Tampa Divorce Attorney
When they first get married, few couples imagine that their union will eventually end in divorce. However, in reality, thousands of Florida couples dissolve their marriages every year. While making the decision to end a marriage can be emotionally draining, it is often not the most difficult part of the process, as couples must still grapple with complicated divorce-related issues, such as property division and child custody. For this reason, hiring an experienced Tampa divorce attorney can make all the difference in how quickly and smoothly a divorce is obtained.
No Fault Divorce
In Florida, divorcing couples are not required to establish that one of the parties is at-fault in order to obtain a divorce judgment. Instead, the parties are only required to demonstrate that one of the spouses has been a resident of Florida for at least six months and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. However, courts may take the reason for the divorce into account when considering the following issues:
- The division of assets and debts;
- Spousal support awards;
- Child support awards;
- The division of parental responsibility;
- Time-sharing schedules; and
- Which party will retain the family home.
Couples who are unable to come to an agreement regarding these issues are often forced to leave the decision up to a family court. In an effort to avoid this, many Florida residents attempt to take part in collaborative divorce.
The collaborative divorce process is a type of voluntary dispute resolution that can begin at any time, whether before or after a party files a petition for divorce. Parties who wish to use this process must sign a collaborative participation agreement that describes the nature and scope of the issues that will be decided. Both spouses voluntarily disclose all material information, make a good faith effort to negotiate, and hire joint neutral mental health and financial professionals to help the negotiations go smoothly. The goal of these negotiations is for the parties to enter into a mutual settlement agreement regarding property division, drafting a parenting plan, and child support. Retaining an experienced and compassionate Tampa divorce attorney can ensure that the best interests of the parties and any children are protected.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
Although most families must go through the process of obtaining a regular dissolution of marriage, certain couples may qualify for a simplified dissolution if:
- The parties do not have any minor or dependent children;
- The parties have already reached an agreement regarding the division of assets and debts;
- Neither party is seeking spousal maintenance;
- Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken; and
- At least one of the parties has lived in Florida for the last six months.
Although a simplified divorce is not possible for all couples, it can save eligible parties a significant amount of time, money, and stress.
One of the most difficult parts of any divorce is dividing marital assets and debts. Assets could include:
- Real estate;
- Retirement benefits;
- Stocks and bonds;
- Personal property;
- Bank accounts; and
- Business interests.
If a couple is unable to come to an agreement regarding how these types of assets will be divided, a court will divide them in a way that it deems equitable. In making this determination, a court may consider a series of factors, including:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage;
- The duration of the union; and
- The economic circumstances of each party.
The court will also use these factors to divide a couple’s debts and liabilities, including mortgages, car loans, credit card accounts, and private debts.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Divorce Attorney Today
Dissolving a marriage can be traumatic, time-consuming, and expensive. It also requires couples to comply with strict court procedures and deadlines, that if violated, could have serious consequences, so if you live in Tampa and are considering a divorce, please contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. by calling (813) 963-7735 today.