A Divorce Roadmap
Tampa FL divorce lawyer Damien McKinney shares a roadmap for dissolution in Florida.
Tampa FL divorce lawyer Damien McKinney shares an overview of the dissolution of marriage process in Florida. From first petitions to name changes, The McKinney Law Group is here to help clients achieve results that match your needs as closely as possible.
Understanding the dissolution process in Florida will help you feel calm and in control during a time that might otherwise be confusing or uncomfortable.
The goal is always a peaceful, efficient dissolution, but no two families or marriages are exactly alike — so the same goes for divorce. Contact Tampa FL divorce lawyer Damien McKinney and The McKinney Law Group to learn more about the details of your divorce.
1.Meet The Basic Divorce Requirements
To get divorced in Florida, you must be legally married in the first place and show that at least one partner has lived here for at least 6 six months.
We don’t need to worry about “grounds” the way we used to. The marriage just needs to be irretrievably broken. If there are matters of fault, we may return to them when it comes to child custody, time-sharing, or property division.
In Florida, you get divorced in a circuit court. A family law judge issues the final order.
2. Make A Plan with Your Divorce Lawyer
Communicate openly and honestly about what you need from your divorce. At The McKinney Law Group, we pride ourselves on listening carefully to discover a strategy that is right for you or your family.
During our initial conversations, we’ll review basics like:
- Why you’re divorcing
- Your children’s best interests
- What you owned before you married
- What you own together
- What you want from the divorce
- What Florida law requires or allows
- How you prioritize different outcomes
This conversation can be emotional for some people, but we’re prepared to guide you so that you feel as supported as possible.Contact Tampa Florida divorce lawyer Damien McKinney to start this conversation today.
3. Take Care of Your Forms
There can be a lot of paperwork during a divorce. We know how to prepare and submit all of it, so that you can eliminate procedural worries. We have different forms, petitions, or motions based on the results you want.
You or your spouse gets the official divorce started with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Whoever initiates the process serves the form to the other spouse via a process server, a third party who makes sure the paperwork gets into the right hands.
How we file this petition depends on your marriage, whether or not you have kids, and other factors.
Please keep in mind if you or your spouse is a member of military, your petition may be unique. We’ve worked with divorcing couples from Tampa’s Air Force base and others, so let us know right away if this is your situation.
Spouses who have experienced or are experiencing abuse require special attention, too. If this is your situation, please speak openly with us. We are here to protect your safety and confidentiality.
4. Answering And Negotiating
Once the initial paperwork is complete, we go through a phase of negotiating, so we can finalize.
You or your spouse might have to fill out financial disclosures, so we can determine property division. There might be matters of contention or disagreement that require additional process and paperwork, too.
This is the thick of the divorce for a lot of people, so we make sure to stay focused, act with integrity, and keep moving towards your desired results.
5. Trial or Meditation
You may be able to choose between trial or mediation.
In Tampa FL, divorce lawyer recommendations sway toward mediation, because it’s still legally binding, but can avoid some of the expenses and emotional upheaval of a trial.
If you’re facing a particularly bitter divorce or there are high-stakes issues that you cannot agree upon through negotiation or mediation, a trial may be better for you.
6. Finalizing Your Divorce
You can finalize your divorce and progress to the next chapter of your life once you have reached agreement with your spouse in mediation or your divorce trial is over.
Your order will detail the outcome of everything we negotiated. This includes the restoration of a wife’s maiden name if requested, so you can update your personal documents and accounts, like a driving license or bank account, using the order, too.
Once you have the order, you are divorced.
The Emotional Yet Necessary Steps Involved in Divorce
The majority of people who are divorcing from their spouse, are probably going to feel some level of sadness, heartbreak and fear of the unknown. An experienced Tampa, FL divorce lawyer know that divorce can be incredibly emotional for many people. So much so, that it can be challenging to endure each step without legal guidance along the way. Spouses who are preparing for divorce or are currently in the initial stages, may need several questions answered. The primary question most divorcing spouses have, is how many steps they have to complete before the divorce is finalized.
If you want to know more about what to expect in the divorce process, you can meet with a qualified divorce lawyer in Tampa, FL.
What are the steps leading up to divorce?
