Divorce Lawyer in Florida

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Divorce Lawyer in Florida

In the state of Florida, divorce is legally termed as a “dissolution of marriage”. This is a no-fault divorce state, which means that grounds for divorce are not necessary in order to seek a divorce. This makes it easier to seek a divorce based on the kinds of everyday disagreements and changes in life circumstances that can lead to divorce.

The team at Lopez Law Group has years of experience in divorce cases. We will make sure that your divorce proceeds smoothly from start to finish. You can count on us to help take care of considerations like parenting time, division of property and possessions, and more.

What Are the Two Types of Divorce in Florida?

In the state of Florida, there are two types of divorce cases: uncontested and contested. If you are proceeding with an uncontested divorce, the process is usually much easier and might not include a court appearance. Contested divorces require much more time to complete. These divorces involve disagreements about who should receive which assets or disagreements over the way that parenting time should be apportioned.

When you work with the team at Lopez Law, you will be able to get help with both contested and uncontested divorce cases. Both of these kinds of cases present their own challenges, and we are very familiar with the work that needs to be done to tackle both of these kinds of cases correctly.

The Divorce Process in Florida

Uncontested and contested divorces both proceed through the same steps and stages. In the case of uncontested divorce, there are fewer steps that need to be tackled within each phase of the divorce because both parties agree to the details of the petition. Since Florida is a no-fault state, you will not have to find a reason to divorce. This can be very helpful in either kind of divorce case as it removes some stages of the process that must be followed in other states.

However, it’s very common for the members of a relationship to disagree about how to split up possessions and time spent with shared children involved in the relationship. This means that more work needs to be done to complete the divorce process. The team at Lopez Law Group will take care of each of the steps of the process for you, which include the following:

Filing or Responding to a Divorce Petition

One of the parties involved in a divorce will file a petition for dissolution of the marriage. This document requests that the court take over the parties and issues involved in the divorce, which will include division of property, alimony, parenting time, and more. Attorney’s fees are also often part of the considerations that will be left to the judge. The petition is served to the party who did not submit the petition by a process server.

The respondent will be served the petition, and then they have 20 days to respond. The Answer document will admit to the allegations that are raised in the petition or deny them. You can also opt to file a Counter-Petition requesting specific relief. The team at Lopez Law Group will handle either side of the petition filing process for you, whether you are the person who files the petition or the one who responds to it.

Pretrial Order

When the petition is filed, the judge assigned to the case will issue a pre-trial order that is intended to detail how the two parties involved in the divorce will behave while the divorce is ongoing. This order will attend to questions like where the parties will reside as well as who will pay for specific bills and other details. Parenting time is often continued at a 50/50 split during the pretrial phase. The specifics of how the two divorcing parties will behave after the pre-trial phase will be determined during the actual divorce proceedings.

Mandatory Disclosure

During this period of the case, both parties must comply with the process. Both parties exchange financial information with one another and the Financial Affidavit is created with discloses both party’s expenses, assets, and debts. Both people involved in the divorce have 45 days from the date of the service of the petition to respond to the mandatory disclosure demands.

Appraisals

During this phase of the divorce, all real property that is involved in the divorce will need to be assessed for value. This might be assets like the marital home and other tangible property that the couple has shared ownership of. If a business is owned jointly by both parties, the business will also be assessed for market value. Even if the parties agree to give ownership of a specific property to one party or another without a sale, the valuation of the property items is required.

Temporary Hearing

The judge can opt to enter a temporary order related to timesharing or parental considerations. This temporary hearing can also deal with things like child support and alimony or attorney fees and costs. This order will ultimately be replaced by the final judgment in the case. However, this temporary hearing can help to dictate how the parties involved in a divorce comport themselves during a contested divorce where agreement is often difficult to come by.

Divorce Lawyer in Florida

Mediation

This is a formal and confidential settlement conference that takes place between the parties and the divorce attorneys on each side of the case. This process is done with the help of a neutral third party who serves as the mediator. The court will look into the circumstances that have led to the divorce and will set the case date for a final hearing as well. If the two parties can agree on divorce details during the mediation, the two parties will simply sign a mediation settlement agreement. This will allow the judge to file a final decision in the divorce right after mediation is concluded. If agreement is not possible, a trial date will be scheduled for the divorce proceedings.

