Defending Your Peace of Mind Divorce

Supportive Counsel You Can Rely On

Pensacola Divorce Attorneys

Personalized Divorce Solutions to Protect Your Rights & Interests

Breaking up a marriage is one of the most emotionally tumultuous and personally painful transitions a person can undertake. Even without the legal battle that may ensue, divorce tends to be traumatic, demanding, and complex. When you add the nitty, gritty details divorce proceedings and the confusing, tedious process of disentangling accounts, property, parental responsibilities and so on, it can be a nightmare—but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you are involved in a pending divorce action, then the Pensacola divorce attorneys at the Virga Law Firm can assist you. Our attorneys understand the importance of swift action when defending your rights in divorce litigation. This is true whether your divorce is uncontested or contested. Call our Pensacola office today to schedule your same day consultation.

Why Choose Our Lawyers?

  • 24/7 Access to Your Attorney
  • Same-Day Appointments Available
  • In the National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • 100+ years' Combined Family Law Experience

Schedule Your Initial Case Review with a Pensacola, FL Divorce Attorney Today

If you are seeking a highly qualified and reputable attorney, The Virga Law Firm, P.A. is ready to be of service.

Contact our firm by calling 800-822-5170 to learn more about our services and discuss the best legal options to help you achieve your goals. 


On This Page:

Meet Attorney David Lohr

If you need help with a divorce case in Pensacola, it is likely that your case will be primarily handled by Attorney David Lohr, the Executive Director of our firm and Pensacola branch. For more than a decade, Attorney Lohr has worked in the legal field, including several years as a Senior Managing Attorney for a firm that exclusively focused on family law disputes and divorce cases. Upon joining The Virga Law Firm, he was able to use his experience and insight to the benefit of our clients, including those whose cases went to trial.

Attorney David Lohr is admitted to practice before:

  • All Florida State Courts
  • Northern District of Florida

With Pensacola Divorce Attorney Lohr involved in your case, you can feel more confident about the path and processes that lie ahead. You’ll find that his balance of professionalism and compassion makes him easy to approach with any questions or concerns about your case, so please always feel free to reach out when you need help. As a Pensacola local, you can also trust his knowledge of local courts and judges, as well as his genuine interest in helping the people of his community through difficult times. 

Types of Divorce Cases Our Pensacola Team Can Help With

Backed by over 100 years of collective experience, our award-winning attorneys have what it takes to handle all types of Florida divorces. Our multi-disciplinary approach, coupled with our focus on providing personalized service, allows us to efficiently and effectively find the solutions our clients need.

We provide support for all types of divorce cases, including:

Factors to Consider When Deciding to File for Divorce in Pensacola

Divorce is as much a legal endeavor as it as personal journey, which means that there are many factors to consider when preparing for the process.

At Virga Law Firm, our attorneys take the time to help clients prepare for the journey ahead. From obtaining essential facts about our clients’ situations to uncovering their unique needs and goals, we leave no stone unturned in laying the foundation for future success.

If you’re contemplating a divorce in Pensacola, FL or are gearing up to begin the process, keeping a few considerations in mind can ensure that you’ll get started on the right foot:

  • Your kids. Children are a priority in divorce. Apart from helping kids navigate difficult emotions and new arrangements, you’ll also need to consider factors such as visitation, child custody (including joint custody and temporary custody), and child support. Some divorces may involve more complicated matters such as relocation or domestic violence.
  • Your finances. Dissolving a marriage requires divorcing spouses to carefully account for their assets and debts and find workable solutions for their division. In addition to completing financial affidavits, you’ll need to explore ways to effectively address financial issues such as alimony and the equitable distribution of marital property. In some cases, spouses will need to deal with prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements, or the various challenges that come with high-net-worth, professional practices, and other complicated assets.
  • Your future. Family courts encourage divorcing parties to strike compromise when devising divorce settlements. As such, you’ll want to consider what is worth “fighting for” and what isn’t, as well as the cost and emotional savings that come with mediated or collaborative divorce. While courts allow for post-decree modifications, you should never bank on being able to change aspects of your settlement you don’t like.

