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Pasco County, Florida Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is never easy, but with a competent divorce lawyer in your corner, it can help the process move along as smoothly as possible. We know that often, those going through divorces feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Our firm is here to answer your questions and devise a strategy that best suits your needs. Contact Wendy Doyle-Palumbo today to schedule your initial consultation with our dedicated legal team.

Divorce Lawyer | Serving Clients in Pasco County, Florida

We understand that there are few things more stressful than going through a divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is a reality that roughly 50 percent of all Americans face in this day and age. That said, by hiring a seasoned Pasco County, Florida family lawyer, you drastically increase your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement. Our legal team has fought for countless clients through each step of the process in the past, and we’re here to fight for you as well.

Contested Divorce Vs. Uncontested Divorce

First, you need to understand that there is a significant difference between contested and uncontested divorce, and whether your divorce is contested or not will likely have a significant impact on the process ahead.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when spouses cannot agree on the terms of their divorce. In Florida, equitable distribution, child custody, alimony, and child support are commonly “contested.”

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce means both husband and wife agree on the terms of the divorce.

Whether your Florida divorce is a contested divorce or uncontested, it is almost always a very stressful and emotional time for one or both parties. Even if you believe you can settle your divorce “amicably” going it alone is unnecessary and widely discouraged. In either a contested or uncontested divorce scenario, as a seasoned divorce attorney, my experience has proven that those who are represented by a skilled divorce attorney are more likely to obtain a judgment or marital settlement agreement that will be highly satisfactory and in your best interest.

The Divorce Process in Florida

  • File petition for divorce – First, you or your lawyer will determine the county you should file in. You should file for divorce in the county where you live, and where you have resided for at least six months prior to filing. If you meet the criteria for a simplified divorce, you and your spouse may not require an attorney, however, many couples hire an attorney even when the divorce is uncontested or simplified.
  • If your divorce does not meet the simplified divorce criteria, then your case will be a regular dissolution of marriage. A divorce petition is drawn up by yours or your spouse’s divorce attorney. The person who files is called the “petitioner.” Usually, the petitioner will ask for many things in their petition, because in Florida, if you do not ask for something in a petition, you cannot receive it. The petition, together with the required forms will be “served” upon the “respondent.”
  • The respondent will have 20 days to answer the petition. If you have been served with divorce papers, unfortunately, time will not appear to be on your side. You must act quickly to determine if you can hire a divorce attorney to represent you. Get an initial consultation with a Florida divorce attorney in your area who can provide you with sound advice.
  • If you have filed for divorce, your divorce lawyer will have already instructed you about what type of information you will need to gather, and what to expect in the process such as financial disclosures and affidavits, child support guidelines, mediation, etc.

What Must Be Settled in a Florida Divorce?

The Florida divorce process at a minimum focuses on settling the following matters between the respondent and defendant in cases where children and property are a factor.

  • Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets
  • Child Custody and Time Sharing (Parenting Plans)
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Name Changes

The petition for dissolution of marriage may also ask the courts for other types of relief prior to the final hearing such as petitions for temporary relief for alimony, child support, or other financial relief or protection. The courts regularly look at tax considerations as well as attorney fees and parents are now required to attend parenting classes

Note: High Asset divorces can go beyond the scope of the common division of assets. If litigated, these cases can be challenging. Be sure to hire an experienced high-asset divorce and family law trial lawyer to represent you.

Divorce Mediation – Is Mediation Required in Florida When Divorcing?

Couples who are anticipating a trial date for their contested divorce may be ordered by the courts to go through mediation before that date is set. Mediation can also be voluntary but this type of mediation I’m referring to is handled differently than a collaborative divorce.

You may voluntarily choose to go to mediation with your spouse in an attempt to resolve some or all of the specifics of your divorce. It is important to understand, however, that any mediated marital settlement agreements should always be reviewed by an experienced divorce attorney prior to giving it to a judge for approval. Remember, once your final dissolution of marriage is entered, it is binding. It’s therefore beneficial to make sure the terms of your divorce are acceptable because nobody wants to go back to the courts once the divorce is final for modifications or enforcements. Wendy Doyle-Palumbo will help you get your divorce settlement right the first time, so you can move forward with your life.

High Conflict, High Asset Divorces

There are some divorce cases that benefit from a highly-skilled divorce lawyer. Wendy Doyle-Palumbo is a tenacious family law attorney who will fiercely litigate your case when needed. In high conflict or high asset divorces, you’ll typically need much more than tenacity. High asset divorces are some of the toughest cases to litigate and it takes a dedicated high-net-worth divorce attorney who has the intelligence, skill, and resources to represent your best interests.

Divorce FAQ

Do I need an attorney if I’m getting a divorce?

Technically, no, but it’s always a good idea to hire a lawyer when facing a family law case – especially a divorce. A trained attorney will protect your rights, defend your children, and seek the best possible outcome, including a fair settlement.

What are the legal grounds for divorce in Florida?

In this state, there are two grounds for divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and/or mental incapacity in one of the parties. Talk to our team today and we’ll help you understand how these grounds apply to your situation.

How does the court decide who gets custody of a child during a divorce?

If the parents don’t agree on who should hold custody of the child, the state of Florida mandates that the court makes a decision based on many factors. The goal is to make the best decision for the child’s safety and well-being.

How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized?

This answer varies depending on the complexity of the case. Some of our past Pasco County cases have been finalized within a few days. Others have been drawn out over the years as both sides argue over settlement details.

Hiring a professional lawyer to help with the divorce will speed up the process and minimize the expenses of a lengthy separation.

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

In Florida, a divorce can cost as little as $500 or as much as $100K, depending on the circumstances. Lawyer expenses, the length of the process, and issues of child custody, parental support, and property division can all impact the overall cost and settlement of the divorce.

How do I file for child custody?

Child custody is usually determined during the course of a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or paternity case. You will likely need to establish your parentage. Fathers must have documentation proving paternity.

Both mothers and fathers have the right to seek custody. They also may both be asked to provide child support in the state of Florida.

What is the difference between a divorce and a paternity case?

In a divorce, children may or may not be involved. In a paternity case, at least one child is involved, and the parents may or may not be legally married. With both kinds of cases, there will likely be questions about child custody, visitation rights, and child support. However, divorce cases involve the division of assets and debts, while paternity cases do not.

How is child support determined in a divorce case?

Typically, child support is determined by the ability of the noncustodial parent to pay and the needs of the child in question. Once the fair number is calculated, it can be modified due to life changes or other extenuating circumstances.

What goes into a divorce settlement?

In a legally binding divorce settlement agreement, the two parties agree on a range of topics including child support, spousal support, property division, child custody, and visitation rights. The settlement may also include more personal agreements specific to your situation.

How can a minor become emancipated in Florida?

In Pasco County and other areas of our state, a child (or minor) can become emancipated by getting married with permission from the parents and the court. They can also join the armed forces (with parental permission) or get a declaration of emancipation from a judge.

To learn more about the requirements of legal emancipation, talk to our family law experts.

Contact a Florida Divorce Lawyer Today

Our legal team is dedicated to providing individuals and their families with top-of-the-line legal services, and we are here to guide you through each step of the legal process ahead. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with divorce lawyer Wendy Doyle-Palumbo in Hudson, Florida please call or contact us online.

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