Headed for divorce in Miami, FL?
Ending a marriage is certainly difficult. It’s stressful and emotional, and all the while, you’re worried about your financial future and how your family’s life will look post-divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is much more difficult than just signing the papers. Before you reach that point, you need to agree on your divorce terms or convince a judge to rule in your favor. This process all happens at the same time as you are learning to deal with a new reality. One of the major ways that you can take care of yourself is by investing in an experienced Miami divorce lawyer who can make your life easier throughout your divorce and help you lay the groundwork for a better future.
Difficult Issues You Could Face in Marital and Family Law Matters
The dissolution of marriage in a case where spouses share finances – and possibly even children – cannot be done with just the stroke of a pen. Child custody needs to be established, child support payments need to be ordered, and marital assets need to be divided. One of the most complicated portions in family law proceedings is for both parties to agree on these types of divorce terms. There are several family law issues you may face when navigating the divorce process in Florida, and a divorce attorney can be a valuable resource during these moments.
Anticipating Future Needs
Negotiating those terms is complex due to each party having its own demands, but it’s also difficult to see into the future and decide what you might need post-divorce. You’ll have to anticipate your finances and the lifestyle your family wants in order to determine which divorce terms are the most important to you. Marital property division, child custody, and child support arrangements, as well as spousal support, are all things that should be considered in order to establish marital settlement agreements that will work for you and your family. What you agree to now will affect you in the future, and divorce lawyers can review your demands and suggest terms that you may not have thought of.
Challenging Divorce Negotiation Process
Without a divorce attorney, you may end up hurting yourself during the negotiation or divorce mediation process. If the other spouse has an attorney and you don’t, you’re vulnerable because they’ll have the upper hand in any settlement negotiations. Divorce lawyers can help you obtain fair terms that end the marriage reasonably for both parties.
Unpredictability of Divorce Court Hearings
If the couple can’t agree, a family law court may end up making the decisions for you, and when you get in front of a judge, anything can happen. Florida law gives quite a bit of discretion to judges, and family court cases can have unpredictable outcomes.
Once the court enters a divorce order, you must live with those terms. You do not get a second chance at dividing the marital estate. If you want to change the alimony, child support, or custody order, you must persuade the court that the circumstances have changed. That is not always easy to do. A court will often only allow modification to a divorce settlement if they are satisfied that either party’s financial circumstances changed after the existing order was issued. Only then will a court or administrative body that issued the order revise a child support or alimony order.
A family law attorney can help you make your case with the court for a post-judgment modification.
Florida Divorce Laws and How They Impact You
There are multiple statutes in Florida marital and family law to keep in mind when you are getting divorced.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets
When it comes to dividing the marital estate, Florida uses the law of equitable distribution. “Equitable” means that the property will be divided according to principles of fairness, as opposed to equality. The court will look at a number of factors when dividing marital property, such as which spouse earned the money, each parent’s child-rearing contributions, and the parties’ ability to make more money in the future. If the matter goes to the judge, they can apply any factor to reach a determination.
Establishing Child Custody
When it comes to child custody – or “parental responsibility” – Florida Family Law Courts will apply the best interests of the child in deciding any custody and placement matters. Again, this determination is flexible and can consider a number of factors. The guiding principle is that the court will put the interests of the children ahead of those of the parents. Different judges may reach different results depending on what factors they consider and how they view the best interests of the children. In Florida, the court prefers that both parents have parental responsibility and it promotes equal parenting time.
Uncontested Divorces Vs. Contested Divorce
Florida law requires a 20-day waiting period from the time that the divorce is filed until the court will grant the dissolution of marriage. However, the 20-day waiting period assumes that there are no disagreements on terms between the parties. When parties agree to all of the divorce terms without the need for the court to make any decisions, this is referred to as an “uncontested divorce.” If parties cannot agree on terms, they may have to go through the litigation process to have a judge settle their family law disputes. This can sometimes take months or even years.
Discretion of Family Law Judges
If your divorce ends up in court, you will need an experienced divorce attorney to state your case to the judge effectively. Like any human being, judges can be persuaded when experienced divorce attorneys apply the facts of your case to the law and show why your custody position is in the best interests of the children or your position on dividing the marital estate is equitable and fair.
Why You Need an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Without an attorney, you might end up overlooking key considerations that may leave you in a worse position in the future. At the same time, an attorney will handle the details of your divorce to help you resolve the situation with the best possible outcome. While your lawyer cannot completely take away the stress of the divorce, they can lighten the burden on you. Every bit of help that you get during this process can make for a better future for you and your children.
Contact a Miami Divorce Lawyer Today
For help with your Florida divorce and legal services in any other family law matters, schedule a consultation with a Miami divorce lawyer at our law firm and discuss your case. You should call us early in the process so our legal assistance and counsel can be even more effective. The sooner you get legal representation, the more you can lighten the burden of what you are going through at this difficult time.