Defending Your Peace of Mind
Navarre Contested Divorce Lawyers
Going Through a Hotly Contested Divorce in Navarre, FL?
Divorce is never an easy process, and it can be even more difficult if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on matters such as child custody, child support, and spousal support. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we are committed to helping our clients obtain a favorable divorce settlement, and we will work tirelessly to advocate on their behalf. We offer a high level of personal and professional service, and we are dedicated to providing each client with the individualized legal representation they deserve.
What is a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce in Florida, like in many other states, occurs when spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more key issues related to their divorce. These key issues typically include the division of assets and debts, child custody and visitation (if applicable), child support, alimony (spousal support), and any other matters that pertain to the dissolution of the marriage. When couples cannot agree on these issues, they must go through a court-driven process to resolve them, which can be more time-consuming and costly than an uncontested divorce.
Here is an overview of the process for a contested divorce in Florida:
- Filing the Petition: The spouse who initiates the divorce, known as the "petitioner," files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court in the county where either spouse resides. This document outlines the grounds for divorce (Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don't have to prove wrongdoing to get a divorce) and any requests or claims regarding property division, alimony, child custody, and support.
- Service of Process: After filing, the petitioner must serve the divorce papers to the other spouse, known as the "respondent." Proper service ensures that the respondent is aware of the divorce proceedings and has an opportunity to respond.
- Response: The respondent has a specific time frame to file a response to the divorce petition, typically within 20 to 30 days of being served. In this response, the respondent can either agree or disagree with the petitioner's requests.
- Discovery: Both spouses, through their respective attorneys if they have them, engage in a process called "discovery." This involves gathering information and evidence related to the disputed issues. Discovery methods can include interrogatories (written questions), depositions (oral interviews under oath), and requests for documents.
- Mediation: In Florida, most contested divorces are required to undergo mediation. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party, the mediator, assists the spouses in reaching agreements on their disputes. If an agreement is reached, it can become part of the final divorce decree.
- Temporary Orders: If needed, either spouse can request temporary orders from the court regarding child custody, support, alimony, or other matters while the divorce is pending.
- Pretrial Conference: Prior to going to trial, the court may schedule a pretrial conference to help streamline the proceedings, resolve any outstanding issues, and potentially encourage settlement.
- Trial: If the spouses cannot reach an agreement on all the disputed issues, the case goes to trial. Each party presents their arguments and evidence before a judge, who will make decisions on unresolved matters.
- Final Judgment: After the trial, the judge issues a final judgment of divorce, which outlines the division of property, child custody and visitation arrangements, child support, alimony, and any other relevant matters. This judgment becomes legally binding and ends the marriage.
- Post-Divorce Matters: Even after the divorce is finalized, issues may arise related to child custody, support modifications, or enforcement of the court orders. In such cases, the court may need to intervene again to resolve disputes.
Why Choose Us?
Our Navarre divorce attorneys are here to help you with any issue related to your divorce. We are committed to providing each client with the personalized legal representation they deserve.
Here are some key advantages of hiring our firm for a contested divorce:
- Legal Expertise: Our team at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. has a deep understanding of Florida's family laws and the specific procedures and rules governing divorce cases in Navarre, FL. They can provide you with accurate legal advice tailored to your unique situation.
- Objective Advice: Emotions often run high in contested divorces. Our attorneys can provide you with objective advice and help you make rational decisions, preventing impulsive choices that could negatively impact your case.
- Negotiation Skills: We can negotiate on your behalf to achieve a fair settlement, whether it involves property division, child custody, child support, or alimony. Our goal is to secure the best possible outcome for you.
- Legal Paperwork: A divorce involves a significant amount of paperwork, including legal documents, court filings, and financial disclosures. We can ensure that all required documents are correctly prepared and submitted on time, preventing costly delays or errors.
- Courtroom Representation: In contested divorces that go to trial, having an attorney from The Virga Law Firm, P.A. by your side is essential. We will present your case effectively in court, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf to protect your interests.
- Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Many contested divorces benefit from mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. We can represent you in these processes and help you reach mutually acceptable agreements, potentially avoiding a trial.
- Asset Protection: If there are significant assets and property involved in your divorce, our team can work to ensure a fair distribution and protect your financial interests.
- Child Custody and Support Matters: If you have children, child custody and support can be emotionally charged and legally complex issues. We can advocate for your parental rights and ensure that child support calculations are fair and accurate.
- Alimony: Whether you are seeking alimony or contesting a request for alimony, our lawyers can help you navigate the legal standards and factors that determine alimony awards.
- Stress Reduction: Going through a contested divorce can be incredibly stressful. By entrusting your case to an experienced attorney, you can reduce the burden on yourself, allowing you to focus on your well-being and your family.
- Legal Guidance Beyond Divorce: Our attorneys from The Virga Law Firm, P.A. can provide guidance on post-divorce matters, such as modifications of court orders, enforcement of court orders, and other legal issues that may arise after the divorce is finalized.
Gerard Virga Founding Attorney
David Lohr Executive Director/Attorney
Chad Self Fort Walton Beach Managing Attorney
Tracie Phillips Orlando Managing Attorney
William West Ritchie Panama City Managing Attorney
Taylor Tippel Panama City Beach Managing Attorney
Andrea Ansley Attorney
Christopher Melendez Attorney
April Hand Operations Manager and Florida Registered Paralegal
Danny Durnbaugh Chief Financial Officer
“I will definitely be recommending to anyone I know that needs a child custody or divorce attorney!” - A Divorce Client
“If you are looking for an attorney who is professional, honest, knowledgeable and responsive to your needs, Gerard Virga meets such requirements.” - A Divorce Client
“He responded to my messages promptly and I never felt rushed when speaking with him in meetings and phone conversations.” - A Divorce Client
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