What is the Divorce Process?

Families and marriages are unique and no two divorces are exactly alike. However, there is a general process that Florida divorces adhere to and various ways of handling each phase of the process.

At Virga Law Firm, we provide step-by-step guidance to help clients navigate every stage of the Florida divorce process, including:

  • Filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Obtaining temporary orders, which may not be necessary in every case.
  • Service of divorce papers and response.
  • Negotiation of terms, or litigation in court if no resolution is made.
  • Finalization of the divorce.

Learn more about the divorce process.

Grounds for Divorce in Pensacola

Couples may decide to separate for any number of reasons. Under Florida statute there are two main grounds for granting a divorce: (1) Irreconcilable Differences; and (2) Mental Incapacity of one of the parties.

The most common reasoning for separation is irreconcilable difference, or simply put, the parties just can’t get along anymore. Florida courts will also grant a divorce in cases where one of the parties has been mentally incapacity for a period of at least three (3) years.

Is Uncontested Divorce Right For Me?

Not all divorces result in litigation. Many divorces can be amicably resolved outside of court. Our attorneys have helped numerous clients separate from their spouse without stepping a foot inside a courtroom.

If both parties have agreed upon terms for their separation, our lawyers can assist the drafting of the necessary pleadings as well as the marital settlement agreement that resolves all issues related to the divorce.

Even if your divorce is not entirely uncontested our attorneys at the Virga Law Firm, P.A. can help resolve the difference in both parties preferred outcomes and find an even middle ground. We are skilled at negotiating settlements that will accurately reflect your divorce goals.

Is Contested Divorce Right For Me?

When parties disagree on the terms of their divorce, this is commonly referred to as a contested divorce. The attorneys at our Pensacola office understand the emotional stress that comes with going through a divorce. We will work closely with you to ensure your litigation goals are properly addressed in and out of court, so you receive the best possible outcome when filing for divorce.

109 E. Garden St.,
Suite B
Pensacola, FL 32502
(800) 822-5170
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Unique Challenges of Divorce in Pensacola

Divorce is challenging wherever you are. Here in Pensacola, though, you might see unique challenges that divorcing couples typically don’t worry about anywhere else. By hiring a family lawyer who is local to Pensacola, you can feel more confident in passing over these extra hurdles.

You might see these unique challenges while divorcing in Pensacola:

  • Military divorces: The U.S. Navy has several bases in and around Pensacola, including Naval Air Station Pensacola and Corry Station. It is no surprise that a noticeable portion of the Pensacola community is in the military or is married to someone who serves. As a result, your divorce could become more complicated if it is a military divorce. From deciding how to fairly split military benefits and pensions to serving papers to a spouse who is deployed overseas, our local Pensacola divorce attorneys stand ready to help you overcome any challenge, expected or unexpected.
  • Hurricanes: Pensacola is frequently hit by hurricanes each hurricane season. Boarding up and staying put during a hurricane could be an even bigger problem if you are going through a divorce and haven’t figured out who gets to stay in the family home yet. Or if you filed for divorce due to domestic violence and hunkering down with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not a safe option. Our local Pensacola divorce lawyers know all about the headaches that hurricanes can cause for divorcing couples, so we can help you anticipate any such issues and make proactive choices.
  • Real Estate and Housing Issues: Compared to many parts of Florida, Pensacola’s housing market  shifts frequently with new openings, foreclosures, etc. If you’re going through a divorce, you might also be looking for a second home for yourself to rent or own during and after the dissolution process. The housing market of the city could mean you don’t have to go far, which can be a boon for you and your kids. As attorneys who know many local businesses, feel free to ask us during your case if we know any realtors who specialize in finding cozy, affordable housing for divorcing parents and their children.
  • Party town and tourism: You never have to look far in Pensacola and Pensacola Beach for a party or a tourist hot spot. How could Pensacola being a “party town” affect your divorce? It could happen. Imagine that your ex-spouse says they need more alimony just to pay the bills, but an investigation into their finances reveals they have been spending thousands of dollars on Pensacola-brand fun each month! Our local attorneys know how to research and resolve any conflicts that could arise due to financial disputes, including those marked with overspending on tourist attractions and nights out on the town.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Local Pensacola, FL Attorney for my Divorce?

