Tampa Divorce Attorney
Offering Sound Legal Guidance & Counsel For Tampa Florida Citizens
In Tampa, Florida, divorce changes a person’s legal status from married to unmarried and family law resolves issues like alimony, property division, and child custody. Our Tampa divorce attorney at the Devolder Law Firm works to provide efficient, compassionate divorce representation for clients in the Tampa Bay area.
For Detailed Information on How Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help You With Your Divorce Case, Call Our Tampa Law Office at (813) 773-8233 Directly!
Can You Get a Divorce Without the Other Person Signing in Florida?
Yes, you can get a divorce in Florida without the other person signing the divorce papers. This is called a "default divorce." To get a default divorce in FL, you must first file a petition for divorce with the court.
The divorce petition must state that your spouse has been served with the petition and has yet to respond. Once the petition is filed, the court will issue a default judgment. This means family court will grant your request for divorce without a hearing or trial.
There are a few things to remember if you consider getting a default divorce.
First, you must be sure that your spouse has been served with the divorce petition. If your spouse has yet to be served, the court in FL may not grant your request for a default divorce. Second, you must ensure you meet all the other requirements for a divorce in Florida. These requirements include being a resident of Florida for at least six months and being married for at least one year.
If you are considering getting a default divorce, speaking with an experienced Tampa family law attorney is essential. Our family law attorney of Wesley Chapel, FL, can help you understand the legal process and represent you in family court.
Grounds for a Divorce in Florida
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. There are only two grounds for divorce in FL: irreconcilable differences and mental incompetence lasting three years or more. Most couples who successfully divorce in Tampa, FL, do so based on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
The spouse who files the petition for divorce will allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken, but the spouse who responds can deny this claim. In response, the Tampa family court may order counseling or allow some time (up to 3 months) for a reconciliation.
Devolder Law Firm works with counselors and related businesses to allow for the possibility of reconciliation and to minimize any period of tumultuous indecision. Our divorce attorneys never feel disappointed when a client decides not to move forward with a divorce case — any Tampa divorce lawyer from our family law firm will strive to give our FL clients in the Tampa Bay area the information they need to make the best decision for themselves and their families.
Then our divorce attorneys support them throughout the divorce process, no matter their decision. If divorce turns out to be the answer, our Tampa family law attorneys protect our FL client and their interests with great care.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Florida?
The cost of getting divorced in Florida depends on the complexity of your case. Generally, an uncontested divorce can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500 in divorce attorney's fees and court costs. If the divorce is contested, the cost could range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Additional expenses, such as filing fees and other debts related to the marriage, must be accounted for when calculating a divorce's cost in Florida.
A few other costs associated with getting a divorce in Florida are:
- Child support and alimony payments (if applicable)
- Taxes on any property transferred during the divorce
- Property division costs, including real estate appraisals and legal fees for filing documents
- Legal fees for representation in court or negotiation sessions
- Travel expenses for mediation (if applicable)
- Miscellaneous costs related to hiring legal experts to help negotiate a settlement or serve as witnesses in family court
The Divorce Process in Tampa
The standard legal process to get divorced in Tampa, Florida, begins when one spouse files a petition for divorce. In this document, the petitioner alleges that the marriage is irretrievably broken and sets out what they want from the family court in FL. The other spouse — the respondent — must file an answer within 20 days of being served.
This document needs to address all the allegations from the initial petition and, if necessary, raise any additional issues the respondent wants the court to address in a counter-petition.
If either party seeks financial relief, the family court in FL, requires that each party provide a complete financial affidavit within 45 days of the service of the petition or several days before any temporary hearing, whichever comes first. If a party fails to provide this affidavit, the family court may dismiss the divorce case or refuse to consider that party’s requests.
Additionally, either party must reside in Florida for the 6 months leading up to the filing of the petition.
Note that residence in Florida refers to your primary residence (or, as the court calls it, your domicile). To reside here, you must be physically present in the state of FL and intend to make a home or live here permanently or indefinitely.
If you leave the state, Florida remains your residence as long as you intended to return here and, despite a temporary absence, you had no present purpose of leaving the state permanently (this means that even if you travel up North every year for three months, Florida remains your state of residence — assuming you always return to your home here afterward).
Tampa Divorce and Child Custody Concerns
Child custody and divorce in Tampa are governed by the Florida Statutes, which favor joint custody but may award sole custody to one parent if the other parent is unfit or unable to care for the children. The judge will consider the child's best interests when determining custody.
If you are getting divorced and have children, discussing custody with a divorce lawyer in Tampa is pivotal.
Does My Husband Have to Pay for My Divorce Lawyer in Florida?
As a rule of thumb, the more aggressive the divorce case, the more your divorce attorney will charge you. Fortunately, Florida law allows spouses to make their ex-spouse pay their divorce lawyer's fees.
Neither the parties involved, nor the court, can waive any of these divorce requirements.
Is Florida a 50/50 Divorce State?
Florida is not a 50/50 divorce state.
Instead, Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court will divide marital assets fairly but not equally.
The family court will consider several factors when deciding how to divide assets, including:
- The length of the marriage.
- The contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including but not limited to financial contributions, homemaking, and childrearing.
- The earning capacity of each spouse.
- The needs of any dependent child.
- The assets and debts of each spouse.
- Any other factors that the family court deems relevant.
It is important to note that the court is not required to divide assets equally, even if the marriage lasted for a long time and both spouses contributed equally to the marriage. Instead, the court will only divide assets fairly, which may mean one spouse receives more assets than another.
If you are going through a divorce near Wesley Chapel or the surrounding Tampa Bay area, speaking with our Tampa divorce lawyer to discuss your circumstances is crucial. Our divorce attorney can help you understand your legal rights and represent you in FL court if necessary.
Who Has to Leave the House in a Divorce in Florida?
FL law has no universal answer for who has to leave the house in a divorce. Either spouse can leave the marital home without the court raising the abandonment issue. However, FL courts cannot force either spouse out of their home unless they show signs of domestic violence.
If a spouse refuses to move out during a divorce, you can:
- Seek an injunction or a restraining order from the court removing your spouse from the home.
- Call the police immediately for help if you or your child is in imminent danger of harm.
For Skilled & Compassionate Legal Services, Contact Our Family Law Office in the Tampa Bay Area Today
Whether you are considering filing a petition or have been served with divorce papers, a Tampa divorce lawyer from Devolder Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and assist you in choosing the best timeframe and method for moving forward.
As a family law firm that strives to meet all the legal needs of suburban families, our Tampa divorce attorneys can handle many related family law matters that divorce tends to bring up, including selling your marital home.
Complete Our Online Contact Form or Call Our Tampa Law Office at (813) 773-8233 to Schedule Your Initial Consultation!
Our firm acknowledges clients concerns about paying for an attorney. We keep hourly fees reasonable for the average suburban family.
Our firm is conveniently located in a suburban first-floor office building with easy-access parking, less than 5 minutes from i-75.
Our clients always come first. We take the time to get to know you and understand your case. We're always available when you need us most.
We consider both legal and practical solutions that will help you achieve your goals.
Our goal was to create a law firm that you can relate to, one that is convenient to your home and easy to communicate with.
We understand you need answers - we prioritize your needs and keep you up to date with your case every step of the way.