Divorce Attorneys in Lakeland & Sebring
Compassionate counsel for dissolving your marriage while protecting your rights
Divorce can be an emotional and trying time for all involved. A relationship is ending, and sometimes one or both parties may take inappropriate actions fueled by anger or sadness. Even if your split is not contentious, it is crucial that you find a divorce lawyer who has experience and is someone you can trust. At Sessums Law Group, P.A., our Lakeland and Sebring divorce lawyers represent your wants and needs, and fight to make sure you receive whatever you are entitled to.
Requirements for a divorce in Florida
Filing for divorce in Florida is rather simple. The parties must be legally married and at least one spouse has to have resided in Florida for at least months before the filing. Most divorce petitioners assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The alternate ground for divorce in Florida is the mentally incapacity of one of the spouses.
Types of divorce in Florida: simplified, uncontested and contested
Once you have decided to get divorced, you should see an attorney to discuss the process that best fits your needs. If you have no minor children (and the wife is not currently pregnant), a simplified divorce could be your best option. To qualify, you must also:
- Have reached a settlement of your assets and debts
- Agree to forego alimony
- Agree that you don’t require any financial disclosure beyond what’s in the financial affidavits
- Give up your right to trial and appeal
Both spouses must sign the petition and attend the final hearing.
If you don’t meet these criteria, you should file a regular petition for dissolution of marriage to pursue an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce. The difference is that with an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse work out a marital settlement and present that agreement to the court for approval, avoiding a potentially costly, time-consuming trial. If you cannot reach a settlement, any unresolved issues must go before the court, and the divorce is considered contested.
Do I need to prove my spouse is at fault?
Florida is a no-fault state for divorce, so you do not have to cite or prove marital misconduct. However, if one spouse has committed adultery, that behavior could affect custody, alimony and child support decisions.
How long does a divorce take?
Florida has no waiting period, so if you file a simplified divorce or submit a marital settlement for an uncontested divorce, your divorce can be finalized within a couple of months. If your estate is complex, and you have serious disagreements about child custody or other issues, your divorce may take significantly longer.
If I cannot find my spouse, can I still get a divorce?
The law allows you to use “constructive service,” such as publication in a qualified newspaper once a week for several weeks, to try to locate your spouse.
What if my spouse is violent or harasses me?
You should request an order of protection from the court, which can remove your spouse from the home and prohibit contact with you.
Finding the right divorce attorney in Lakeland & Sebring
What qualities should you look for in a Lakeland or Sebring divorce attorney? Perhaps most important is finding a lawyer who has experience in the areas that most closely fit your needs. Our firm handles the following matters:
- Child custody — Our attorneys take the necessary steps to secure temporary custody during the divorce proceedings and to fight for your long-term custody rights.
- Temporary support or payment of debts — If you are a dependent spouse, our attorneys assert your right to support during divorce proceedings.
- Division of marital assets — Our skilled lawyers will work tirelessly to obtain a fair settlement or court order that protects your property rights.
- Alimony — Often, one party is entitled to financial support for a certain period following the divorce. We represent clients seeking or opposing alimony.
- Child support — Children are entitled to support from both parents. Our attorneys work toward fair awards of support to ensure your children’s welfare.
- Modification to orders — If a court decision proves unworkable, our attorneys can help you petition the court for modification and reconsideration of custody and support orders.
For these and other issues related to divorce, trust the experienced professionals at Sessums Law Group.
Our Sebring & Lakeland divorce attorneys are here for you
The experienced Lakeland and Sebring divorce lawyers at Sessums Law Group, P.A. know Florida family and divorce laws and can help you with any of your concerns, including legal separation. If you have any questions or wish to enlist our services, please call the Lakeland office at 877-826-5630, the Sebring office at 863-658-4796, or contact us online today.