Tampa, Florida

Frequently Asked Questions

FLORIDA FAMILY FAQ

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about a family law issue? Below, we've touched briefly on a variety of issues such as divorce, children, firm information, and property division. These are some of the most common questions we receive, but not a comprehensive list, so if you still have questions, please call and we will be happy to give you the answers you need.

DIVORCE

  • CAN I GET A DIVORCE WITHOUT RETAINING AN ATTORNEY?

    Yes, you absolutely can go about getting a divorce on your own. However, Florida divorce law can be very confusing, and even if you just want a quick, uncontested divorce, you still have to be able to skillfully navigate the Florida legal system. Our Tampa divorce attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks offer a special service to people who are interested in obtaining a fast, amicable divorce.Flat Fee Divorce is easy and inexpensive, and our board-certified attorneys have the experience and familiarity with the system to help you through the process as quickly as possible.
  • WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE?

    Collaborative law is a relatively new way of handling divorces in the United States. Developed in the early 90's, collaborative divorce is a completely different way of approaching marriage dissolution. Each party retains his or her own attorney, but this system is done completely outside of the courtroom. The mindset of this type of divorce is totally toward cooperating and reaching an amicable agreement in all aspects of your divorce, including child support, alimony, child custody, property division and other issues. Our collaborative divorce attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks are very experienced in this type of law and are among the relatively few lawyers who practice it in Florida. Founding partner Stann Givens is a member of the Collaborative Divorce Lawyers of Tampa Bay and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
  • WHAT IS ALIMONY?

    Alimony is generally defined as the support paid to the dependent spouse that continues after the marriage has been dissolved. Alimony is also referred to as spousal support or maintenance. There are several types of alimony in Florida, and depending upon the circumstances of your divorce, you may be eligible to receive alimony or you may be required to support your ex-spouse. If you have questions about what types of alimony you can expect after your divorce, you can always speak with an alimony attorney at Givens Givens Sparks.

CHILDREN

  • WHAT TYPES OF PATERNITY TESTS ARE AVAILABLE TO ME?

    The most accurate way to determine paternity is through a blood test. There are two different types of blood tests that are generally used in Florida paternity cases. The first type of test is the Human - if this blood test indicates that the person being tested has an over 95% chance of being the biological father, then the court will assume that the man is the father unless someone comes forth to contest the results with proof that states otherwise. The other type of test used is a DNA test that compares the genetic code of the child with those of the mother and the father in question.
  • HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO SET ASIDE FOR SUPPORTING MY CHILD?

    The state of Florida uses a child support calculator based upon your monthly income and the number of children. That calculator is used often to find a general starting point and does not necessarily indicate the amount that you will have to pay. Depending on the circumstances, amount of time you spend with the child and other factors, the amount might be more or less. However, each situation is unique and once you meet with one of our attorneys, you will have a much better idea of what you can expect.
  • I HAVE SHARED CUSTODY WITH MY CHILDREN, BUT I WANT TO MOVE TO ANOTHER STATE. WHAT DO I DO?

    If you are going to move with your child or children more than 50 miles away from your primary residence, you must get a written agreement from the other parent. You also have should obtain a court order allowing the relocation. We can help you through the process of obtaining either written agreement or a court order. Our family law attorneys are very familiar with the Florida statutes surrounding situations like these, and we can effectively guide you through the process.

FIRM INFORMATION

  • DO YOU OFFER ANY CLASSES OR 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.
  • HOW IS YOUR FIRM QUALIFIED TO HANDLE MY CASE?

    Givens Givens Sparks is perhaps one of the most qualified family law firms in Tampa. Our attorneys have more than 135 years of collective experience and have received top legal ratings such as Best Law Firms, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and AV Preeminent™. Two of our attorneys are also Board Certified in Marital and Family Law by The Florida Bar.
  • IF I’VE ALREADY RETAINED AN ATTORNEY, CAN I ASK YOUR FIRM FOR A SECOND OPINION?

    Our firm is always happy to provide second opinions to individuals who may already have retained an attorney, but are unsure if they are getting the best deal. Contact us to learn more.

PROPERTY DIVISION

  • HOW IS PROPERTY DIVIDED IN DIVORCE?

    In Florida, property is divided by the equitable distribution principle. This means that separate property is kept separate, while marital (jointly held) property is divided equitably. This can mean equal or unequal division of assets for both parties.
  • WHAT IS MARITAL PROPERTY AND WHAT IS SEPARATE PROPERTY?

    Marital property is any property owned jointly by spouses. Separate property typically is property that a single spouse owned independently before marriage.
  • WHAT FACTORS DOES THE JUDGE CONSIDER WHEN DIVIDING ASSETS?

    In divorce cases that go to family law court, the judge will base their property division decision on a number of factors, including: the length of the marriage, what each party contributed to the marriage, total income and debts of both parties, and the physical/emotional health of both parties.

Contact a Tampa divorce & family law attorney at Givens Givens Sparks today to discuss your Florida family law case.

Testimonials

  • “I so appreciate all of the help I received.”

  • “Rob, thanks for the great, very professional job.”

  • “Really amazing during this difficult time.”

  • “Dear Rob, Kelly and Anita, I cannot express my gratitude enough to all of you for your hard work in reaching a successful outcome in my case. You made every step of this difficult process much more bearable through your attentiveness, timely communication ”

  • “Rob, thank you so much for helping with all of this and know that I hold you and your staff in the highest professional esteem. No matter what was thrown at us, you had an answer that countered. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and more importan”

  • “Stann, thank you doesn’t seem like enough. You are truly a master negotiator.”