Trial

The trial process is also called the final hearing. Each attorney will have a set period of time to prepare their case and to collect evidence and information to help determine an outcome for the divorce proceedings. The final proceedings will be presided over by a judge. The judge will overhear testimony and look at all the evidence that is presented by the attorneys involved in the case.

A trial is often required to determine the outcome of a contested divorce. However, it saves both parties money and time to avoid a trial. Trials can add months of time to the divorce process, and the ultimate decision will be made by a judge. You will have much more control over the outcome of your divorce if you and your former partner can agree on a resolution to split up property and parenting time during the mediation process.

The team at Lopez Law Group can help you with all of these essential stages in the divorce process. We have years of experience in handling all of the various parts of a divorce and will ensure that all the right information is presented in your divorce case to help secure a favorable outcome. You will be advised about each step of the work that is being done on your behalf, and we will work hard to meet most, if not all, of your demands related to the division of property and parenting time.

It is important for clients to understand that the mediation process is the best opportunity to secure an outcome that you actually want at the end of your divorce. When a divorce proceeds to the trial phase, you hand over the decision-making rights to the judge. While the information that is presented to the judge by each party will influence the outcome of the case, you cannot be 100% certain about what the judge will decide.

It is always best to be willing to be a bit flexible along the mediation road in order to get most of what you want to achieve from your divorce. The team at Lopez Law works hard to ensure that you get your most important needs and demands met during the mediation process so that you can avoid the cost and stress of a trial.

Can I Appeal My Florida Divorce Decision?

One or both parties who are involved in a divorce in Florida can appeal the outcome to a Florida District Court of Appeal. This is the court above the usual trial court, which is a family court. It is quite a process to take your divorce case to this higher court, which is why it is not common to resort to an appeal. The decision about whether or not to pursue an appeal often comes down to cost and time.

The team at Lopez Law can help you decide if an appeal will actually be worth your time and money. There is also a chance that you might lose some of the concessions that you gained in the first divorce proceedings by taking the case to a new court for appeal. All parties who seek to appeal the decision of a lower court must be prepared to give up concessions they have already achieved if the higher court deems that this is the right decision.

Often, it is more affordable and practical to simply abide by the original divorce determination as it was handed down by the judge presiding over the original case. It is a very rare divorce that makes everyone involved completely happy. Expecting to get absolutely everything that you want from your divorce and an appeal will not always lead to a more favorable outcome than the original determination via court order.

What Can My Lawyer Do For Me?

Having a skilled legal expert working on your case can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Getting the demands that you want to have met can be much easier if you have a skilled legal team working on your divorce with you. At Lopez Law Group, we have the years of experience that you need access to in order to seek a favorable outcome in your divorce case.

This is particularly true when it comes to contested divorces. These kinds of legal proceedings are often very adversarial, which is why having a skilled lawyer can make a huge difference in your ability to secure the outcome that you have been hoping for. An experienced lawyer will take the time to look at all of the details of your case and make sure that all of the right information is presented to the mediator and the judge to ensure that your side of the demands are heard correctly. At Lopez Law, we take the process of supporting your needs in a divorce very seriously. We won’t miss a single step in the divorce process, and we will work hard to make sure that you don’t have to struggle to get the concessions that you need out of the divorce process.

Each divorce is an entirely unique process that requires that the legal team working on the case take into consideration various factors. At Lopez Law, we work hard to make sure that all of the specifics of your case are handled correctly, even if you are dealing with unique circumstances related to your divorce proceedings.

Divorce Lawyer in Florida

Working With a Skilled Lawyer Can Impact Your Divorce Case

Whether you are the party who wants to petition for divorce or you are the respondent, the team at Lopez Law can help. We can offer you the skilled legal support that you need to make sure that your divorce case is handled correctly from start to finish. Being able to secure a favorable outcome for our divorce clients is always our goal.

Contact us today and schedule a free consultation. We will look at the details of your case and offer you the chance to negotiate a divorce agreement that takes care of your needs.

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Lopez Law Group

700 7th Ave N, Suite A,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

P: 727-933-0015

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