How to File for a Divorce
The first steps for filing for a divorce in Florida include ensuring that you meet the residency requirements and satisfy the grounds for divorce in our state. Next, you will need to prepare your divorce paperwork, including a petition and summons, and file your forms with the circuit court’s office. At the time that you file your paperwork, you’ll need to pay a filing fee.
The next step is essential: serving your spouse. In many cases, a person filing for a divorce will use a process server to serve their spouse. If you do not serve your spouse with divorce papers, the divorce cannot proceed. If you cannot locate your spouse in order to serve them, there are alternate methods that can be used, including divorce by publication.
Once your spouse receives your petition for divorce, they will have 20 days to file a response. If your spouse agrees with the petition and the provisions of the divorce, the divorce is uncontested; if they disagree, the divorce is contested.
At this point in the divorce case, there will be a number of disclosures that are required. Both parties will need to complete the Family Law Financial Affidavit and provide supporting financial documentation, including proof of income, assets, and debts; tax returns; and bank statements.
Through mediation, parties will work together to reach a divorce settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to litigation. It is usually advantageous to try to reach a settlement out of court. Litigation is expensive, emotional, and very time-intensive. While parties do have control over the outcome of mediation, it can be difficult to predict what a judge will decide in a court battle.
The Role of a Florida Divorce Attorney
When you hire a Florida divorce attorney, your attorney will be responsible for representing your best interests throughout your case from start to finish, beginning with helping you to file or respond to a petition for divorce. From there, your attorney will make sure you understand the law and your rights, gather evidence to support your case, represent you during negotiations, and advise you on settlement options. Should your case go to court, your attorney will be responsible for preparing your case for trial and litigating your case.
Call Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb Today
Our Tampa divorce attorneys understand what you’re going through when you’ve made the decision to dissolve your marriage. For the aggressive and dedicated legal representation you can trust throughout the process, call our team today. You can schedule your first appointment by sending us a message, visiting our law office in person, or calling (813) 225-2695.