Family Law (Divorce)

Serving Tampa, St Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice

We understand that going through a divorce is often an extremely difficult time in a person’s life. There are so many possible ramifications, both emotional and financial. Issues such as whether one spouse will be found to owe the other spouse alimony, who will get custody of the children, how much child support will be expected, and how the property and debts will be divided may make the process seem overwhelming. And that is before wondering what the tax consequences may be and how it may affect any retirement plans you have made.

Once you are served with a petition for dissolution of marriage, you have only twenty days to file an answer. The answer admits or denies the relevant aspects of the petition, it may be short or lengthy, and it may include a counter-petition. Just as the spouse who files the initial petition may ask for financial support, custody of the children, occupancy of the marital home, attorney fees, etc., you also have the right to request an equal division of assets, custody of the children or visitation, attorney fees, etc. Both parties to a divorce are expected to file financial affidavits with the court outlining their current fiscal situation.

When couples can agree on the major areas—division of property; custody and support of children; whether there will be spousal support and if so, in what form; and the apportionment of debt—a divorce can be finalized quickly. When couples cannot agree, there are options available other than a court battle to attempt to resolve the differences. Mediation can be a very effective way to save each party time, money, and the emotional toll as a result of lengthy litigation. Sometimes litigation, where each party presents evidence and a judge decides the outcome, is the only viable option.


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