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West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney

Florida Family Law Legal Advice When You Need It Most

West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney

Family law matters can be some of the most difficult to endure no matter how long you have been married, had children, or been in a relationship. Whether you are a parent, co-parent, adult child, spouse, or parent of adult children, there will come a time when you need to make difficult decisions. A West Palm Beach family law attorney can help you make those decisions and handle all of the legal aspects that come with them.

We can help you with many aspects of family law, including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Visitation Arrangements
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Dividing Marital Property
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Divorced couple holding wedding bands

Filing for Divorce in West Palm Beach

The family law attorney in West Palm Beach from Brian K. McMahon, P.A., understands the difficult decision of filing for divorce. You will receive compassionate, empathetic care throughout the divorce process when you work with Brian. To file for divorce in Florida, you must first meet the state’s filing requirements, which include the following:

Prior to the day on which you file for dissolution of the marriage, either you or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months.

In order to prove residency, you can provide a copy of a driver’s license, voter registration card, or another type of identification card that has an issue date six months prior to the date you wish to file for divorce.

You can also submit a notarized Affidavit of Corroborating Witness from someone who will swear that you have lived in Florida for at least the last six months.

Florida is a No-Fault State

Under Florida law, you do not have to prove misconduct of your spouse in order to file for divorce because it is a no-fault state. This means that all you need to write on the divorce document is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” The petition to divorce will need to include the names and ages of your children, all of your debts and assets, terms you and your spouse have come to an agreement on, and any provisions that are still contested.

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Financial Disclosures in a Florida Divorce

Both spouses will be required to complete a financial affidavit when filing for divorce in Florida. Along with the affidavit, all the following will need to be disclosed in order to move forward:

  • Proof of debt
  • Proof of assets
  • Proof of income
  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns
  • Any other documents that Florida law requires

If you fail to disclose any documents, debts, or assets in a Florida divorce, you could face fines and even time in jail. A West Palm Beach family law attorney can ensure that you disclose all of your financial documents properly and do not make mistakes on the affidavit, avoiding potential penalties from the court.

Parenting Issues in Florida

Florida refers to child custody as parenting and time-sharing, and the courts in Florida prefer to have children split time with both parents as much as possible. If both parents reach an agreement regarding parenting arrangements, it is considered an uncontested case. When the courts need to determine who will have most of the parenting time with the child, they will do so by reviewing the following factors while considering the best interests of the child:

  • If the child has a parent they prefer to live with most of the time
  • The willingness of the parent to act on behalf of the child and not on their own behalf
  • If the parent’s behavior will have an adverse impact on the child
  • The community, school, and home connections of the child
  • If both parents have been able to demonstrate a willingness to act on the needs and best interests of the child
  • If both parents have demonstrated a willingness to agree to a time-sharing schedule and build a parent-child relationship
  • The ability and willingness of the parents to be involved in the child’s life, including their school life and extracurricular activities

Modifying a Parenting Order in Florida

Parenting orders can be modified in West Palm Beach only if there are one of three circumstances present, and they include the following:

There has been a substantial change in the circumstances of one or both parents or the child (development of an addiction, a move, loss of employment, injury, illness, or any other thing that is considered substantial by the court).

A final judgment for protection against domestic violence has been issued.

Both parents come to an agreement on how the child custody agreement should be modified.

West Palm Beach Alimony Cases

Alimony is support paid to a former spouse to help them keep the standard of living they became accustomed to during the marriage. Alimony does not last forever, as it is meant to help the former spouse get back on their feet after a divorce is finalized. The type and length of alimony are determined by different factors, and a West Palm Beach family law attorney can help you when dealing with an alimony case. The types of alimony available in Florida include the following:

Temporary

This type of alimony is awarded by the court during divorce proceedings and comes to an end when the divorce decree is finalized.

Bridge The Gap

This type of alimony is awarded in an effort to help a former spouse transition into living a single life. It takes into account monthly expenses such as bills and other finances.

Rehabilitative

This type of alimony is awarded to help a former spouse stay afloat while they go back to school to earn a degree or find employment.

Durational

Durational alimony only lasts for as long as the marriage lasted. So, for example, if you were married for four years, the alimony payments cannot continue for more than four years.

Permanent

Permanent alimony can be awarded in Florida, but it is not common. If permanent alimony is awarded, it often lasts until the remarriage or death of the former spouse.

Modifying an Alimony Agreement in West Palm Beach

In order to modify an alimony agreement, there must be substantial changes present in your life. These substantial changes can include any of the following:

  • You are mired in long-term unemployment
  • You have developed serious health problems
  • The need for medical insurance
  • You or your former spouse received a large raise from an employer
  • One of the parties won the lottery
  • The payor retired from their employment
  • The recipient committed fraud
  • The recipient remarried

    The court will not consider the following when you apply for an alimony modification:

  • A small improvement in the recipient’s financial situation
  • The expenses coming from a second marriage
  • One of the spouses voluntarily quit their job
  • A settlement agreement that waives the right to modify alimony
  • Purposely getting fired from your job
  • The awarding of bridge-the-gap alimony or lump sum alimony
Lawyer calculating a client account

Florida Property Division

The division of assets and property in a Florida divorce is one of the most contested sections of the process. Spouses often find it difficult to come to terms as to who should get to live in the marital house, who gets the furniture, and how to split the financial accounts. However, Florida law divides property under the premise that it will be done so equally between the two spouses. The judge presiding over the case will review the following factors before making a ruling about property division:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The financial health of both spouses
  • Whether or not one spouse helped the career or education of the other financially
  • If one of the spouses experienced an interruption to their career or education due to the marriage
  • The contributions each spouse made to the marriage, including care of the children and how the home was cared for by one or both spouses
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Why You Need a West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney

The benefits of working with a West Palm Beach family law attorney include the following:

An attorney will help to support the best interests of your child when determining custody and parenting matters, help you receive a fair settlement, and will fight for you to receive the proper amount of alimony.

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frequently asked questions

My former spouse has failed to pay support of late, can I prevent them from seeing our children?

The short answer is no. Even if your former spouse has failed to pay support, you must still permit them to see your children as children benefit from having relationships with both parents.

How long will my divorce case take to finalize?

The length of your divorce case will depend on how many areas are still contested. If you and your spouse can agree on most hot-button issues, the divorce process should not take that long to complete.

Call a West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney Today

When the time comes to file for divorce, request a modification of your alimony payments, or have questions about other family law issues, Brian McMahon is here to help you. Family law issues are challenging and should only be handled with the assistance of an attorney. Family law in West Palm Beach with Brian McMahon helps to alleviate the stress of filing for divorce. Call the office today to schedule a consultation with a compassionate attorney. We serve clients in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Boca Raton, and South Florida.

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