Family Lawyers Tampa FL Trust Discuss Divorce and Alimony
Experienced family lawyers Tampa FL residents turn to understand that legal issues pertaining to your family can be emotionally draining – and frightening. The The McKinney Law Group has been helping Tampa families for more than a decade. If you are facing legal issues that require the experience of one of the best family lawyers Tampa Florida has to offer, call attorney Damien McKinney today.
Tampa FL family lawyers from The McKinney Law Group understand that when it comes to marriage dissolution, each client has their own unique set of circumstances that can affect how the case should be litigated. Some of the factors which may affect how your divorce proceeding is handled include:
- Whether it is a no-fault or fault divorce. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that a spouse does not have to prove there are grounds in order to end their marriage. However, there may be issues that could affect other areas of the divorce process. This can include whether or not there is domestic violence occurring presently, or if it has happened in the past.
- Whether the divorce is not contested or contested by the other spouse. If both spouses agree on all matters that need to be decided, then the divorce is considered a simple dissolution of marriage. If spouses cannot agree, the process moves into negotiation and possible litigation.
- Whether mediation is an option for ending your marriage. Mediation is considered collaborative law and allows couples – with the outside help of a mediator – negotiate the terms of their divorce and come to an agreement rather than have it litigated in the courts.
- Whether you qualify for an annulment instead of a divorce. In some situations, a marriage may qualify for an annulment, which would mean the marriage never existed in the eyes of the law.
- Whether you or your spouse qualify for a military divorce. If either or both spouses are in the military, there are federal requirements that need to be addressed in addition to the standard state laws.
Some of the issues that may need to be handled during your divorce include property division, division of assets, division of debt, retirement accounts, and spousal support.
Child Custody and Child Support
When parents break up – whether legally married or not – child custody and child support need to be decided by the court. If the couple were married, then in most cases, child custody and support will become part of the divorce process. If couples were not married, then one of the exceptional Tampa FL family lawyers from The McKinney Law Group can file a child custody petition on your behalf.
In both situations, a solid parenting plan needs to be formulated which addresses legal and physical custody of the child. This plan can either be agreed upon between parents and approved by a judge or – just like the divorce process – if parents cannot agree then the judge will make the final determination. The court will also decide how much child support is necessary.
After a divorce, spouses may be obligated to pay support to the former spouse. This agreement can be decided between the couple or in some cases be determined by the court. At The McKinney Law Group, we strive to help you during this already difficult time. You may be in need of spousal support but find that a fair agreement is not being met. Our lawyers will work with you and guide you every step of the way so that you are receiving the financial support you need. The following are common questions that many couples ask themselves when trying to understand alimony.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is when one spouse receives financial support from the other after the marriage has ended. The reason for alimony is to help the spouse with less income maintain the same standard of living or have time to obtain training and/or education so that they are able to become self-supporting. It must be proven that you are in need of financial support and the other spouse must have the means to pay spousal support. Having one of our Tampa FL family lawyers on your side may help increase the likelihood of you receiving alimony.
How Can I Obtain Alimony?
If requested, alimony can be apart of the legal divorce proceeding. However, if you do not ask for alimony during the divorce process, you cannot ask for it later. You can either decide on your own who will receive the alimony and the amount. However, in many cases, the ex-spouses cannot come to an agreement. In this situation, the judge will decide whether or not you are entitled to receive spousal support and the amount you should receive. A skillful lawyer from The McKinney Law Group can help defend your case and prove to the judge why you deserve the alimony.
How Long Can I Receive Spousal Support?
Our family lawyers have helped clients achieve two different types of alimony time periods:
- Indefinite Alimony: Under this agreement, you will receive financial support until either spouse dies, the receiving spouse remarries, or the court decides that alimony is no longer appropriate.
- Time-limited Alimony: This is seen more often and lasts a certain amount of time. The time frame can either be determined by the spouses or the judge. Typically, you will receive enough time for you to obtain training or work experience to help you become self-supporting
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What Factors Are Looked at When Determining Alimony?
There are several factors that are taken into account when deciding if someone should receive alimony. Those include:
- If you are able to support yourself
- The time needed to get a job or training so that you are able to become employed
- How long the marriage lasted
- What standard of living you are used to
- Each spouse’s age
- Mental and physical condition of each person
- The paying spouse’s’ financial situation and if they can afford it
- The financial needs of each person such as their income, child support, taxes, assets, and much more.
Who Can Help?
For more than a decade, The McKinney Law Group has been helping clients during this hard time of their life. Receiving the financial support you deserve and need can help make this transition a little bit easier. For more information, call us today at 813-906-0048.
Compassionate Family Lawyers Tampa FL Clients Turn to
When you need one of the most dedicated family lawyers in Tampa FL, look no further than The McKinney Law Group. Our family lawyers are available to meet with you and discuss the specifics of your situation. We have successfully represented many family law clients and will advocate for you and your family to ensure the best outcome possible.
Prenuptial Agreements: Protecting Yourself Before Saying “I Do
Discussing a potential divorce before you are even married can dull the shine on most romances. However, discussing a prenuptial agreement does not have to be a discussion about splitting up down the line. Prenuptial agreements can be a practical way for spouses to protect their individual interests, as well as being a starting point to future estate planning.
As the name suggests, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into by two people before they get married. The agreement typically outlines the parties’ property rights and how their assets would be distributed in the event of death or divorce. Despite the common perception from television shows and movies, as family lawyers in Tampa FL can attest, you do not need to be extremely wealthy to have a prenuptial agreement. You can also use this type of agreement to keep future debts separate. In some cases, prenuptial agreements have fidelity clauses with penalties; for example, in the event of divorce with allegations of infidelity, the cheating spouse might forfeit some property or sum of money.
What to Consider
Florida law requires a prenuptial agreement to be in writing and entered into after both parties have fully disclosed their financial situations. The decision to enter into the agreement must be voluntary and the agreement cannot be unfair to either party. When the parties are ready to sign, the agreement must be signed before a notary public.
Other than these basic requirements, anything that goes into the agreement is up for negotiation between the parties, possibly through their Tampa FL family lawyers. Note that, generally across the United States, you cannot include any arrangements about children in a prenuptial agreement.
Can You Ignore the Prenuptial Agreement in the Event of Divorce?
In most cases, you cannot easily invalidate a prenuptial agreement. However, if you can show the court that there were circumstances at the time you signed the agreement that made entering into the agreement unfair, you have a better chance at invalidating it in a divorce.
Some courts have found that if the agreement was signed too soon before the wedding, for example, days before the wedding, there may have been some undue influence. Another scenario in which an agreement may be considered invalid may arise if one party hid assets from the other at the time the agreement was signed. Tampa FL family lawyers from our firm can evaluate your prenup to see if there is an issue which would render it invalid.
If you are considering preparing a prenuptial agreement before you get married, or if you have been asked to sign one, you should consult a family law lawyer for guidance. If you go through the trouble of preparing and entering into a prenuptial agreement, you should make sure that it will be legally valid in the future. The experienced family lawyers Tampa FL clients recommend from The McKinney Law Group are available for a consultation and can help you prepare a document that can put your mind to rest before your big day.