divorce mediationIn divorce cases, it is common for the law in many states to order that a couple must go through mediation before continuing with divorce proceedings. In the state of Florida, this is a mandatory step to be completed before a judge finalizes a divorce. Mediation is required to give the couple a chance to make decisions on assets, child support, and alimony before the court has this authority and will decide for them. During mediation, Tampa divorce lawyers can assist you with communicating your wishes to your ex-partner so that the agreement reflects your preferences. Attorneys at a family law firm in Tampa can give a detailed explanation of how mediation is supposed to work and what the expected outcome is. The Law Office of Amber Boles is well-versed in assisting clients with preparing for mediation.

Choosing A Mediator
After a preliminary review of a divorce case, a judge will determine that the couple must first go through mediation. At that time, the couple is allotted roughly 2 weeks to find a mediator and have mediation occur. The mediator that is chosen must be one certified by the Florida Supreme Court. A list is available with the Florida Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Center.

What Is Mediation Like?
At the mediation, both parties will be able to state their wishes related to alimony, child support, child custody, and marital asset division. At this time, Tampa divorce lawyers can be present to provide guidance on what you can legally ask for and to express what you’d be willing to give. An attorney’s presence also shows that you are strong in your stance in this matter.

Given that mediation is mandatory in the state of Florida, it is best to work with a family law firm in Tampa. Contact the Law Office of Amber Boles for more information.

what to expect in divorce mediationIt’s always good to explore your options during a divorce. If you’re getting divorced in Florida and can’t come to an agreement with your spouse, you may not have to go to court. In fact, there are still a few different collaborative solutions that might be available to you. The most common of these solutions is mediation, a type of alternative dispute resolution that prioritizes compromise. The Law Office of Amber Boles, a divorce law firm in Tampa, recommends that you know what to expect before you work with Tampa Florida divorce mediators.

Divorce mediation is a process that works parallel to the courts, but it doesn’t work quite like the court system. Instead of an adversarial process, the process of going through mediation is highly collaborative. The parties involved will be yourself and your lawyer, your former spouse and their lawyer, and the mediator upon which the two of you agree to work. You will work together with this mediator to come to a consensus on matters concerning your divorce in order to finalize the agreement without further dragging out the process.

It’s important to know that Tampa Florida divorce mediators work as neutral third parties. They allow you to come to solutions to your problems that might not be possible in court, but that might make sense for both of your lives. Because the goal here is consensus, there’s no real winner – just two parties who theoretically walk away with what they need. Though the agreement you come to here is binding, you don’t have to agree to anything. If you feel like mediation isn’t working, you can walk away.

Mediation is a great tool for some former couples. If you think it would work for you, it’s important to explore the idea with your attorney. If you are ready to start considering your next move, make sure to contact the Law Office of Amber Boles, a divorce law firm in Tampa.

divorce mediationMediation in a divorce case can be an efficient and cost-effective way to resolve a case. Mediation can assist in addressing certain issues within a divorce and even the entire case in some situations. If you are going through a divorce and wish to pursue mediation, then it is important to have a mediator who is experienced and understands divorce law. Divorce mediators in Tampa Florida from the Law Office of Amber Boles can assist with mediation.

What are the advantages of divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that has several advantages. Some advantages that divorce mediation may provide include:

When a case is successfully mediated, the parties can move on and be relieved from much of the stress associated with a divorce. Mediation can typically be arranged much sooner than a trial. Mediation allows both parties to participate and have greater control over how the various issues are resolved.

How can divorce mediators in Tampa Florida in help?
Tampa divorce lawyers are experienced with the divorce process and laws. Because of this experience, we can help the parties reach a settlement by providing an outside perspective on various issues. Our training in mediation can assist parties in reaching common ground and compromising on certain issues.

The Tampa divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Amber Boles have successfully mediated many divorce cases. If you are going through a divorce and see the benefits and advantages of mediation, then contact us today.

no fault divorceIf you live in Florida and want to get a divorce, it’s important to know that you live in a no-fault state. This means you can file for divorce without having to state any specific reason why you want to end your marriage. It’s important to know the requirements for a no-fault divorce if you are considering this route.

Generally speaking, the only requirement necessary on the part of the spouse who wants to end the marriage is to assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that there are irreconcilable differences between them and their spouse. As a result, the divorce court does not have to look into evidence to determine which spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage and the subsequent divorce request. Additionally, both parties can also forego having to speak of various, highly emotional issues in court.

After a person has decided they no longer want to be married to their spouse, they must file a petition for dissolution with their local circuit court. The divorce petition must state that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that there are irreconcilable differences between the spouses. The person who is filing must also include exactly what they want from the court.

The other spouse is then served the petition and is required to respond to it within 20 days. They are required to address any and all of the issues mentioned in the petition and those that they want to answer. In some cases, there may be a dispute by the spouse who is served, but often, both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and agree to the divorce.

