– Divorce –
The Divorce Attorney at the Eric Boles Law Firm understands that everyone’s situation is different and it requires personal attention to your case
Rather than having the process seems scary and unfamiliar an experienced Florida Family Lawyer can assist you in developing a comprehensive divorce strategy to reach your goals regarding all aspects of your marriage dissolution, including:
- Division of marital assets
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Parenting plan
- Child support
Based on that strategy, we take decisive steps, which may include conducting discovery, taking depositions, filing motions with the court and does include exchanging financial information and investigating the facts. We litigate on your behalf in these situations and welcome the opportunity to represent your interests. After your divorce, circumstances may change for you or your family. You can trust Eric Boles Law Firm to seek the modifications that best fit your family’s changing situation through post-decree motions for modifications.
Dissolution of Marriage
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that in order to divorce you must prove either that the marriage was irretrievably broken or that there was mental incapacity on the part of one of the spouses. In order to claim mental incapacity, under Florida statutes, there must be an adjudication of mental incapacity for at least three years.
Residency Requirement – At least one spouse must be a resident of Florida for six months before filing for divorce.
Types of Divorce
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
Is typically a quicker and easier way to get divorced in Florida. Couples may use the simplified procedure if they meet all of the following requirements:
- At least one spouse has lived in Florida for the six months preceding the filing of the divorce
- Both spouses agree the marriage cannot be saved
- There are no minor (under 18) or dependent children of the marriage
- The wife is not pregnant
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony from the other
- Both spouses have filed financial affidavits (written disclosures of financial information) with the court or agree that they don’t need financial affidavits
- Both spouses have agreed on, and are satisfied with, the division of their assets and debts, and
- Both spouses agree to the simplified procedure which includes giving up the right to a trial and appeal.
Regular Dissolution of Marriage
The regular dissolution process begins when either spouse files a form titled “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the court. This petition states that the marriage is irretrievably broken and sets forth what the filing spouse wants in terms of division of property, alimony, custody and child support.
When couples agree … Most couples find that they can reach an agreement on all of the issues presented by their divorce, and are able to sign a settlement agreement (contract) memorializing what they’ve decided.
When couples disagree… Other couples disagree on some issues, work out their differences, and appear for a final hearing with a proposed settlement agreement that must receive court approval. A judge may suggest that some couples attend mediation – a procedure whereby both spouses meet with a mediator (a neutral third party trained in mediation). The mediator’s job is to assist the spouses in reaching an agreement on their divorce issues. Mediation may help divorcing couples avoid a long, drawn-out court process.
When couples really disagree … Some couples simply cannot agree on much of anything and must go to trial. In these cases, the divorce process is generally long, unpleasant and expensive. At trial, a judge will make decisions on all contested issues.
- Restoration of Last Name: The court may restore a former name of a spouse in the Final Judgment. This relief cannot be granted unless a spouse specifically requests it, which is usually done within the original petition or a counter-petition filed with the Court. The name to which the requesting spouse is to be restored must be the name he/she had prior to the marriage.
- Attorney’s Fees: A party may request that the court order the other party to contribute to or pay his/her attorney’s fees and costs. A court may award attorney’s fees and costs based on the parties’ disparate economic needs and abilities and/or a number of factors relating to the, history, nature and course of litigation. Typically, the attorney’s fees hearing is held after the trial because of evidentiary reasons.
- Cooperation During Litigation: Some people feel that for an attorney to be a “fighter” the attorney must be (1) uncooperative with opposing counsel in such matters as disclosing information, disclosing documents, and arranging for convenient dates for meetings, depositions, etc.; and, (2) never consider or counsel compromise or negotiate with the opposing counsel. This notion is sadly misguided. An uncooperative attitude only serves to greatly increase attorney’s fees and costs because all legal steps must be followed (i.e. filing of discovery requests and motions, appearances in court, etc.) to procure the desired information/documents while Florida law and/or the applicable rules of procedure will likely require the desired information/documents to be disclosed. Thus, an uncooperative attitude serves no useful purpose. An attorney can be (and often is) an effective zealous advocate for his/her client while cooperating with an opposing counsel’s reasonable request and actively engaging in settlement negotiations.
- Modifications: Sometimes families outgrow their court orders. When court orders fail to serve their originally intended purpose of benefiting you and your family, you have options. Talk to a trustworthy Family Lawyer who can help you pursue modification of court orders issued upon or after your divorce.
- Out-of-State Parents: If you are a custodial parent and concerned about the effect that your approaching relocation could have on your child custody rights or a court ordered, we can help you understand your rights and options in this situation. If you relocated after your divorce, it is important to know what your rights are as an out-of-state parent. On the other hand, if your spouse moved out of state, it is essential that you have legal representation to protect your access to your child. Structuring your parenting schedule after a move can be challenging, but an attorney who is familiar with Florida Family Law can help you.
Contact a Florida Family Lawyer experienced in Divorce
We have the knowledge and dedication to help you through the difficult divorce process affecting your life and your family. You can count on the legal team at Eric Boles Law Firm in Tampa, Florida to get results in your divorce case and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. For a free consultation with a Family Lawyer of Eric Boles Law Firm on the dissolution of marriage complete the contact form (click here) or do not hesitate to call (813) 933-7700. We will sit down, discuss your case, and weigh your options.