Protect Your Rights With A Tampa Divorce Lawyer

There is a high turnover of divorce rate sweeping across the country, and Florida is not left out. It is crucial for men or women in the greater Tampa Bay area seeking a divorce or responding to a dissolution of marriage (the official, legal term for a divorce) to seek the aid of a qualified divorce attorney. Even when spouses come to a mutual agreement to initiate a divorce or how they plan to divide property, emotions can cause things to change – and a divorce lawyer will help you to navigate the legal processes and ensure you get your share of the marital property and assets.

Grounds For Divorce In Florida

In many years prior, couples once needed to justify their divorce with a specific reason, to show fault in one of the parties – i.e. adultery – in order for a judge to grant the divorce. Now, spouses may request a divorce in Florida without a specific reason and, instead, state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” or that the spouses have “irreconcilable differences”. These are the types of terms used when filing for divorce in a “no-fault” state. These terms do not lay blame on one spouse or the other as the cause for the divorce and enable couples to enter a divorce without having to air private or personal details of the failing marriage.

How To File For Divorce In Florida

Either spouse can initiate the process for a dissolution of marriage. In order to file for divorce in Florida, one of the spouses has to be a Florida resident. TO be considered a resident, you have to have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months before the divorce was initiated.

If the couple has recently moved to Florida, but neither spouse has met the residency requirements, they can attempt to file for divorce in the state they do have residency with or become legal separated until residency has been met.

You can file for divorce in Florida without an attorney if you submit the proper paperwork at the office of the court clerk and pay the required court filing fees. However, it is recommended to hire a divorce attorney in the city in which you plan to file. A divorce attorney can help you file the necessary paperwork, ensure it is filed properly and that the required fees have been paid. In addition, they provide legal advice and representation should your spouse choose to contest the divorce.

When the dissolution of marriage is submitted to the court, certain information is collected in the documentation that explains how marital funds and property will be separated as well as detailing child custody and support. If your spouse agrees to the conditions you set forth when filing, then the divorce is considered to be uncontested and can usually be settled in a matter of weeks. A divorce attorney helps with the filing of the proper paperwork in these types of divorce cases.

Divorce is usually not that simple and if your spouse disagrees with any part of the agreement, then the divorce is contested and requires both parties to go back and forth (and possible even end up at trial) until a final agreement is made. Hiring an attorney when your divorce is contested will greatly reduce the risk of your marital rights during the divorce proceedings.

Aspects Of A Florida Divorce

Dividing Property

During your divorce, marital property must be divided in a way that is fair to both parties, although not necessarily equally. This is called equitable distribution. The court puts the following into consideration:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The economic stability of each party
  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse (i.e. financially, emotionally, and the care and education of the children)
  • The contribution of a spouse to the educational advancement or improving the personal career to the other spouse, including the disruption of their own
  • Each spouse contribution to acquiring, enhancing, and procuring of income and improving marital or nonmarital assets
  • Any intentional dissipation, depletion, destruction, or waste of marital assets after the filing of the petition for divorce or within two years before filling.
  • The desirability to keep the marital home as the residence of any dependent child
  • The desirability of retaining any asset intact and free from intrusion or claim from the other spouse

Spousal Support

Awarding spousal support – or alimony – depends on the individual income of each spouse, length of the marriage, and the ability (age, educational, or skill-wise) of each spouse to re-enter the workforce.


Child support and child custody are reoccurring issues when divorce is mentioned and are often the most complex issues to resolve during divorce proceedings. Child support is calculated based on the income of both parents and the best interest of the child is usually the deciding factor when deciding child custody. Due to the complexity of each issue, both child support and child custody have a page of their own to explore all in-depth aspects to each issue.

Compassionate, Affordable Divorce Attorneys In The Brandon Area

Before going through a divorce, speak to a divorce attorney so you know about your rights in a divorce and ensure they are protected.