It’s also important to know there are two processes for divorce in Florida: regular or simplified divorce. While a regular divorce must through a trial and include standard court procedures, evidence and discovery, a simplified one merely requires the spouses to complete a form. However, simplified divorces require that the wife is not pregnant and there are no dependent children within the marriage. The parties must also agree on the division of property, payment of debts and to skip alimony.

If you are in Florida and looking to divorce your spouse, you need the Law Office of Amber Boles on your side. The family law firm in Tampa Florida will ensure your rights are protected as you consult with Tampa FL no-fault divorce lawyers. Contact family law firm in Tampa Florida the Law Office of Amber Boles immediately to discuss your situation with Tampa FL no-fault divorce lawyers.

A Simplified Step by Step Walkthrough

 

A Simplified Step by Step WalkthroughIf you are considering filing for a divorce from your spouse you may wonder what is involved in the process. Every person enters into it with their own predisposed perceptions based on acquaintances experiences and interpretive commentary. More often than not these are not correct or only specific elements would be applicable in their divorce. Hopefully the following dialogue and chart will enlighten you to the procedure. Additionally you will find general explanations about some of the high points that are encountered during the process. Remember this is a simplified description and does not capture the nuances that may occur. Also the timelines referred to are ideal in nature and may not actually take place as indicated.

You begin with a “Petition” which is simply a legal document that starts a divorce case. It contains things you ask for in the divorce, for example, child support, equitable distribution of assets, alimony, etc. The Petition is filed by the person who starts the case. In a divorce case, it does not matter which person starts the case. This is because the only grounds for divorce in Florida as a practical matter are that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”, meaning it cannot be fixed. The “Counter-Petition” is filed by the other party, after the Petition is filed.

The “Discovery” is the list of items which are required to be produced by each party in a divorce case, as pursuant to the Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure, Rule 12.285. The items mandated include things like three years tax returns, three months bank statements, three months credit card statements, deeds to real property, three months pay stubs, one year of brokerage statements, or insurance documentation, etc. Discovery is MANDATORY, unless both parties agree to waive this requirement. In any event, financial affidavits CANNOT be waived. You will need to do the best you can in working on and completing the financial affidavit and gathering the discovery documents. The sooner you get this completed the sooner it can be filed with the court.

It is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that the financial affidavit and discovery is filed on time. If it isn’t done, you can be formally compelled to do so by the court or end up paying attorneys fees, sanctions and costs as a result of not filing the discovery on time. Perhaps most importantly, you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT obtain any financial relief for you, meaning child support, alimony, or attorney’s fees, without financial affidavits. Also, settlement agreements should never be entered into without financial affidavits being filed first. Further, failure to file financial affidavits and discovery will cause the case to be delayed. Delaying the case costs you more attorney’s fees, costs, emotional heartache, and further means that the case will likely be over the time standards. Generally speaking most divorce cases should be completed within six months.

At some point during the process both parties must meet with a mediator and to try and come to some agreement on all contested issues. A final judgment cannot be entered, or a final hearing will not be scheduled until some attempt has been made at mediation. The mediator must remain as a neutral party. If any agreement is entered into it must come from you or your spouse. If you and your spouse do not reach an agreement, nothing said during mediation counts. If you do reach an agreement, that agreement is typically written up there and signed by both parties.

“Depositions” are an important part of preparation of your case. Depositions are for the purpose of discovery and for preparation for trial. A deposition is nothing other than testimony of a party or witness or other person, taken under oath.   The person whose deposition is being taking is sworn to tell the truth. The testimony is taken by the court reporter, and is recorded. It is important in preparation for trial. Depositions can be taken of witnesses, parties, and of other persons.

“Trials” are a last resort. Divorce trials are in front of the Judge. It is called a bench trial. It is not in front of the jury. Preparation for trial is a complex process. It is very expensive. It takes a great amount of time, and attorney’s fees and costs. You generally need experts to give appraisals on all the assets. The appraisals can cost several hundred dollars per appraisal. You generally have to prepare experts. You also have to spend hours and hours preparing our client for trial. Witnesses have to be interviewed. Many trials take several days to try. Cases can take tens of the thousands of dollars to go to trial. It is much better to settle the case. Occasionally, however, cases simply have to be tried.

As indicated, cases are supposed to take six months in terms of start to finish. We have provided this map to you to give you an idea of the steps along the way. Please get an idea in your mind at each step along the way. It will help you greatly in seeing the “forest for the trees” during the divorce case. I want to stress that a divorce is a process. It is a means to an end, that is, the termination of a marriage, that while, extremely unfortunate, is sometimes necessary. Our job is to try to do everything possible to minimize the pain, anguish, cost, expense, and trauma of the divorce itself – which is in many ways like the death a loved one and involves many of the same stages of grief – and at the same time to get you the absolute best results possible.

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