, but not limited to, Facebook and Instagram. Please always keep in mind that social media is an exceedingly public forum and that anything that you post will be seen by family, friends, your spouse, and eventually your spouse’s attorney. It is never a good idea to post anything that will affect your relationships with family and friends or that will affect your case.

If you have questions about what you should do, or not do, when preparing to file for divorce in Florida, you should consult a team of seasoned Florida divorce lawyers.

What Are the Requirements for a Divorce in Florida?

Anyone can obtain a divorce in Florida as long as the requirements for a Florida divorce are met. Florida has very few requirements for a divorce. However, the Petitioner, the spouse seeking the divorce, must prove that these requirements have been met before a Florida court will grant a divorce.

Florida has a residency requirement to obtain a divorce. In other words, either spouse must have been a resident of the State of Florida for at least six months. Establishing residency is a relatively simple matter. It is often shown simply by providing a driver’s license to the court. Though less common, there are other ways to show to the court that the residency requirement has been met.

In addition to the residency requirement, to obtain a divorce in Florida, it must be shown that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This is shown to the court in several ways. The parties can agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In a case where one spouse claims that the marriage is not irretrievably broken, the judge might order that the parties attend counseling for a period of time in an attempt to save the marriage. This will delay the divorce but will not prevent it. At the end of the ordered counseling period, the petitioning spouse will be permitted to proceed with seeking a divorce if he or she so chooses.

Beginning a divorce proceeding in Florida is a complicated matter. You must consult a Florida divorce attorney before you file for divorce.

How Do I File for a Divorce in Florida?

The spouse who files for divorce is called the petitioner. The petitioner begins the divorce by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. Typically, the divorce petition must be filed in the county in which one of the parties resides. The petition sets forth relevant facts and makes requests of the court regarding all issues regarding the divorce. The petition must be drafted correctly. Once the other spouse files an answer to the petition, the petition cannot be amended without leave of the court. Drafting a divorce petition can be a complex matter and you must speak with an attorney before filing a divorce petition.

The petition is not the only document that must be provided to the court when filing for divorce. Depending upon the facts and circumstances of the individual case, there are additional documents that must be filed along with the petition or shortly thereafter.

Within a few days of filing the petition with the court, the clerk will issue several documents which must be served on the other spouse along with the petition and any other initial documents.

Once the other spouse has been served with the documents, he or she has twenty (20) days to file an answer to the petition. If an answer is not filed within twenty (20) days, the clerk may issue a default.

Filing a divorce action in Florida is complicated. There are often multiple issues that must be addressed, which is why it’s so important to have a team of seasoned divorce lawyers in your corner.

Tampa Lawyers: Helping Clients Through the Divorce Process

The process of divorce can seem overwhelming and intimidating. People often ask, what is the divorce process in Florida?

The following is a brief overview of the divorce process in Florida. Please keep in mind that each divorce is unique and that this is meant to provide general information only regarding the divorce process in Florida.

A divorce action begins with the filing of a divorce petition along with other required documents. Once the court receives the initial documents, a case is opened and a case number is assigned.

Then the party seeking a divorce, called the petitioner, must have the other spouse, called the respondent, served with the documents. The respondent then has twenty (20) days to answer the petition. Should the respondent fail to file an answer to the petition, the clerk may enter a default.

The court will set a day and time for the first Case Management Conference. The first Case Management Conference is typically scheduled several weeks to several months after the date of filing. The parties use the time between filing and the first Case Management Conference to provide mandatory disclosures (read more about these below), take the required parenting class if applicable, and discuss the case in an attempt to narrow or resolve the issues.

The first Case Management Conference is simply a hearing where the parties inform the judge of the status of the case. If the parties have been able to reach an agreement on all of the issues, then the first Case Management Conference can be used as the final hearing for the case. If issues remain to be resolved, the judge will order the parties to attend mediation.

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all issues at mediation, the case is set for trial. Trial preparation involves different ways in which the parties gather all information relevant to the case. At trial, the judge will hear all of the evidence presented by both parties and will determine all issues that have been brought to the court.

Divorce is an emotional and traumatic event and the court process associated with it is complex and lengthy. You must have a Tampa divorce attorney to represent you throughout the entire process.

Mandatory Closures in a Florida Divorce

In every Florida divorce case, the parties are required to exchange a series of financial documents. This required list of financial documents is referred to as mandatory disclosures.

Each party must provide the other party with a financial affidavit. The financial affidavit is simply a document that lists the party’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Each asset and liability is classified as marital or pre-marital. Each party must take their time when filling out the financial affidavit and each party be as accurate as possible.

There is a list of documents that must be provided in addition to the financial affidavit. Examples of required documents are paystubs, tax returns, bank statements, and retirement account statements.

It is a good idea to start gathering these documents early on as there is a deadline for submitting these financial documents to the other party. It is also important that each party submit the mandatory disclosure documents promptly as these documents will assist in determining major issues such as child support, alimony, and equitable distribution.

You must be able to provide your divorce attorney with complete and accurate information regarding your income, assets, and liabilities. It is also important to inform your attorney which assets are marital and which assets are pre-marital and if you think that the other party is hiding or has dissipated marital assets. This will allow your attorney to properly prepare for mediation, the discovery process, and, if necessary, for trial.

Contact Our Seasoned Florida Divorce Lawyers Today

Don’t go through the divorce process on your own. Contact the seasoned Tampa divorce lawyers here at Tampa Law Group for comprehensive guidance, every step of the way.

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