In matters as consequential as divorce, the representation you choose matters—and in more ways than you might realize. Experience with Florida’s family laws is clearly important, but so is knowledge specific to where you live. If you live in Pensacola and file for divorce, the attorney you hire should have local insight, so you can be confident your divorce is headed in the right direction.

By hiring a local Pensacola, FL attorney for your divorce, you can appreciate these benefits:

  • Knowledge of the courts: No two family law courts are identical, and the same can be said of the people who work there. County clerks, judges, and even attorneys from various law firms all have different approaches to divorce and family law cases. Hiring our local Pensacola divorce attorneys gets you direct access to our local knowledge, letting you know what to expect as your case progresses. We know many of the faces you can see most days at the Clerk of Court Family Law Division on Government Street, for example, and we have worked with the professionals at Escambia County Clerk of Court – Juvenile and Child Support courthouse on Mary Avenue. 
  • Objective advice: A local divorce attorney from our firm can provide an honest and objective assessment of your options based on their experience with local family law courts and judges. If you hire a lawyer from another city or county, they likely won’t be able to base any of their advice on real people who live in Pensacola or real situations that have unfolded in the Pensacola-specific court systems.
  • Personalized options: When deciding important aspects of your life post-divorce, you’ll want to work with someone who understands your expectations and preferences on a personal level. For example, a local Pensacola divorce attorney will know about local attractions and places that bring parents and their kids together, which could be crucial for you when considering child custody and visitation agreements. Do you like going to the Pensacola Children’s Museum each month with your children? Let us know and we can see what can be done to allow that to continue happening after your divorce.
  • Paperwork: The divorce process has many requirements for parties to file the correct forms, documentation, and paperwork. With the support of a local attorney, you can be sure that the papers are not only filled out correctly but also in a way that local county clerks and judges prefer. Even the smallest details in a case can end up making a big difference when you are trying to convince the court to see your side of a family law situation or conflict.
  • Genuine care and compassion: Florida law systems can feel impersonal and uncaring at times, which can be startling when you’re in the middle of something as personal as a divorce or family law conflict. By hiring our local attorneys here in Pensacola, you can know that someone is genuinely listening to you and wants to help. We care about our community and the people who make it amazing, and we show it by providing compassionate legal counsel.
  • 10 Best by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys | 2016
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Family Law Top 10 2023
  • Lawyers of Distinction 2018
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • The National Advocates
  • Best of Bay
  • Attorney Top 40 Under 40
  • Best of the Best Attorneys - Family Law 2022
  • American Association of Attorney Advocates | Family Law

    Pensacola Divorce FAQ

    What Should I Look for When Choosing a Pensacola Divorce Lawyer?

    Not all legal representation is created equally. If you’re searching for qualified counsel for your Pensacola divorce, make sure you evaluate potential lawyers carefully. Consider looking at the following:

    • Experience. When navigating a divorce, you want an attorney with experience. This not only includes having years in the game, but also experience handling a broad array of issues that arise in divorce and family cases, including experience with issues in your case. Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve handled matters like yours in the past – it’s a great way to gauge a lawyer’s experience.
    • Results. When speaking with potential lawyers for your case, ask about the results and outcomes they’ve secured in previous cases. Have they helped clients with children secure favorable custody rulings? Have they helped protect certain assets that were important to their clients? Get the low-down on their past results and how they went about obtaining them.
    • Qualifications. In addition to asking about a lawyer’s experience, it’s also wise to ask them about their qualifications. Some lawyers may have special training or certifications, including certifications in mediation, an out-of-court dispute resolution process that can be especially useful when it comes to promoting efficiency in divorce cases.
    • Stature in the Legal Community. Awards and recognition from peers speak volumes when it comes to assessing the quality of an attorney. A lawyer who is respected by fellow counsel and the judiciary is likely someone you can trust to handle your case.

