The decision to end a marriage is not taken lightly, as the stakes are high. Choosing a divorce lawyer can be a daunting task, knowing their experience and dedication in family law affects the future for you and your family. When seeking a divorce lawyer, it is best to take your time and research your options. Hire the one who custom tailors an approach that best aligns with your goals.
Critical Concerns in Divorce
Some of the significant decisions in a divorce proceeding are how to divide a couple’s assets and liabilities and whether or not one spouse will pay child support or alimony to the other. In addition, there is a parenting plan to consider, including custody and visitation issues for a couple’s children.
There are contested and uncontested divorces. A contested divorce is generally contentious, as the couple cannot agree on one or more issues. An uncontested divorce occurs when the couple has already agreed on all financial and parenting issues. What begins as an uncontested divorce often evolves into a contested one due to negotiating highly-charged, emotional issues in a divorce decree.
Division of Assets and Liabilities
Equitable distribution is based on various factors, including the length of the marriage, income and earning potential, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, and whether there are minor children. A judge considers whether a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement was executed. They also consider the value of any assets acquired during the marriage, such as a home or retirement account.
Alimony payments are determined by the court and are need-based. Taken into consideration is the length of the marriage, the income and earning potential of the spouses, their contributions to the marriage, and whether the couple has minor children. Common types of alimony in Florida are bridge-the-gap, durational, and permanent alimony. Keep in mind that a modification or termination of alimony may occur under certain circumstances.
Child Custody and Support
Child support is intended to cover the everyday expenses of raising a child. The payments are based on multiple factors, including the parents’ income and the number of overnight visits with each parent. When a divorcing couple has minor children, the court will typically award timesharing for both parents, each having specific responsibilities for the child’s care. Modifications of child support payments are granted for a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income or a remarriage with children.
When a divorce proceeding has a high level of tension and anger between the parties, a civil action can cross the line into criminal law. These conflicts often occur when there are significant assets, marital misconduct, domestic violence, or mental illness of one or both parties. When searching for a divorce attorney in these cases, hiring one with experience in family law and criminal law matters is vital.
A criminal law attorney is familiar with petitioning the court for domestic violence injunctions and can defend their client if there are unfounded abuse allegations. In many adversarial divorce cases, falsely reporting domestic abuse against a spouse occurs to gain leverage against the other for child custody or revenge.
The Right Lawyer can Change the Course of Your Divorce
It is essential to find an attorney well suited to your case. Every situation and family dynamic is unique. Complex issues may arise, such as paternity actions, modifications of alimony, and parenting plans after a divorce is finalized. You should have confidence that your attorney can handle all of these issues efficiently, now and in the future.
Search My Lawyer Directory to Find the Right Attorney
My Lawyer Directory is an internet-based tool designed to help you begin your journey to rebuild your life. It can connect you with accredited attorneys in your location that offer the outstanding services you need. A knowledgeable and caring family law attorney can protect your best interests through every phase of your life. If you are thinking about a divorce or have been served papers by your spouse, search My Lawyer Directory and schedule an appointment with a top-rated lawyer that has genuine compassion for your situation and will fiercely protect your rights.