Accomplished Tampa and Sarasota Divorce Attorneys Help You Move Forward
Skilled Florida lawyers offer complete legal services to dissolve your marriage
Divorce is often an overwhelming event. As you deal with the emotional turmoil, it can be easy to lose track of important legal and financial concerns. At Sessums Law Group, P.A. in Tampa, we safeguard your interests and help you make a new start on a solid legal and financial foundation. Attorney Mark Sessums is one of only four Florida attorneys Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Marital and Family Law out of approximately 90,000 lawyers statewide. He and the rest of our team provide personalized representation to Gulf Coast clients, handling difficult issues such as child custody, alimony and equitable distribution.
Requirements for a divorce in Florida
To file for a divorce in Florida, at least one spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months. There are two grounds for divorce in Florida and neither requires proof of marital misconduct. Most petitioners file by asserting that the marriage is irretrievably broken, which means there is no chance of reconciling the parties. Alternatively, one spouse may file for divorce if the other has become mentally incapacitated.
Types of divorce in Florida: simplified, uncontested and contested
There are three types of divorce Floridians can choose from. If you have no minor children and can agree on dividing assets and debts, simplified divorce is an option. In an uncontested divorce, when you and your spouse are able to reach consensus on all terms, you can present an agreement to the court for approval, saving you the cost and stress of trial. In a contested divorce, where you can’t agree on important issues, your divorce will be adjudicated in court. Our firm will answer whatever questions you have so that we can guide you through the process — from filing or answering the initial Complaint to reaching a marital settlement agreement on custody, property and support issues — or proceeding to trial when those or other issues can’t be settled.
Do I need to prove my spouse is at fault?
Because Florida is a no-fault state for divorce, neither spouse needs to prove marital misconduct.
How long does a divorce take?
If you file a simplified divorce or submit a marital settlement for an uncontested divorce, your divorce can usually be finalized within a couple of months. If your divorce is contested, your estate is significant, or you own a business, it could take much longer.
If I cannot find my spouse, can I still get a divorce?
If you can’t locate your spouse, you can publish a notice of the divorce in the local paper where you believe your spouse last lived. After a certain period passes and good faith efforts to find him or her have failed through this service of publication, the court can act on your petition to dissolve your marriage.
What if my spouse is violent or harasses me?
If your soon-to-be ex-spouse threatens you with harm, it’s important to act quickly. You can seek an order of protection from the court to remove your spouse from the home and prohibit him or her from having any contact with you. We can help you obtain a protective order for your safety.
Dedicated legal advisers assist with child custody and support conflicts
When minor children are part of a divorce, we work diligently to resolve questions of legal authority, residence and visitation. It is usually best to resolve questions like these through consensus, but if that is not possible, we petition the judge for appropriate parenting time and responsibility based on the child’s best interests. Our Tampa divorce law firm also litigates disputes over child support, which in Florida is based on each parent’s income, medical expenses and childcare costs.
Diligent advocates litigate spousal support claims
Retaining a knowledgeable attorney is crucial in Florida spousal support disputes, because courts look at several factors when deciding if an ex-spouse is entitled to financial maintenance. The state awards five types of temporary and permanent alimony. From the very start of your case, we can assess factors such as age, earning ability and the duration of the marriage to anticipate the likelihood of a maintenance award. We fight hard for a fair resolution and build the most compelling case possible to present to the judge.
Contact our knowledgeable divorce attorneys serving Tampa and Sarasota
Sessums Law Group, P.A. represents Florida clients in divorce litigation and related matters such as child custody and support disputes. Please call 813-435-5058 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney at our Tampa office. We also have locations in Lakeland, Sebring and Sarasota.