Lakeland Divorce Lawyer

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Fairway Law Group

Lakeland Divorce Attorney

Divorces are stressful situations that deal with intimate aspects of your life. Whether you’re worried about losing your life savings or access to your children, it can be easy to feel distraught. However, working with a Lakeland divorce lawyer can help ensure your rights and interests stay protected throughout the divorce process. If you are going through a divorce in Lakeland, do not wait to see how our attorneys can guide you.

Best Lakeland Divorce Lawyer

Choose Fairway Law Group for Divorce Representation

At Fairway Law Group, our adept team of family lawyers works tirelessly to protect the rights of Florida residents during divorces. We understand just how complex and emotional these types of cases can become, which is why we are prepared to offer compassionate advice and representation during each step of your divorce while fighting to ensure your interests are respected.

Lakeland Divorce Basics

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that a spouse does not have to give any sort of legal reason or justification as to why they need a divorce. Instead, the spouse filing can say the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning it cannot be fixed and a divorce is needed. This also allows one spouse to file for divorce even if the other does not agree.

To file for divorce in Lakeland, Florida, the petitioner must first prove that a valid marriage exists. Any marriage that is not valid may be subject to annulment but not divorce. For example, when someone is coerced or intoxicated on the day of marriage, they may be able to fight that the marriage was not valid in the first place. An annulment effectively means that the marriage never happened.

There is also a residency requirement for divorce in Florida. This means at least one party has to have lived in Florida for six months before petitioning for a divorce. While there is no requirement to prove fault when filing for divorce, certain aspects of the divorce process may be influenced by findings of abuse, neglect, or other harmful acts. To ensure your voice is heard and your rights are respected, retain a trusted family law attorney who can represent you today.

Petitioning for Divorce in Lakeland, Florida

Like other states, Florida’s divorce process begins when one party files a petition for dissolution of marriage. When one party initiates the divorce process, they are known as the petitioner. With the help of an attorney, the petitioner files the appropriate paperwork with the court that has jurisdiction over the case. The petitioner must then serve the other spouse, who is known as the respondent. The respondent then has a set period of time to reply to the set terms.

Some couples may qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage. To qualify for a simple divorce, spouses must have no children together, have minimal assets, and be able to agree on all aspects of their divorce. Both parties must work collaboratively to decide how to divide all marital assets and property.

Understanding the Discovery Process in a Florida Divorce

As the divorce case moves forward, both parties may ask the court for temporary orders setting child support, child custody, protective orders, and other areas affecting domestic relations. This can be done in the discovery period, which is a period of time that allows both spouses to collect and request information. Often in divorce cases, one party may attempt to hide assets from the other. The discovery process ensures that all necessary information is disclosed.

During a Florida divorce, both parties must file an affidavit disclosing:

  • Tax returns
  • Proof of income
  • Credit card statements
  • Bank account documents
  • Retirement account info
  • Other debt-related account statements

What Topics Must Be Addressed in a Florida Divorce?

There is a wide range of topics that must be addressed in any Florida divorce. You will need to provide documents such as tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, retirement account statements, mortgages, and any other records indicating income, debt, assets, or liabilities. Additionally, you’ll need to think about how you want your marital property split, if alimony is needed, how child custody will be set up, and more.

In Florida, if a couple can make agreements on all divorce terms outside of court, they can file for an uncontested divorce and skip litigation. However, many divorces are “contested,” meaning that spouses cannot agree on these decisions, and a judge must make the final ruling. The following topics must be addressed in your Florida divorce:

  • Property Division: In Florida, the principle of “equitable distribution” governs the division of marital property, ensuring a fair allocation between spouses, although not necessarily an equal one.
  • Alimony: Alimony isn’t always granted in a Florida divorce. Courts take into account factors like the duration of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse, and their respective contributions to the marriage. If a spouse wants alimony, they must request it from the court during their divorce.
  • Child Custody: In Florida, courts prioritize decisions that serve the child’s best interests. The state promotes shared parental responsibility and endeavors to facilitate regular and ongoing contact between the child and both parents. The court must make decisions regarding both legal and physical custody of children in a divorce.
  • Child Support: Child support may be ordered to ensure that the child has more access to resources in both homes. When one parent earns significantly more but spends less time child-rearing, they can balance the burden of parenting by paying child support payments.

How to Resolve a Divorce When Spouses Can’t Agree

If you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of your divorce on your own, there are still methods you can use to keep the case moving.

If your spouse refuses to make good-faith efforts to resolve disagreements, those acts could ultimately backfire. The courts emphasize the importance of working with the other side to make compromises that move the case forward. If the matter has to be settled by a judge, the party that made good-faith attempts to compromise may ultimately be viewed more favorably by the courts.

One option that can help spouses resolve disagreement is known as mediation. Both sides can work with a neutral third party who has training in conflict management. Any areas that both parties can agree on will help the case move closer to settlement. When one party refuses to come to an agreement, any outstanding issues will be resolved by a judge who will review the facts of the case and make a decision that is deemed to be fair to all parties involved.


Q: What Is the Average Cost of a Divorce Lawyer in Florida?

A: The cost of divorce ranges considerably in Florida and will be impacted by the unique circumstances of your case. Lawyers usually charge by the hour at preset rates. Additionally, many firms ask for an up-front retainer fee. Once the retainer is depleted, another lump sum payment will need to be made. To find out exactly what a lawyer charges, you should discuss your case, your needs, and your lawyer’s services during a consultation.

Q: How Much Is a Simple Divorce in Florida?

A: If both parties can agree on asset and debt division and have no children, they can seek a simplified dissolution of marriage, otherwise known as a simple divorce. If you are unsure whether you qualify for this type of divorce in Florida, you should speak to a family lawyer who can review your situation. Simple divorces tend to be considerably cheaper than contested divorces because they avoid litigation and constant court dates.

Q: Is a Divorce Cheaper When It’s Amicable?

A: When both spouses are willing to work together to resolve the issues before them during a divorce, that amicable relationship can greatly reduce the cost of divorce. When there are no children, and both parties agree on the division of assets and debt, they may petition for divorce through what is known as a simplified dissolution of marriage. If amicable spouses are unable to file for a simple divorce, they can still use methods like meditation to file for an uncontested one.

Q: What Is the Seven-Year Divorce Rule in Florida?

A: If one spouse asks for alimony, the judge will consider how long the marriage lasted. In Florida, marriages can be broken into short, moderate, and long-term. A marriage of seven years is considered a moderate-term marriage. The longer that someone was married and dependent on their spouse, the more likely it is that they have a lawful claim to alimony. Courts aim to make decisions that are fair and equitable, given the unique circumstances of each divorce case.

Schedule Your Lakeland Divorce Consultation Today

By working with an experienced family law attorney in Lakeland, you can navigate the divorce process with confidence. Allow our team at Fairway Law Group to be your legal compass. We have helped many clients resolve the complexities of difficult divorces.

Whether your case involves a high-net-worth estate division, child custody, or other domestic relations, our team is here to fight for your rights and work toward an optimal outcome. To schedule your initial divorce consultation, please contact our office today.


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