    Do You Offer Same-Day Consultations in Pensacola?

    We can offer same-day consultations at our Pensacola family law firm for important matters that just can’t wait. When you call to set up your consultation, please let us know if you would like a same-day appointment, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

    Where Is Your Office Located and How Can I Schedule a Consultation?

    Our Pensacola office is located at 109 E. Garden St., Suite B, Pensacola, FL 32502. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation there, please call 800-822-5170 or fill out an online contact form. We have offices throughout Florida, too, for your convenience.

    What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation?

    During an initial consultation, it can be useful for our attorneys to review bank statements and other financial summaries that could be relevant to your case, such as if you are entering a divorce or need to decide on child support payments. If there are police reports that we should see, such as if you want to divorce due to domestic violence, please feel free to bring them as well. Consultations with our legal team are always kept confidential. Otherwise, when you call to arrange a consultation, let us know what you need help with, and we will mention if there’s any specific documentation we should review during the first meeting.

    What Questions Should I Ask My Pensacola Divorce Attorney in My Initial Consultation?

    As someone who is considering a divorce, your initial consultation can be as much about the issues in your case as it is about how a lawyer can help. As such, come prepared to your consultation with a few important questions. Some examples include:

    • What is your experience with divorce law and with the issues in my case?
    • How does your firm work to promote efficiency and save costs in litigating my case?
    • What should I know about any potentially problematic issues in my case, and how would you handle them?
    • What do you think about my stated objectives? Are they realistic and obtainable or will I need to strike compromise in other areas of my case to get certain things I want?
    • How does your practice handle challenging issues such as high-net-worth marriages, domestic violence, or high conflict?

    How Should I Prepare for My Divorce?

    At Virga Law Firm, we take the time to educate clients about what they can expect with their cases and how to best prepare. But if you are just starting out, there are some things you can do as you embark on the journey ahead.

    • Educate yourself. Take the time to learn about the divorce process, what you can expect, and how the Court addresses certain issues. Florida’s court websites have a great deal of helpful information on these topics.
    • Gather documentation. Gather all documentation you think your attorney will need. This includes information about your finances (i.e. individual and shared accounts, retirement assets, and more), your children, and other documentation you think may be important.
    • Get organized. Being organized can save a great deal of time and stress, and in turn money. Find ways to get organized by keeping your files and documents handy and having a calendar to remember important dates, meetings with your attorney, and hearings.
    • Trust your attorney. Divorce can be an emotionally turbulent venture, which is why part of your preparation should focus on the “big picture” and ways to help yourself help your attorney. Remember, you hired an attorney to guide you through the process and should trust their counsel and advice.

    How Much Does a Pensacola Divorce Lawyer Cost?

    The average hourly rate of a divorce attorney in Florida is roughly $260, but that rate can vary depending on factors such as the attorney’s experience, skill, and reputation. And while quality legal representation certainly comes at a cost, there is immense value in working with proven counsel – especially in matters with as large of an impact on one’s future as divorce.

    If you’re considering the costs of hiring a Pensacola divorce attorney, don’t forget that you will also have a great deal of control over the cost of your case. That’s especially true when it comes to your willingness to communicate effectively with your lawyer, ex-spouse, and opposing counsel, and your ability to strike compromise on important issues to avoid the added expenses that accompany conflict and litigation.

    At Virga Law Firm, we make it a priority to educate clients about ways to maximize efficiency in their cases and save on legal costs. We can discuss costs, retainer fees, hourly rates, and cost-saving measures further during an initial consultation.

    How Much Does it Cost to File for Divorce in Pensacola?

    While you can control variables in your case that impact the ultimate cost of paying for legal representation, court fees associated with filing for a Florida divorce are relatively straightforward.

