Divorce Lawyer

Deciding to end a marriage is a difficult choice. Unfortunately, it's just the beginning of a series of difficult decisions for many people.

At the Sutton Law Firm in Lakeland, FL, divorce attorney Debra J. Sutton has handled family law cases for three decades.

Whether you seek a more peaceful resolution through mediation or need to proceed with litigation for a high asset divorce, we can help. Book a consultation today.

Why Choose the Sutton Law Firm  for Your Divorce Case?

When facing a crumbling relationship, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for assistance. Family law is unique because it involves someone who has been close to you, someone you have depended on throughout the years. Your selection of an attorney will influence your future, and the team at Sutton Law Firm understands the gravity of the situation before you. More than just another lawyer, when you choose our divorce attorney to represent you, you are hiring a family law specialist with qualifications that include:
Debra J. Sutton

Over 30 Years in Practice

Our founding partner and divorce lawyer, Debra J. Sutton, has assisted clients throughout Polk County with their legal needs since 1989. During the last three decades, the Sutton Law Firm has earned a reputation amongst other divorce attorneys in Bartow, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland for our tactful skill and professional approach to all types of family law matters.

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Compassionate Counsel

Each member of our caring team of family law specialists understands the difficult decisions that need to be made when seeking the help of a divorce attorney. During these troubling times, our attorneys will answer any questions you have along the way and provide you with the individualized attention and support you need to move forward towards this next chapter.

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Divorce lawyer Debra J. Sutton has been board-certified in marital and family law by the Florida Bar since 2001. She can assist all types of families with divorce, such as cases involving spousal support, child support, child custody, and high assets. To best suit your needs, our law firm offers traditional divorce services as well as collaborative divorces and divorce mediation.

Are You Ready to Begin a New Chapter? Schedule a Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer Today

The attorneys at Sutton Law Firm know the anxiety that a deteriorating relationship can have on a family. Many clients hesitate to take action out of fear of the unknown or out of concern for the well-being of their children. In reality, these fears are often misplaced as an unhealthy relationship has a bigger impact on younger family members than parents realize.

Other times, spouses in a controlled relationship may worry over the financial uncertainty presented by divorce. They may feel trapped and worried about their ability to succeed on their own. Our Lakeland-area divorce lawyer has helped clients through similar situations and can provide you with a plan of action that can resolve your problems in a safe and supportive manner.

The team at Sutton Law firm strives to provide clients in Bartow, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland with effective and timely legal services tailored to their individual situations. To learn more about how our attorneys can help you take the first steps towards a new life, fill out the form below and we will be in touch:

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"Helped me and my children through a very difficult case." 5-Star Reviews from Our Clients in Lakeland and Beyond


Mary Ann Snellings

Bartow, FL


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The Sutton Law Firm guided me in my divorce. I followed her counsel, just like a guidance planned system (GPS) from the beginning to the conclusion of my divorce. Thank you to the whole Sutton Law Firm including the office and legal staff!

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Anita Rodriguez

Bartow, FL


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I highly recommend Ms.Sutton to everyone. She has incredible knowledge and very professional. Her and her staff, the ladies at the office went above and beyond, listened to me and helped me and my children through a very difficult case. They are kind and caring human being. I am forever grateful to the Sutton Law firm.

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Our Lakeland Divorce Attorneys Can Help You

If you and your spouse are divorcing, you may feel as if your whole life is changing. Having our family law attorneys involved in your divorce can make the transition smoother. We can engage with your spouse's attorney on your behalf, negotiating things like the custody of a child and splitting assets.  

Attorneys Debra J. Sutton and Matthew J. Kovschak have helped many families in the Lakeland, FL, area successfully navigate through the divorce process. Our award-winning family law attorneys are ready to help you navigate through a difficult time in your life. Sutton Law Firm can help you with:

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Custody and Child Support

Disputes over custody and child support payments can add a great deal of stress to the divorce process. As an attorney who works in many aspects of family law, Ms. Sutton understands the numerous factors courts look for when it comes to granting custody and determining child support payments. We will advocate for an outcome that serves the best interests of you and your children.

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Protect You & Your Assets

Deciding how to divide property like land, a home, vehicles, and other assets can create a roadblock in the divorce proceedings. Our Lakeland attorneys can ensure your assets are divided in a manner that has your best interest in mind. If you have a family-owned business involved in the divorce proceedings, Mr. Kovschak's background in business law can help create a favorable outcome. 

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Planning Your Future

The decisions made during your divorce can determine your quality of life for years to come. Having the family law attorneys at Sutton Law Firm overlooking your separation from the beginning will greatly increase your chances of planning for a successful and happy future after your divorce is finalized. 

