Divorce Attorney in Tampa, Hillsborough County
Mindi Lasley is an experienced & aggressive divorce lawyer who can help you.
For most people, a divorce is one of the most stressful events they will ever have to endure.
The strong emotions which accompany a divorce can sometimes make the decision-making process seem impossible.
During these trying times, it is imperative to retain a Tampa divorce lawyer who not only provides skilled and effective legal advice, but who is also willing to help you deal with any uncertainty or anxiety.
At Mindi Lasley, P.A., we view it as our job to help calm the emotions of our clients and give them straightforward legal advice about their divorce.
Florida Divorce Facts
Florida is a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that a divorce will be granted once it is proven that the marriage is irretrievably broken. You do not have to prove that your spouse did anything wrong.
While this concept appears to be straightforward, even a simple divorce can prove to be complicated.
All divorces, whether contested or uncontested, involve:
- Significant amounts of paperwork that must be completed and filed with the appropriate court within a certain window of time
- Disclosure of all financial documentation
- Mediation and/or court hearings
- Legal pleadings that must be filed with the court
All documentation must be properly prepared in accordance with Florida law to prevent problems that may arise while the divorce is pending.
The residence requirement for a divorce in Florida is 6 months.
You must have lived in the state for no less than 6 months prior to filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. However, only one spouse needs to meet the residency requirements before filing.
Equitable Distribution in Florida
In Florida, state law requires the equitable distribution of property and assets in a divorce.
While many people assume that this means that property and assets must be divided equally, this is not necessarily true. Florida law only requires that property and assets be divided fairly.
How property is divided is based largely on how much each spouse contributed to the marriage. A judge may choose to award the spouse that contributed more to the marriage, either financially or through homemaking, with certain property or assets.
For example, equal distribution of assets may require the marriage home to be sold and the resulting funds to be split equally between both spouses.
However, with equitable distribution, a judge may choose to award the marriage home to the homemaker in order to provide the children with a stable home environment, while awarding the other spouse property or assets of equal or fair value.
What Does It Mean to Get a Divorce?
The Law Dictionary defines divorce as:
The legal separation of man and wife, effected, for cause, by the judgment of a court, and either totally dissolving the marriage relation, or suspending its effects so far as concerns the cohabitation of the parties.
A divorce not only dissolves the marriage, but it resolves all issues such as:
- the division of assets and debts (legally known as equitable distribution)
- child custody (which is now legally specified as a “parenting plan”)
- child support
- any other issues that need to be resolved
There are generally two types of divorce recognized by Florida courts:
1. Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce means that the petitioner of the divorce and the respondent both agree to the divorce and all aspects involved in the divorce.
This means that both parties agree completely on:
- How property will be divided between both spouses
- How debt will be divided between both spouses
- Who will have physical and/or legal custody of the children
- How visitation and/or time-sharing will take place
- Whether alimony will be paid, how much will be paid, and for how long
Uncontested divorces most frequently arise from marriages where the couple do not have significant assets or children.
In the above case, the couple may be eligible for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.
In order to be eligible for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, the couple must meet the following criteria:
- The couple meets the basic residency requirements for a Florida divorce
- Neither spouse contests the divorce itself
- The couple does not have children under the age of 18, and the wife is not pregnant at the time of the divorce filing
- Both spouses agree not to file for alimony
- Both spouses have made a full financial disclosure, and both spouses agree on how property and assets will be divided between them
- Both spouses agree to waive their right to a trial and an appeal
For some couples, a simplified divorce is the easiest, fastest, and most cost effective way to dissolve a marriage.
However, even couples who do have substantial assets or children can obtain an uncontested divorce if they agree on each point of the divorce.
2. Contested Divorce
A contested divorce takes place when the parties do not agree on the terms of the divorce.
While contested divorces are often more costly and lengthy than uncontested divorces, they are sometimes in the best interest of one or both parties.
A contested divorce often proceeds as follows:
- The petitioner files the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage with the appropriate Florida court
- The respondent is notified of the Petition and is given time to respond
- If the couple does not agree on one or more aspects of the divorce, mediation may be required
- The couple may meet with a mediator in order to reach a compromise
- If middle ground is reached through the process of mediation, the mediator may help the couple file for an uncontested divorce
- If the couple cannot reach middle ground even through mediation, a trial will be scheduled
- Multiple hearings may be required for separate issues such as alimony, child custody, and property division
If you are considering getting a divorce, it is critical to speak with a Florida divorce attorney as soon as possible.
If you and your spouse do not agree on certain points of your divorce, it may be beneficial to proceed to divorce litigation.
Only an experienced divorce lawyer can help you determine whether pursuing litigation is in your best interests. At Mindi Lasley, P.A., we have the skills and resources to assist you.
Contact divorce attorney Mindi Lasley, P.A. Today For More Information
If you are considering getting a divorce or are in the middle of divorce proceedings, it is critical that you are adequately represented by a Florida divorce attorney.
Without high quality legal guidance, you stand to incur significant losses throughout the process of your divorce.
At Mindi Lasley, P.A., we have the expertise and resources to provide you with step-by-step legal representation in order for you to obtain the best possible results from your case.
Attorney Lasley is committed to offering each of her clients with comprehensive legal support, and she will always let you know where you stand. She will inform you of what your legal options are and how best to move forward to protect your rights and best interests.
Contact Mindi Lasley, P.A. today for a consultation to discuss your case by calling (813) 873-9047. We are available now to speak with you regarding your legal needs.
More information can be found on these pages:
For cases involving persons in the U.S. armed forces: Military Divorce Lawyer Tampa
Know more about Florida Divorce Laws