    If you’re filing for divorce in Escambia County, for example, you’ll be required to pay some fixed costs. These include:

    • An initial filing fee - $408
    • A Summons to satisfy service requirements - $10 
    • A filing fee (if responding with an answer plus a counter petition) - $403

    Court costs can vary depending on the county in which you file. You can learn more about court costs in Pensacola divorce actions on our blog or by speaking with a member of our team.

    Does My Spouse Have to Pay for My Divorce Lawyer?

    It depends. Florida law allows courts to order one party in a divorce case to pay for the other’s reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses under certain circumstances. Some examples of situations where attorney’s fees may be awarded:

    • Your spouse earns significantly more income than you.
    • Your divorce attorney defends you against allegations made by your spouse.
    • Your spouse engaged in domestic violence, failed to pay child support, or was engaged in some other act of wrongdoing.
    • Your spouse filed frivolous motions to intimidate you or delay the process.

    Awards for attorney’s fees can ensure that both parties have access to qualified counsel and that one party is not unfairly disadvantaged during the process. When available, our team helps clients seek recoveries for attorney’s fees and other certain costs in their cases.

    In Pensacola, Can I Serve the Divorce Papers Myself?

    After you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce), your spouse must be officially notified. However, you are not legally permitted to serve the divorce papers yourself in the state of Florida. You may, of course, tell them you intend to file for divorce or that you have done so, but this does not count as official notification.

    The most common means of serving divorce papers is having the sheriff or a county-certified private servicer deliver them to your spouse. The court in the county where you both live or where your spouse lives can also mail the divorce papers to your spouse’s residence. If you prefer not to use either of these options, you may also leave the divorce papers at your spouse’s residence with another person who lives there and is at least 15 years old.

    In other cases, such as in cases of missing spouses or spouses who dodge servicers, the law also allows you to announce your divorce in an official, legitimate newspaper or other written publication that your spouse is likely to see. You must do so 4 times before you can enter a default judgement and proceed without them.

    What Happens After I File for Divorce?

    If you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, your spouse must be notified. Once they have been officially “served,” they are typically required to submit a written response in 20 days or less. Your spouse can either submit an answer, contest the information in the divorce papers, or file a counter-petition of their own. If they do not respond within 20 days, you may be able to file a default judgement with the court and continue the process of divorce without your spouse’s input. If this occurs, and you go through the divorce process without your spouse, they are still legally obligated to fulfill the terms of their divorce.

    Can I Divorce My Spouse if They’re Missing?

    If your spouse is nowhere to be found, you can still get a divorce. However, you can’t proceed the way you would if they lived right down the street. You have to deliberately search for your spouse and make demonstrable effort to find them before going ahead with your divorce. This ought to include visiting most recent known residences, workplaces, and so on, as well as performing searches online and via social media and checking with their friends and relatives.

    Should the search for your spouse prove unsuccessful, you may file a statement with the court swearing that you have done everything in your power to find them and have been unsuccessful in doing so. Once you have filed your sworn statement and 60 days have gone by, the court may allow you to notify your spouse in the newspaper or other publication.

    Can I Get a Divorce in Pensacola without a Lawyer?

    You can, indeed, get divorced without hiring an experienced divorce attorney. However, the significant likelihood of costly error far outweighs the potential benefits. Using an online service or filling out the divorce papers without legal help is never advised, although it may be an option in cases of uncontested divorce between couples who have been married a very short amount of time, have no transmutated assets, and have no children or shared property. However, even in such cases, filling out divorce papers incorrectly can cost you in the long run.

    How Long Does It Typically Take To Finalize a Divorce in Pensacola?

    The length of time it takes to finalize a divorce can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the issues involved, the willingness of the parties to negotiate and reach an agreement, and the court's schedule. In general, an uncontested divorce can be finalized relatively quickly, sometimes within a few months, especially if the couple has already reached an agreement on all of the issues involved. However, a contested divorce can take significantly longer, sometimes up to a year or more, particularly if the case goes to trial. It's important to note that every divorce case is unique, and the timeline for finalizing a divorce can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

    Can I Change My Divorce Agreement After It’s Been Finalized?