  • “We are glad that you were with us during this process.”

  • “Solid, tenacious, thorough, and reputable counsel.”

  • “Stann, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I appreciate the hard work by the attorneys in your firm.”

  • “We were able to leave with big smiles - all because of you!”

  • “Stann, I just wanted to say thanks. I was very impressed by the entire Givens Givens Sparks team and process.”

  • “I am very appreciative of the work Rob and his team put out for my case. And as I already said, he knows his stuff for sure. Please extend my thanks again to the whole firm for all of their help no matter how small it may have been.”

  • “You Helped keep me calm and understand the legal side of matters.”

  • “Good job today, Rob – thanks for the help!”

  • “Your team is amazing!”

  • “Rob, Chris and Paula, just a note to personally thank each of you for your time, expertise, knowledge and guidance through this long, and at times grueling process. We truly appreciate your due diligence through this process and your experts were a pleasur”

  • “If ever in the future I need any legal advice I will not hesitate to contact you.”

  • “Thank you for taking the time and spending long days and nights dealing with my case.”

  • “I just want to take a minute to tell you how amazing you are at your job!”

  • “Rob, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all of the time, effort and hard work you put into my case! Without your assistance and support, I would not be where I am now.”

  • “I am truly grateful for your efforts.”

  • “I will look to your firm in the future for any other assistance.”

  • “You are of the highest caliber.”

  • “Only you made the difference in our situation.”

  • “I have never experienced as great service as your team has provided me.”

  • “Very friendly and down to earth – they are real people.”

  • “Rob, thank you again for your counsel and care over the past few months. It has been a pleasure working with you. Please extend my appreciation to Paula and Arely as well for their work and process expedition.”

  • “You stepped up to serve the interest of our client seamlessly.”

  • “I could not have been more pleased with the work that Chris did for me.”

  • “Robert, I would not have expected anyone less, of your expertise, from my chosen lawyer! You have been both extremely competent and personable throughout your part of these proceedings, and I don’t believe anyone could have done a better job!”

  • “GREAT communication!”

  • “Diligent communications and follow-ups.”

  • “Beyond thorough and true to your original timeline.”

  • “Stann, Esther and staff, thank you so much for handling my divorce. I really appreciate your hard work and dedication.”

  • “Kelly and Tiffany, thank you both so much for all of the wonderful work you did for me in handling my divorce. I had feared it was going to be a stressful experience despite the overall situation and it was far from it.”

  • “They have always been accessible and courteous in meeting our needs.”

  • “Givens Givens Sparks will be my first thought if anyone ever asks about a referral to an attorney. Chris Givens and Peggy were not only very professional, but also friendly and helpful, and I truly believe they cared about my case.”

  • “I was very happy with the attention given to me by Chris Givens and his paralegal Peggy. They were very professional and at the same time made me feel comfortable and welcome. I will definitely refer.”

  • “I read your article on never badmouth your child's parent. Kudos!”

  • “I'm not sure I could have made it through the past 18 months without you guys.”

  • “So professional and caring!”

  • “Robert Sparks and his personal injury team fought with great effort to get the most out of my case. I appreciate all of your hard work guys, keep it up!”

  • “The legal team demonstrated experience explaining every step of my case. I was very satisfied with my settlement and will I seek their services for all my legal needs in the future.”

  • “I have worked with attorneys my entire professional career. My experience with Givens Givens Sparks was the best, by far, of any previous experience! Stann did a great job of guiding me thru the process, and more importantly, helping me keep my emotions i”

  • “My Givens Givens Sparks attorney stayed with me and fought for me.”

  • “Mrs. Garcia Is very professional and extremely helpful and organized.”

  • “The team at Givens Givens Sparks was very caring and kept us up to date on the claim.”

  • “Mr. Codling made my legal process easy.”

  • “All communication has always been timely and in a professional manner. Very thankful for the Givens Givens Sparks legal team in a stressful situation.”

  • “The personal attention given to the needs of our family's case has always been timely, professional, and accurate. I have gratitude for each person in the firm, but especially Mr. Sparks and Paula Bland.”

  • “The entire firm extended a personal interest in my case from the beginning to the end. My attorney, Chris Givens, created not only this interest but a personal relationship as a genuine friend not only during the course of my case but still continues prese”

  • “Communication was a strong point. When I had a question, an answer was provided in a timely manner.”

  • “Did exactly what they said. Period.”

  • “We really like Kelly. She's really quick on her feet and able to think outside the box, in terms of getting favorable solutions to our unorthodox situation. Tiffany is very helpful too, working with us as a team. My husband and I appreciate them both.”

  • “Stann Givens, Lindsay A. Moczynski and Arely Quiles, Paralegal/ Client Care Manager all were very helpful and professional. Great team, great job. Thanks, Stann!”

  • “Frequent contact, never left in the dark and wondering what was next. Thanks to Paula.”

  • “Kept in touch, always available, quick turnaround and very professional and courteous.”

  • “Very professional, polite and always respectful. I felt your team had my best interests at heart and that you tried wherever possible to keep costs to a minimum.”

  • “I am forever humbly grateful for their honesty, integrity, and diligence.”

  • “I do wish I would have retained earlier so as to avoid a lot of unnecessary stress.”

  • “Victoria Cruz-Garcia has been the best throughout both of my cases.”

  • “Rob Sparks is a great attorney, and even better person. Paula Bland is as good as it gets.”

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Family Law Practice Areas

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