Family Law Divorce 

Okaloosa County Divorce Lawyers

Guiding You Through the Divorce Process. Serving Okaloosa County & Beyond.

Have you been served with divorce papers or have you decided to go your separate way from your spouse? You likely have a number of concerns on your mind, such as what will happen to your kids or how your assets will be divided. It is important to try to keep a cool head and not get into any arguments with your spouse that can be avoided. Any efforts to maintain a sense of amicability is beneficial and may prevent the need for litigation.

Is It Better to File for Divorce First in Florida?

Whether it is better to file for divorce first in Florida depends on several factors, including the specific circumstances of your case, your goals for the divorce, and your relationship with your spouse.

Here are some of the pros and cons of filing for divorce first in Florida:


  • You can start the process of moving on with your life sooner.
  • You can take control of the situation and set the divorce terms.
  • You can protect your assets and interests.
  • You can get a jump on child custody and visitation arrangements.


  • Your spouse may be angry or vindictive, which could make the divorce process more difficult.
  • You may have to pay your spouse alimony or child support.
  • You may have to sell your home or other assets.
  • You may have to deal with the emotional stress of divorce.

Ultimately, deciding whether to file for divorce first is a personal decision. There is no right or wrong answer; what is best for one person may not be best for another.

Speaking with our divorce attorney in Okaloosa County is crucial to understanding your options and getting help navigating the legal process.

Contested Divorce in Florida

Divorce can often be a contentious process when a couple can no longer agree on anything. Ending a marriage can often bring up feelings of resentment, rage, and grief, which prevents people from often making rational decisions. If one spouse is making the process difficult for the other, there is no other way to resolve the divorce than to go to court.

Not all divorces go through litigation. Litigation only becomes necessary when other alternative methods, such as mediation, have failed. For example, if a divorcing couple can’t agree on the following, they might need to go to court to resolve the issues:

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Relocation
  • Spousal support

Many of these issues can become spiteful tools that affect everyone involved in the divorce in the short- and long-term. Our attorneys can help you navigate this time and protect your interests.

Uncontested Divorce in Florida

Some couples mutually agree their marriage isn’t working anymore. While the situation may still be a source of sadness, it doesn’t have the same level of emotional volatility as many divorces do. When couples can agree on most important facts during a divorce, they might be able to file for an uncontested divorce, also known as a simplified dissolution of marriage.

To qualify for an uncontested divorce, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You and your spouse don’t have children under the age of 18
  • No spouse is pregnant
  • At least one spouse has lived in Florida for at least 6 months
  • You both can agree on division of property and debts
  • Neither of you is seeking alimony
  • Both of you agree the marriage is broken and want a simplified dissolution of marriage

To get an uncontested divorce, you will need to prepare a Petition for Simplified Dissolution and file it with the circuit court clerk’s office for the county where either you or your spouse lives. There will be filing fees for submitting the divorce petition. Make sure to put your property division agreement in writing; if you and your spouse prepare a written marital settlement agreement, make sure you both sign it and file it with your petition. You should also fill out a Final Judgment of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, which the judge will sign when your divorce is finalized.

Both you and your spouse will need to appear in court for a short hearing before you will be officially divorced. The judge will ensure you and your spouse have lived in Florida for at least 6 months, which you can prove with a driver’s license or a witness who can testify to your residency. The judge will also ensure you meet the requirements for this type of divorce and make sure all your paperwork is completed. If the judge is satisfied all paperwork is in order, he or she will sign your final judgment, and you will be officially divorced.

Providing Reliable Legal Advocacy

The sooner you retain the services of a divorce attorney, the better chance you have of a successful outcome. At Chesser & Barr, P.A., we have more than 35 years of legal experience and we truly care about each and every one of our clients. We understand how stressful a divorce can be and we want to be there for you as legal advocates to get you through this experience. You can rely on us to help guide you through the various complex and time-consuming steps involved in your divorce.

We handle a wide range of matters involved in the divorce process, such as:

Handling Complex Divorce Matters

When you hire our firm, we believe that your success is our success. We know that there are many different complexities involved in a divorce, and every couple faces unique challenges. Our legal team in Okaloosa County, FL handles every divorce case with the discretion and the respect it deserves.

We look forward to having the opportunity to assist you, and to provide you with valuable advice and guidance. Please do not hesitate to call our office at 850.610.7471 to set up a consultation with a skilled Okaloosa County divorce lawyer.


  • Our Promise

    We make sure you don't lose sleep- you have our permission to leave your worries at the door.

  • Our Delivery

    We represent clients in various levels of court and focus on obtaining a favorable outcome.

  • Our Execution

    We prepare every case thoroughly and diligently to ensure the most cost-conscious results.

  • Our Focus

    We help clients stay centered on practical solutions while offering superior legal representation.

  • Our Service

    We help people navigate difficult situations so they have a caring, diligent advocate.

  • Our Approach

    We approach problems reasonably and with a mindset of achieving an effective and efficient resolution.