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Individualized Attention

At Our Comforting Offices

Divorce proceedings can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. All of our clients are treated with the utmost sensitivity and discretion. Your separation will be handled privately, and we carefully manage our schedules to preserve confidentiality. Appointments are always staggered at our family law offices in LakelandSt. Petersburg, and Bartow, FL, so two clients are rarely in the office at the same time and we can give you individualized attention. 

Ms. Sutton's firm handles amicable to hostile divorces, and everything that falls in between. She offers collaborative and mediated divorce services that can streamline important agreements like child custody, child support, alimony, and other important decisions. 

If you are involved in a divorce, you deserve attorneys who will work for your best interests. Request a consultation to meet at our law offices or call:

(863) 533-8912

We Thank Our Clients For Their Praise of Our Lakeland Attorneys 


Bryan Ski

Bartow, FL


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For 2 years I hit walls in my divorce and child custody untill 6 months ago when I found Debra Sutton. I can't began to tell you how much she has changed everything for me. I was on the verge of losing everything when I walked into her office and now she has not only gotten me back my children but more then then I expected. Not just Ms. Sutton, her entire team is amazing. She has staffed the entire office with amazing powerful women who while they never miss anything and they are not afraid of anyone, somehow they manage to do it with respect and pride. Ms. Sutton and her entire staff put my children before anything and I have never met an attorney do that, it's as if my children are one of their family members. Thank you so much to everyone at Sutton Law Firm for everything you did for me and my kids.

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Dawn Weikle

Bartow, FL


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For the first time in my life, I needed to hire an attorney and I highly recommend Debra Sutton and Sutton law firm. Sutton Law Firm came highly recommended to me, and I have not been disappointed. Debra is deeply knowledgeable of the collaborative law process. Debra and her staff have helped me through an exceedingly challenging time in my life. Barbie is not only competent but always has an answer or will find one for me promptly. She has been a great comfort to me as I wait for my meetings with Debra. The whole staff is always thoughtful and caring while I am in the office. I will use Sutton Law Firm in the future if I have need of legal services.

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Collaborative Divorce and Mediation Peaceful Alternatives to Contentious Litigation

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce offers a more conciliatory approach to legal separation and the resolution of marriage. Most people have a hard time imagining divorcing parties agreeing on anything. However, this approach to divorce or any family law matter is intended to remove the complexity and hostility that often surrounds the process.

In this setting, both parties agree to work out their differences, including issues of child custody and child support, outside of the courtroom. Parties are assisted by their attorneys and other professionals. The focus is on the good of the family as a whole, rather than on the individual. This approach allows us to consider the needs of everyone, particularly children, and develop solutions that are agreeable to all parties involved.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

During this process, each spouse retains a lawyer to represent them in the case. Our attorneys in Lakeland will then proceed with working out the details of the divorce in a fair and amicable manner by discussing each party’s concerns and addressing the following issues:

Valuation of Assets

A divorce lawyer needs to evaluate all marital assets and debts to determine a fair and equitable distribution; in many cases, we get input from an accountant or other forensic expert on the collaborative team.

Division of Assets

Our attorneys will determine how to allocate family income to meet the financial needs of all parties and children.

Child Sharing Arrangements

Our divorce lawyers will provide recommendations about child custody and support from child specialists.

Future Communication

During the collaborative divorce process, we foster present and future communication by coming to a favorable agreement for all parties.

The Cost-Saving Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Aside from the lawyers that represent both sides, the other professionals retained depend on the needs of the case. In divorce litigation, each party may hire a CPA; in the collaborative process, the spouses select a mutual financial professional with immediate cost savings for the family. The use of experts beyond the attorneys is voluntary but the idea in collaboration is, in part, to use varied expertise to do what is best for the family.

Debra Sutton and Matthew Kovschak

Contact Our Law Firm

Meet with a Lawyer for Legal Guidance

Having a qualified attorney by your side can ease the tension and lift the anxiety you feel about ending a marriage or litigating matters related to children. Debra Sutton has been board certified in Marital and Family Law since 2001 and board certified in Appellate Practice since 1997, handling family law matters before trial and appellate courts for 30 years. In fact, she is one of less than six percent of Florida attorneys who have achieved certification and less than one percent of attorneys who have earned Board Certification in family law.

