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Port St. Lucie Florida
Port St. Lucie Family Law Attorney

Florida Family Law Legal Advice When You Need It Most

Port St. Lucie Family Law Attorney

The idea of filing for divorce is a scary one. Whether you have known the marriage was over for months, or you just came to the realization, acting on the decision is not easy. The same goes for child-related matters, requesting alimony, and modifying either of those two orders. You can alleviate some of your stress and ensure that the process is handled correctly when you work with Port St. Lucie family law attorney Brian K. McMahon, P.A.

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Person signing divorce papers

How to File for Divorce in Port St. Lucie

If you wish to file for divorce in Port St. Lucie, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced family law attorney. While it is not required, having an attorney improves your chances of the process moving forward successfully.

To qualify for divorce, either you or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior to the date that you file the petition with the court. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that you only must write on the petition that the marriage cannot be repaired. You do not need to show fault on the part of your spouse.

The divorce process can last anywhere from six months to more than a year if the divorce is contested, meaning there are areas you and your spouse cannot agree on. You can resolve the divorce in roughly two months when the divorce is uncontested.

Dividing Property in Port St. Lucie

Property division in Port St. Lucie, Florida, is handled as an equitable distribution of assets and debts. This means that the court hearing your divorce case will work to divide the marital assets and debts equally between you and your spouse.

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A financial affidavit must be completed and submitted to the court by both spouses. This affidavit will list the following items:

  • Proof of all assets
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of all debts
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements

If you or your spouse tries to hide assets and they are discovered, penalties can include fines and jail time.

Can I Receive Alimony in Florida?

Alimony is a form of support paid by one former spouse to the other based on the court’s decision after reviewing multiple factors. The court will take the following into consideration when awarding alimony and how much will be paid:

  • The financial records of both spouses
  • Who contributed what to the marriage in terms of raising children and caring for the home
  • If one spouse provided for the other to go to school or support them in their career
  • If one spouse sacrificed their education or career in the marriage

Alimony can be awarded in one of five ways:

Durational

This alimony will only be paid to your former spouse for the same length of time as the duration of the marriage.

Permanent

This alimony will last until one of the former spouses passes away or gets remarried.

Rehabilitative

This alimony is paid while your former spouse goes to school, is learning a new skill, or is looking for employment.

Bridge the gap

Bridge the gap alimony is paid to help your former spouse adjust to single life.

Temporary

Temporary alimony is only paid for as long as the divorce process lasts and ends as soon as the decree is finalized.

Modifying Your Alimony Order

If you have experienced a significant change in your life circumstances, you can apply for an alimony modification. The court will only consider the following significant life changes:

  • Job loss
  • Significant raise in salary
  • Lottery winnings
  • The person paying the alimony retired
  • The person paying the alimony died
  • The recipient of alimony got remarried
  • Either the payor or the payee developed serious health issues
  • Fraud was committed by the payee in order to obtain alimony initially
  • Medical insurance is needed
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Couple holding money over divorce papers

Parenting Issues in Florida

Enduring a child custody battle is never easy and not always cut and dry. The law in Florida addresses custody as time-sharing and parenting responsibilities, and the courts aim to come up with a decision that provides the child with an equal amount of time with both parents when possible. However, there are situations where one parent can obtain full parental rights to their children over the other parent. As with any legal issue, your chances of being successful become higher when you work with a Port St. Lucie family law attorney.

The courts will consider the child’s best interests when ruling on a parenting case, while also taking into account the following:

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  • The child’s desire to live with one parent over the other
  • The involvement of both parents in the child’s schooling, care, home life, and activities
  • The willingness of each parent to put the child’s interests before their own
  • The willingness of each parent to work on splitting parenting time and building individual relationships with the child
  • How much each parent works to focus on the best interests of the child

How to Modify a Parenting Order in Port St. Lucie

A time-sharing and parenting order can be modified in Port St. Lucie under certain circumstances. To be successful in the modification of an order, one of the following three circumstances must be proven by the parent making the request:

  • A judgment for protection against domestic violence has been issued by the court.
  • Both child’s parents came to an agreement on how the order should be adjusted.
  • A significant change occurred in either of the parent’s lives or the life of the child (loss of employment, serious illness, a move is occurring, addiction, violence, or anything else the court deems to be significant).

Call a Port St. Lucie Family Law Attorney Today

Are you ready to file for divorce? Do you need to modify an alimony or parenting order? If so, you should speak with an experienced Port St. Lucie family law attorney about your family situation. Brian K. McMahon, P.A., is compassionate with all those dealing with difficult family issues. You will always work directly with Mr. McMahon. Call today to schedule a consultation in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Boca Raton, and all throughout South Florida.

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