Divorce Services in Tallahassee
Helping You Successfully Navigate the Divorce Process
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we fully understand how stressful and time-consuming the divorce process can be. The number of different legal issues that are involved in a divorce, particularly if children or a significant amount of assets are involved, can make divorce daunting.
Our team can help you understand the divorce process in Tallahassee and work toward mutually beneficial arrangement with your ex-spouse. Our experienced, driven attorneys will work with you to make the divorce as smooth as possible.
How to File for Divorce in Leon County, FL
Florida conforms to no-fault laws for filing a divorce. To file successfully, you must prove that your marriage is irretrievably damaged, and at least one party sees no way for the marriage to be repaired. If a spouse is mentally incapacitated for three years, their partner may also file for divorce.
If you meet the conditions for a no-fault divorce, you'll need to file a form called a Dissolution of Marriage and provide it to your ex-spouse (the respondent). The respondent must then get an Answer and Waiver form signed and notarized before filing the same form you presented to them. Once this two-step process is complete, you've filed for a divorce.
If the respondent refuses to receive the Dissolution of Marriage form or complete the Answer and Waiver forms, a sheriff from their county can serve the papers to the respondent.
Within 45 days of filing for a divorce, the state of Florida requires both parties to hand over financial affidavits that summarize their financial assets. Items such as income, investments, property, tax returns, debts, bank statements, and more are all common elements of a financial affidavit.
Get the help of a reputable lawyer to make filing for divorce easier.
What Is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?
If two parties wish to amicably file for a divorce without the use of attorneys, they may choose to file for a simplified divorce. A simplified divorce can be filed if both parties:
- Agree the marriage can't be saved;
- Don't have minor children;
- Agree on how assets, debts, and liabilities will be divided; and
- At least one spouse is a resident of Florida.
Simplified divorces often eschew the need for a lawyer. However, filing for a simplified divorce is risky. To get the divorce process over with faster, you may make choices you'll regret in the long-term. Understanding different facets of divorce proceedings can also be challenging without an attorney.
What Should I Consider When Filing for Divorce?
One of the most difficult aspects of filing for divorce is just how many processes are part of the divorce proceedings. Understanding what to prepare for can help you handle the turmoil of a divorce more easily.
- Familiarize yourself with your separate and joint assets. Separate assets are assets like gifts or inheritances that are explicitly for you and you only. Shared assets are any assets you share with your ex-spouse. A lawyer can help you calculate the rough value of assets you own, and how an equitable distribution arrangement with your spouse might impact your life financially. If you signed a prenuptial agreement, go over it again. Hiring your own CPA or appraiser to double-check the value of assets may also be a good idea.
- If you have children, prepare them for the divorce and consider how you want to approach child support and child custody. Divorces can be incredibly stressful for children, and ensuring you remain a model parent will help them handle the strain. Thinking about whether you want joint custody (and, if not, what arrangement you do want for your children) or if you'll ask your ex-spouse for child support is also wise.
- Consider how aggressive you want to be during the divorce. Are you planning to pursue full custody of your child, retain ownership of the marital house, and receive child support or alimony from your ex-spouse? You'll need to be more aggressive and withstand more stress than someone who doesn't pursue a divorce so aggressively. Prepare for the emotional and financial impact your divorce will have on your life.
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we have the experience and compassion required to help you navigate the divorce process successfully.