We have three office locations around central Florida: in Bartow, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland. To schedule an appointment with a divorce lawyer, contact us online or call us at:

(863) 533-8912

More 5-Star Client Reviews From Bartow, Lakeland, and Neighboring Communities


Kevin Bracken


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I’ve known Debra Sutton for most of my life and can honestly say she has always went above and beyond no matter the task. She is super competitive and has an always win attitude. Debra is compassionate and cares deeply about people in general. You can rest assured that choosing her law firm is a solid choice that will provide you with the best possible outcome.

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michael kuehl


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This is the most professional attorney you could ever ask for If your needing assistance with any marital or family law issues also can help with business law as well she always ready to help with your law needs if she can help she will refer you in the best possible direction Guess this is why she has been in business for so long

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Divorce Mediation

Mediation can ease the hostility that often follows a divorce. It is an alternative to contentious and expensive litigation, which can result in an antagonistic and hostile relationship between parties. Divorce mediation is recommended in some cases as a more amicable alternative to traditional divorce.

During mediation, a neutral third party serves as the mediator between the separating spouses, providing guidance and helping to facilitate discussion to arrive on a settlement of contested issues. This may include division of assets and debts, child support, parenting plans, and what type of time sharing schedule works best for the child.

The Mediation Process

Discuss Your Needs with a Lawyer

In preparing clients for mediation, we want to learn more about your situation and understand who you are and what you want for your family. We work with you to clarify the most pressing issues and identify the ideal outcome. 

Negotiating the Best Outcome

From there, Ms. Sutton can guide negotiations during mediations to achieve the outcome that best meets your needs and concerns. Your lawyer should make sure that you understand the legal implications of any agreement you may reach.

Divorce Settlement

Any settlement in mediation is reduced to a written agreement and signed by both parties. Both parties are then expected to abide by the terms of the settlement, including property and asset division, child custody, child support, and alimony.

What If We Don't Reach a Settlement?

If a settlement is not reached, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you explored all options. Even if mediation is not successful at the time of the mediation conference, Ms. Sutton has been successful in settling disputes afterward and prior to trial. If not, we will be ready and prepared to go to trial to have a judge decide the final terms. Our lawyers in Lakeland will help build a strong case.


A 5-Star Review  From a Fellow Attorney

"I have known and worked with Debra Sutton since before she became the outstanding practitioner she has now been for over thirty years. I have referred many clients to her for matters within her specialities and she has provided each of them superb representation. She is not only one of the most capable, Board Certified, family law attorneys in the State, she is also a top rated, Board Certified, appellant lawyer, with an excellent reputation in numerous matters over several decades."

Contact a Lawyer for Help With Your Case

At the Sutton Law Firm in Bartow, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland, our lawyers and staff are sensitive to the legal requirements of each case, as well as the psychological impact it can have on former spouses and children. We also understand that these legal proceedings are uncharted waters for most people. Our divorce attorneys pride ourselves on our ability to promptly respond to clients' needs in an effective and timely manner, with information specific to their situation. We serve clients across central Florida. For help with your case, contact our divorce lawyers online or call us at:

(863) 533-8912

High Asset Divorce

A high asset divorce involves spouses who have accumulated substantial net worth. It can also include cases where an individual has substantial non-marital income and assets. This may be in the form of high income, substantial assets, substantial home and business equity, multiple properties, overseas assets, large insurance and retirement accounts, a trust, or valuable artwork.

As a result, there are often prenuptial agreements or payout provisions on certain types of accounts that require special attention. Some of the provisions of prenuptial agreements may have been modified or compromised during the marriage by conduct of one of the spouses. In addition, high net worth individuals face challenges not experienced by others; the rules, entities involved, and tax consequences are just a few. Our divorce lawyers can help you maximize your financial settlement.

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What Happens to My Business Assets  When I Go Through A Divorce? 

Attorney Matthew J. Kovschak explains how business owners can protect their assets before initiating the divorce process.

"Professional and effective in every action"

"Debra Sutton has been my attorney in family law matters for five years. She has been most professional and effective in every action... Her staff is also exceptional in their dedication to service. Ms. Sutton has been a blessing, going above and beyond, in her willingness to work with me on my bill. She genuinely cares about her clients, keeping their best interest at heart. I highly recommend her to serve your family law needs."
Debra J. Sutton

Sutton Law Firm

Debra J. Sutton is an attorney who is board-certified in both appellate practice and marital and family law by the Florida Bar. At the Sutton Law Firm, with offices in Bartow, Lakeland, and St. Petersburg, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Kovschak, and their team provide individualized, compassionate, and private legal services. Our popular practice areas include:

You can request a consultation with our board-certified attorney right now by filling out our online form or calling (863) 533-8912.

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