How To Start The Divorce Process In Florida
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Florida ranks near the top of states when it comes to divorces. Despite how common they are, divorces are highly complex processes that can shape the future of both parties. Knowing as much as possible about the divorce process from the outset is key to minimizing stress and headaches as you leave a marriage.
If you are a Florida resident considering starting the process of divorce, you shouldn’t make any moves until you have a qualified local attorney representing you.
At The Bardine Law Firm, our principal attorney Johnny Bardine has helped hundreds of clients navigate the ever-changing legal system to end their marriage in a way that leads to a successful future. To learn more about the divorce process and how our team can assist you, contact us today at (727) 605-7078 or through our website.
Why Are Lawyers Necessary For Florida Divorces?
While we should mention that attorneys are not required for divorces in Florida, DIY divorces almost always end in short-term or long-term disasters. Even if you and your former spouse can agree on the lion’s share of issues, mistakes that arise from unfamiliarity with the legal system can be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, people who forgo legal representation often fail to create agreements that hold up to legal scrutiny. In the future, should relations sour with your former spouse, they can use these poorly written agreements against you to jeopardize your lifestyle, finances, and relationship with your child.
Luckily, finding legal representation isn’t hard, especially if you know what to look for in a Florida divorce attorney. Not only can a divorce lawyer help save you from costly mistakes, but they will also simplify the process and let you continue on your journey into a new period of your life.
Starting The Divorce Process In Florida
Now that you understand the importance of hiring a divorce attorney for your Florida divorce, it stands to reason that a good first step should be finding legal representation. However, a divorce attorney can only help so much, and knowing exactly what you want from the divorce process is the best way to help your attorney start on the proper footing.
If you are serious about your divorce and found a local lawyer you intend to contact, your next step is to prepare for an initial consultation. During this discussion, you can make a final determination regarding your attorney – whether or not you want them representing you.
Just as importantly, these discussions are the perfect opportunity for you to lay out your reasons for wanting a divorce and bring your new attorney up to speed. To aid in this, you should ideally bring as much documentation as possible that could be useful as your lawyer prepares your divorce. This can include:
- Identification, such as ID and social security cards
- Information regarding children (names, ages, current living situation)
- Employment history, pay stubs, and tax returns
- Prenuptial agreements
- Evidence against your former spouse, if you intend to place fault on them for the dissolution of marriage
- Information identifying bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and trusts
- List of debts
- Property deeds
- Questions for your attorney
Bringing these documents to an initial consultation can never hurt, as all your information is kept confidential, and unneeded material will simply be ignored.
Depending on the type of divorce – contested, uncontested, complicated, high-asset – your next steps might include meeting with your former spouse at mediation or sitting for a deposition. Most of the granular details, like filing the correct paperwork with the court, will be taken care of by your attorney, assuming you provide them with all the required documentation. During this entire process, your attorney will work closely with you to ensure you are pleased with any draft agreements regarding asset division, child support, alimony, and time-sharing.
Contact a St. Petersburg Family Law Attorney Today
Are you ready to take the plunge and start the divorce process? The decision is never an easy one to make, but an experienced attorney working on your behalf makes all the difference.
The lead attorney at The Bardine Law Firm, Johnny Bardine, makes it his mission to simplify the divorce process for all St. Petersburg and Pinellas County residents seeking his help. Contact us today at (727) 605-7078 or through our website to learn more about how easy the divorce process can truly be.