Tampa, Florida


Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

Do I need an attorney to get a divorce?
Though it is not legally necessary to utilize the services of a lawyer if you are interested in dissolving your marriage, it is important to remember that you could greatly benefit from the experience and knowledge of a skilled Tampa divorce attorney at Givens Givens Sparks. The Florida legal system can be very confusing and difficult to navigate if you are at all unfamiliar with family law. You deserve to have the best possible legal help when you are going through a divorce so that you can ensure that your legal rights are protected.

How can an attorney help me?
There are many forms and documents it is necessary to collect and return within a certain amount of time. When you are working with an attorney, he will be able to help ensure that you meet all deadlines appropriately and he can also make sure that the forms are filled out correctly. In addition, if you have questions about how the process will work or what to expect from your divorce, your attorney will be able to give you a good estimate.

How much alimony will I be required to pay/will I receive?
When you meet with your lawyer at Givens Givens Sparks, he will be able to discuss in great detail your circumstances and the situation that you and your family are facing. Every divorce is different, just as every family is different. Though there is no hard and fast method of how you can figure out how much alimony you might pay or receive, your attorney could be able to give you a good estimate in addition to ensuring that your rights are upheld in the process.

What is a contested divorce?
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an accord in the many areas encompassed by your divorce, such as custody, alimony, child support and property division, your divorce is considered to be "contested." In these cases, it is in your best interest to speak with a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in the area of family law and divorce. At Givens Givens Sparks, the four family lawyers are very experienced and they are all either board-certified or supervised by a board-certified attorney.

What if I need to modify my divorce agreement?
Modification to custody or support agreements become necessary over the years as circumstances change, remarriages occur or children reach maturity. At Givens Givens Sparks, we are able to provide you with the legal counsel you need if you need to change your divorce arrangement.

Custody Questions

What is child custody?
Child custody is generally defined as the legal authority to make decisions about the child’s life and well-being as well as being responsible for the child’s developmental, financial, physical and emotional needs. There are several different types of custody that can be awarded after a divorce. The courts will look in to several different factors regarding both parents and the child or children involved to determine what the best custodial arrangement is.

What types of paternity tests are generally used?
The most accurate form of test that is used to determine paternity in a court of law is blood testing. Florida commonly uses two types of blood tests – the first is called the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) blood test. The second is a DNA test that compares the genetic code of the child to both the potential father as well as the mother.

I have primary custody of my children and I want to move to another state. What do I do?
There are laws in Florida that prohibit the primary custodial parent from moving the child’s residence farther than 50 miles away from the current location without obtaining a court order or written permission from the other parent. If you are interested in moving your child’s primary residence, it is in your best interests to speak with a Tampa relocation attorney. He or she can help you file the proper paperwork and assist you in the process.

I haven’t received child support from my children’s other parent. What can I do?
If your ex-spouse has broken your child support agreement, you have a legal right to inform the Florida court in order to get the financial support that you need to support your child. If the other parent of your child refuses to pay child support, he or she can be held in contempt of court which carries certain penalties with it, one of which is incarceration.

Do I need a lawyer if I want to change my custody agreement?
The Florida courts are often hesitant to change an established custody agreement – they want to make sure that the child or children have as much stability and consistency in their lives as possible. A Tampa modification of custody attorney can help you go through the process of changing your custody agreement. However, if you feel that your child is in immediate danger, it is very important that you speak with someone right away. An emergency modification of custody agreement can be effected in the case of abuse, abandonment, neglect or any other type of situation that puts the child at risk.

Domestic Violence Questions

What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence refers to the way that one family member will treat another in order to dominate, subjugate or punish the other person in order to keep the abusive person in power over the victim. The abuser can use many different tactics such as embarrassment, humiliation, fear, intimidation, economic constraints and various types of abuse such as physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and psychological abuse.

What is a domestic violence injunction?
Also known as a restraining order or an order of protection, a domestic violence injunction is a court order in the state of Florida demanding that a person discontinue any threats, harm, harassment or other abuse against another person or people. This type of court order can be permanent or it can be on a temporary basis, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Can I get a restraining order without an attorney?
You absolutely can go about getting a restraining order (also called order of protection or domestic violence injunction) without the help of a lawyer. However, in most cases it is extremely important to get the abusive family member away from his or her victims as soon as possible. If you are unfamiliar with the Florida legal system, precious time could be added to the whole process. A skilled Tampa restraining order lawyer can help you through the process in an expedient manner.

How do I know if I am being abused?
This is a very important question to ask yourself, because many people suffer through years of abuse before realizing that the type of situation that they are in is unnecessary and uncalled for. If your spouse or family member is constantly belittling you, humiliating you or otherwise intimidating you in private or in front of other family members, that can qualify as abuse. If you live in a state of fear or intimidation because of the actions of your partner, you should speak with a Tampa domestic violence attorney as soon as possible in order to determine the best course of action.

My child is being abused and I want to get a restraining order. What should I do?
You need to act fast if your child is being abused in any way. You can obtain a restraining order (also called an order of protection or domestic violence injunction) on your own, but when expediency is vital, you need to speak with a qualified Tampa restraining order attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can take you through the process swiftly and successfully to help get your child out of the abusive situation as soon as possible.

Do you offer any free services to your clients?
We do offer a service to each client who is interested – you can sign up for a free meeting with a mental health professional or with a financial planner. Speak to your attorney about when the next class is being held, and we will get you set up to attend. Our greatest goal is for you to be happy, healthy and successful. That’s why we have arranged to deliver this free service to every client of ours who desires it.

Get In Touch

At Givens Givens Sparks, your family is our family. As such, we promise to fight for each client and voraciously protect their best interests. Facing a family law issue? Get in touch with us to learn how we can help!

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