    Yes, it is possible to modify a divorce agreement after it has been finalized in Florida. However, the ability to modify a divorce agreement depends on the specific terms of the agreement and the circumstances of the case. If you're considering modifying any of the terms of your divorce, you should contact a Pensacola divorce lawyer to discuss your situation. We can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

    Do I Have to Go to Court for My Divorce?

    In most cases, it is necessary to go to court for a divorce. This is because a divorce is a legal process that must be approved by a judge in order to be finalized. However, the extent to which you need to go to court can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, in an uncontested divorce it may be possible to finalize the divorce without a court hearing. Instead, the parties can submit their agreement to the court for approval and the judge may sign off on the divorce without the need for a formal hearing. However, in a contested divorce it is likely that a court hearing will be necessary. This is because the court may need to hear evidence and arguments from both sides before making a decision on the contested issues. In some cases, multiple court hearings may be necessary before the divorce can be finalized.

    What Are the Residency Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Pensacola, Florida?

    At least one spouse in a divorce must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. There is no need for the divorcing spouses to live together for any period. Furthermore, you don’t have to be a Escambia County resident for those six months.

    What Are the Tax Implications of Divorce in Pensacola?

    If you divorce, you can expect that your tax filing the next year will look different. Before divorce, you can file your taxes jointly. After divorce, you must file as single or head of household if applicable. You might lose deductions related to your marriage, too, such as those related to joint mortgage interest payments. Our divorce lawyers can help you anticipate what might happen to your taxes if you divorce in Pensacola, Florida, and we can recommend a tax attorney we trust if you need it.

    Local Divorce Resources

    At The Virga Law Firm, P.A. in Pensacola, we want our clients to feel supported at all times, even when that means getting help from outside experts and organizations. Please take a moment to look through this list of local resources that can help you through this challenging or confusing time, as well as a few resources that you should know as someone entering a family law case or divorce.

    Clerk of Court Family Law Division

    The Clerk of Court Family Law Division is likely where your divorce or family law case will be filed. We are familiar with this court, its procedures, and many of the legal professionals who work there.

    • Address: 190 W Government St, Pensacola, FL 32502 (in M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building)
    • Phone: 850-595-4331
    • More information: https://www.escambiaclerk.com/

    Escambia County Clerk of Court – Juvenile and Child Support

    Escambia County Clerk of Court – Juvenile and Child Support Division is likely where any family law case that involves child support, and custody cases involving dependency issues (i.e., abuse, abandonment, or neglect of the minor child). As it is with the main family courthouse, our team is highly familiar with the procedures and people here.

    Pensacola Children’s Home Society of Florida

    The Children's Home Society of Florida provides services for parents including family early childhood development programs, counseling, and visitation centers for those times the parties need a safe place to exercise timesharing with the children. 

    Olive Baptist Church

    Members of the Olive Baptist Church proudly run its Divorce Recovery program, which is designed to help people get through the confusion and hurt that often come with divorce. Although the program is religious leaning because it is run by the Olive Baptist Church, people from all walks of life can apply to use the program.

    DivorceCare 

    DivorceCare is a nationwide organization that provides various forms of support for people who are struggling with life adjustments made necessary by a divorce. In-person and online support programs are available.

    Society of St. Vincent De Paul

    The Council of Pensacola Tallahassee branch of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul offers financial assistance to people who are financially struggling. If divorce has left you in a difficult financial situation, you may be eligible to use the services of this organization, such as food pantries, rent assistance, and more.

    Community Action Program Committee

    Locals in Pensacola who are experiencing financial hardship and poverty can find help through the Community Action Program Committee, Pensacola division. Support services like rental and mortgage assistance, family self-sufficiency programs, and others might be useful to you if divorce has dramatically changed your financial stability.

    • “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

    Our Firm Gets Results

    More Reasons to Hire Us:
    • Committed to Aggressive Representation
    • Same-Day Scheduling Available
    • 6 Locations Throughout Florida
    • Over 100 Years of Collective Experience