Florida Family Law Legal Advice When You Need It Most
Boca Raton Family Law Attorney
Family law issues can be difficult to understand and navigate. However, Boca Raton family law attorney Brian K. McMahon, P.A., can make sure your rights are protected when filing for divorce, seeking a modification of an order, or when battling for time with your children. Family law issues are complicated and should not be handled alone.schedule free consultation
Filing for Divorce in Florida
If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, you should note that the state does not require you to show fault on the part of your spouse, making it a no-fault state. Instead, you will only have to mention in the petition for divorce that the marriage is beyond repair.
When the divorce is uncontested, meaning you and your spouse have come to an agreement on all the provisions of the divorce, it can be resolved within one to two months. If there are contested areas of the divorce, you can expect the proceedings to last anywhere from six months to more than one year.
In order to qualify for divorce in Florida, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for six months prior to the date when the petition is filed.
How is the Division of Property Handled?
Florida operates as an equitable distribution state when dividing property among spouses in a divorce. The courts will start the divorce process under the assumption that the marital assets and debt will be divided equally among both spouses. When filing for divorce, both spouses will be required to complete a financial affidavit that lists all of the assets as well as their estimated values. Hiding assets in a divorce can lead to serious fines and other penalties. The affidavit must include proof of your debt, assets, income, tax returns, and bank statements.schedule free consultation
Obtaining Alimony in a Boca Raton Divorce
Alimony is support paid by one former spouse to the other for a predetermined amount of time. Not all alimony payments will last forever, and the amount ordered will be agreed upon or come from the judge. The types of alimony include the following:
Awarded by the court for the duration of the divorce proceedings and ends when the divorce decree is finalized.
Bridge The Gap
Awarded to help a former spouse adjust to living as a single person.
Awarded to help a former spouse get back on their feet by going to school or finding employment.
This type of alimony is awarded for the same length of time that the marriage was in effect.
This type of alimony often lasts until a former spouse enters into a new marriage or one of the former spouses dies.
How to Modify an Alimony Agreement
It is possible for you to modify an alimony agreement, but it will only be granted if significant changes have occurred in either your life or your former spouse’s life. These changes include any of the following:
- Either you or the payor won the lottery
- You are stuck in long-term unemployment
- The payor retired
- The payee remarried
- One of the parties involved has developed serious health problems
- Medical insurance is needed
- One of the parties involved received a significant raise
- The payee committed fraud
The following circumstances will not be considered significant by the court and will not lead to a modification of an alimony order:
- Expenses stemming from a new marriage
- A minor improvement in the financial situation of either former spouse
- A spouse quit their job voluntarily.
- A spouse made an effort to get fired from their job.
- If a settlement agreement is in place that expressly states waiving the right to modify the alimony agreement
Boca Raton Parenting and Time-Sharing
Child custody is a tough situation for thousands of Florida families, and Florida law refers to custody as time-sharing and parenting. The Florida courts prefer that children spend as much of their time with both parents as possible instead of one parent dominating the parenting schedule. The court will take the child’s best interest into account when determining parenting arrangements, including the following:
How willing each parent is to act on the child’s behalf and not their own.
If the child has mentioned which parent they prefer to live with.
If both parents have shown that they can agree on how time will be split and that they can build a relationship with the child.
If there are adverse behaviors of either parent that will negatively impact the child.
If both parents can show a desire to be involved in the child’s life at home, school, and other activities.
If both parents show a desire to meet the best interests of the child and their needs.
How to Modify a Parenting Order
Parents can modify time-sharing and parenting orders in Boca Raton with the help of an experienced family law attorney. However, one of three circumstances must be present in order for the court to approve the modification. Those three circumstances are as follows:
- Both parents agree on how the order should be modified
- The court has issued a judgment for protection against domestic violence for either one of the parents or the child
- One or both parents or the child has experienced a significant change in their circumstances (illness, injury, addiction, moving, loss of employment, or any other circumstance that the court deems to be significant)
Call a Boca Raton Family Law Attorney Today
When you are ready to file for divorce, seek a modification of an order, or fight for parental rights to your children, you need an experienced and compassionate Boca Raton family law attorney on your side. Brian K. McMahon, P.A., is empathetic to your family’s needs and will work to ensure your rights are protected. Mr. McMahon serves clients in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Boca Raton, and throughout South Florida with more than 32 years of experience.