Tampa Divorce Attorneys
When a marriage has come to an end, there are matters which must be decided as the parties move forward with their separate lives. These matters may either be settled amicably, or they may take litigation in the courts to resolve. Regardless of which approach works best or is required in your particular divorce, the Tampa divorce attorneys at Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A. have the skills and experience to advise and represent you and achieve an outcome that works best for you and your children. We pay special attention to the issues which are most important to in your particular situation, which may include:
Child Custody – We’ll guide you toward creating a parenting plan and timesharing schedule that is practical, meaningful, and consistent with your children’s best interests.
Child Support – We gather evidence related to all Florida child support factors and argue for a proper amount of support, including deviation from the Florida child support guidelines where appropriate.
Property Division – Our team handles the most complex questions in the division of assets and liabilities including the identification and valuation of businesses, pension plans, real estate and more.
Alimony – Whether you’re being asked to pay or seeking support, we’ll represent your interests with a complete understanding of the factors which influence whether alimony is proper, which type of alimony is appropriate, and how much and for how long alimony should be paid.
How do you get divorced in Florida?
The divorce process begins when either party files a petition for divorce with the court. Either party must be a resident of the state of Florida for at least six months, and the petition should be filed in the Circuit Court for the county where the spouses last resided together as husband and wife. The petition should set forth the grounds for the divorce, which could allege mental incapacity, but most often the divorce is based on the no-fault ground that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Once the petition is served on the other party, that party files an answer with the court admitting or denying the allegations in the petition, and the answer is served on the filing party.
Next, both parties will be required to make financial disclosures, and discovery may begin where the parties may take depositions of each other and potential witnesses, consult experts, request and review documents, conduct business valuations and perform other activities necessary to properly evaluate the case and prepare for mediation. The court at this time may also make temporary orders regarding issues such as child custody and timesharing, spousal support, and possession of the marital home. The purpose behind temporary orders is to stabilize the family finances and dynamic during the dissolution of marriage process.
Mediation is required in all cases, and absent an emergency situation, a case must be mediated before a hearing can be scheduled with the judge assigned to the case. If matters are still unresolved, the parties prepare for trial. In preparing for trial, additional discovery may be needed, including depositions, further consultation with experts, updated document requests and other activities necessary to prepare for trial. At the trial, each party will present evidence and testimony to support their position and rebut the other party. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will grant the divorce and make final orders on issues such as the division of marital property, the payment of alimony, child custody and child support.
What if the divorce is uncontested?
It is not always necessary to have a judge decide the issues in your divorce following a period of litigation and a courtroom hearing. Quite often, the parties are able to work out among themselves how to resolve matters such as child custody, child support, alimony and division of their assets and liabilities. When the parties can agree on these issues, the divorce is considered uncontested. Instead of going through courtroom litigation, the parties work together to draw up a marital settlement agreement. This agreement is submitted to the court and reviewed by the judge, who incorporates it into the final judgment when granting the divorce.
An uncontested divorce may also be available when the parties had previously negotiated a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These marital agreements can decide in advance how issues such as alimony and property division will be handled in the event of a divorce. If a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement exists, the terms of this agreement will control how certain decisions are made, subject to a challenge by one of the parties that the agreement is invalid or unenforceable for some reason.
Divorcing couples can achieve a marital settlement agreement outside of court through whatever means works for them, including negotiations, mediation, and collaborative divorce. Whatever means you choose to get there, Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A. can help. Our experienced, results-oriented divorce lawyers can help keep the process on track and keep emotions in check by focusing on the outcome you want to achieve. Our skilled and practiced Florida divorce attorneys can make sure all relevant issues are brought up and properly addressed, and we’ll help resolve any conflicts that arise.
Get the Divorce and Outcome that is Right for You. Our Tampa Divorce Lawyers can Help.
Believe it or not, every marriage is unique just as every couple is unique, and every divorce presents its own set of issues to resolve. At Cortes Hodz Family Law & Mediation, P.A., our experienced Tampa divorce lawyers are familiar with the many different issues that arise and the many different ways they may be resolved. Call our office for a free initial telephonic consultation and case evaluation, and find out how our Florida family law attorneys can help you in your Tampa divorce.