Filing for Divorce in Polk County?
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Choosing to end your marriage is no easy decision, but it is often the right decision for everyone involved. However, the divorce process can become emotionally charged and overwhelming. If you are ready to file for divorce, you need to speak with a caring and hard-hitting Bartow divorce lawyer such as myself.
I, Melissa A. Wilson, have been guiding countless couples through divorce for more than 20 years. Should you choose to hire me as your legal advocate to help you with your divorce, you can be confident that I will be the strong voice of reason you need to help you make smart and level-headed decisions.
I can help you file for the following kinds of divorces:
- Contested Divorce - Couples cannot come to an amicable agreement on how to handle their divorce through mediations. These divorces need to be settled in family law court. Contested divorces tend to be emotionally draining, lengthy, and costly.
- Uncontested Divorce - Couples can come to an amicable agreement about all major divorce matters. Their divorce can usually be settled through mediation, which is a cost-effective alternative to traditional divorce proceedings.
Filing for a same-sex divorce in Bartow, Lakeland, or surrounding areas of Polk County? I can recommend the strongest course of action. Call (863) 644-5566.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?
In order to file for divorce in Florida, you must first meet a residency requirement. The requirement states that you or your spouse must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months before you can file.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you do not need to provide grounds for filing for divorce. Instead, you only need to testify that your marriage is irretrievably broken. With this type of divorce, you don’t need to prove that your spouse is at fault for the breakdown of your marriage.
A simplified divorce is an option for spouses that have minimal assets and don’t have children. This streamlined divorce allows for less time in court negotiations and less paperwork. The stipulations for a simplified divorce are:
- No children under the age of 18 (adopted or biological)
- The wife cannot be pregnant
- One or both parties have lived in Florida for 6 months or more
- Both parties have agreed on asset and debt division
- Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken
how to file for divorce in florida
Filing for divorce in Florida involves several steps and requirements. Here is a general guide to help you understand the process:
- Residency Requirements: Before filing for divorce in Florida, either you or your spouse must meet the state's residency requirements. At least one of you must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months before filing the petition.
- Grounds for Divorce: Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you don't need to prove fault or wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. The only ground for divorce in Florida is that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
- Prepare the Petition: The divorce process begins with filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This legal document outlines the details of your marriage, including property division, alimony, child custody, and child support if applicable. You can obtain the forms from the Florida State Courts website or your county courthouse.
- Serve the Petition: After preparing the petition, you must serve it to your spouse. This involves delivering the documents to them through an authorized method, such as using a process server or a sheriff's deputy.
- Response from Spouse: Once served, your spouse has 20 days to respond to the petition. They can either agree or disagree with the terms laid out in the petition. If they disagree, the divorce may become contested, leading to further legal proceedings.
- Financial Disclosure: Both parties are required to disclose their financial information, including assets, debts, income, and expenses, within 45 days of serving the petition. This helps ensure equitable distribution of marital property.
- Negotiate and Mediate: If there are disagreements between you and your spouse, negotiation and mediation are often used to reach an agreement on issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody. If successful, a Marital Settlement Agreement is drafted and submitted to the court.
- Finalizing the Divorce: Once all issues are resolved, the court will review the agreement and, if it meets the legal requirements, issue a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. This finalizes the divorce, and both parties are legally divorced.
Navigating the divorce process in Florida can be complex, so it's crucial to consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the proceedings.
Ever Argue With a Woman? ™ Protect Your Rights with My Help.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, I am always aggressive and determined to obtain the most favorable case outcome for my clients. I am relentless when it comes to safeguarding the rights of the individuals I represent, both inside and outside of the courtroom. My strong litigation skills and diligent approach has secured numerous successful outcomes for many of my past clients.
As your personal legal advocate, my mission is to lighten your load as much as possible so you can focus on spending time with your loved ones and on healing. To do this, I offer after-hour and emergency services for those who need to talk with me outside of normal business hours. I can also help you with other divorce-related matters such as child support, child custody, and division of marital property.
Get answers to divorce-related questions on my Frequently Asked Questions page.
Call a Polk County Divorce Attorney with 20+ Years of Proven Results
My firm has an established reputation for providing high-quality legal representation. You don't have to face the future without any legal guidance. I am here to help you get past this life-changing moment. We offer services in English and Spanish.
Please call me at (863) 644-5566 to discuss the details of your divorce, in person or over the phone, during a free case evaluation.
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I couldn't have asked for more!
I just want to publicly show my gratitude to Ms. Salvia and the rest of the team that worked on my recent case. I really felt I was represented well by Ms. Salvia and she took the lead in making strong points for my case. She was able to properly vocalize what I needed and look out for things that I didn't even consider. She is very experienced. I couldn't have asked for more. Thank you so much for help and professionalism.- Dalena T.
Martha and the rest of the team constantly kept me in the loop of all that was occurring
There was never a time that I was alone in my divorce process. The staff/team was in contact communication with me. Any questions, concerns or issues I may have had, they were front and center ready to help me through the process and educate me on what the next steps were. Divorce in and of itself is a very emotional, trying and frustrating process. Martha and the rest of the team constantly kept me in the loop of all that was occurring, what was needed, any changes that were coming and how to properly handle them. Thank you so much for making a stressful and life changing event, easier to navigate.- Michelle Acevedo
Honesty, integrity and a fighter!
I don't typically write reviews however, in this "case" it is warranted. Having gone through a protracted and tumultuous divorce lasting almost five years would leave any living and breathing human hating lawyers even their own. well, I must say I am left with a gratitude for all the hard work, patience and guidance given me throughout my process. I would recommend Melissa Wilson to anyone that is looking for Honesty, integrity and a fighter where it counts... CASE CLOSED!!!! and so is mine. cant forget Martha her assistant, taking my calls always and listening to me vent. Thank you all in that office Sincerely Niko- Former Client