For divorce to begin, only one spouse of the two has to come forward to fill out the necessary paperwork. The legal separation in Florida often starts when a spouse files a petition for divorce with their local court. The other spouse then receives notice of this petition. It is not uncommon for each spouse to hire a Tampa, FL divorce lawyer for guidance during these early stages, as the divorce may only get trickier from then on out. In general, after the petition has been submitted, these steps follow suit:
- A temporary divorce order: temporary rules are established for each spouse regarding child custody, alimony, housing, etc.
- Service of process: the spouse who submitted the petition must show that the other spouse received a copy, along with any other relevant paperwork.
- Response to divorce: the spouse who did not file the petition, has the opportunity to respond to the request for separation (particularly regarding claims the initial spouse brought forward as to the cause of divorce)
- Negotiation/Mediation: each spouse may try to make amends to disputes through negotiation or mediation.
- Trial date: if there are any conflicts that could not be agreed upon in negotiation/mediation, divorce lawyers will submit filings and then the Tampa, FL court decides for the spouses instead.
- Order of dissolution: the divorce has been finalized, and the spouses must separate their property/debs as affirmed by the court.
What exactly is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is when a third unbiased party meets with both spouses to see if a resolution can be found. Mediation can be a helpful resource for spouses who want to save money in legal fees by trying to meet in the middle for their differences face-to-face. The topics that may be discussed in divorce mediation can include shared debts, child custody, child support, housing, spousal support, property division, pet ownership, guardianship of minor children, medical/life insurance, and more.
What if I can’t talk directly with my spouse without an argument coming up?
If your divorce is filled with anger and resentment, you may not be able to speak with one another without hostility erupting. A Tampa, FL divorce lawyer can come in handy when you need someone to assist in communications. In some cases, the attorneys of each spouse may have to speak on their behalf, as a way to avoid direct contact.
Reach out to us at The McKinney Law Group and get the help you need from a compassional Tampa, FL divorce lawyer!
Divorce Offers a Fresh Start
Divorce is not the end result a couple expects when they enter into a marriage. Each couple expects their marriage to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way as half of all marriages end in divorce. But there are some instances where a divorce can be a fresh start.
Divorce is not seen as a positive experience. And it can be challenging for everyone involved. As a divorce lawyer in Tampa, FL can tell you, take what you can from the experience, learn from why you ended up here, and figure out what is best for you and your family as you move forward.
If nothing else, learn from your divorce.
Stressful and overwhelming
Divorce can be a painful and overwhelming experience. A couple has put lots of time, effort, and themselves into a relationship and neither of them want to see it end.
However, sometimes a relationship has run its course. It could be neither person’s fault. The relationship is just over. While that’s not an easy concept for a person to grasp, it can ease the divorce process a bit and make the next steps smoother. At The McKinney Law Group, we pride ourselves on being a team of Tampa FL divorce lawyer our clients can count on.
Focus on yourself
Divorce can be a lonely experience. You’ve spent a good portion of your life with someone and now you’re ending that part of your life. It’s nearly as stressful as having a loved one die and, in some ways, it can feel the same way.
But this can be a time for you to be selfish and look inward. What was it about the relationship that didn’t work? What do you want in your next relationship? A divorce can actually help you narrow down and clarify what you want in a partner.
This is time you can use to your advantage. This is time you wouldn’t otherwise have for yourself. Use this time and focus on yourself. Determine what your life goals are and how you’re going to achieve them.
If you have children, you can use this time to make them the priority in your life. When you’re going through a divorce, most likely there was a time leading up to the divorce where you were focused only on your spouse and how to make the relationship work. It’s possible your children may have been neglected during that time. Now is your opportunity to make it up to them and show them what they mean to you.
Contact a Tampa FL Divorce Lawyer Today
At The McKinney Law Group, all we do is family law. We understand the overwhelming and stressful period you’re facing in your life. And we know how to help you get through the legal steps so you can focus on what really matters: making sure you get the fresh start you deserve. Allow yourself time to be selfish. Allow yourself time to understand what it is you really want. And then go get it.
Contact us today to schedule your important consultation with our trusted team of Tampa FL divorce lawyers. We’ll listen to you. We’ll guide you. And most importantly, we’ll get you to your fresh start as a new person. You deserve to work with a divorce lawyer Tampa, FL trusts.