How to Navigate the Legal System With the Help of a Divorce Attorney

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Many aspects must be decided in a divorce, including custody, property division, and alimony. Choosing the right attorney can make a massive difference in the overall outcome of your case.

When choosing an attorney, many factors should be considered, such as their experience and fees.

Child Custody

One of the most emotionally charged problems in divorce is the matter of child custody. There are many ways to tackle it, including mediation. A knowledgeable family law attorney can assist clients in skillfully navigating negotiations so they can decide in their best interests.

Whether a judge decides on a child’s living arrangements (physical custody) or who has the legal authority to make significant decisions about the child’s life (legal custody) affects the custody situation. While parents can share joint legal and joint physical custody, it is also typical for one parent to have sole physical custody.

Nonparents such as grandparents can also seek custody if they have extraordinary circumstances to support this request. However, a Judge can only award this custody to a third party with a court order.

Child Support

Depending on your situation, child custody may be handled outside of court if you and your spouse can agree. Your attorney can assist in creating this agreement and ensure it is filed with the proper courts.

Regardless of who is the primary custodial parent, the other parent must pay regular child support payments to help provide for their children’s needs. This includes childcare, food, clothing, health insurance, and extracurricular activities.

The amount of child support you receive, or pay can be modified if either party experiences significant financial changes. This can include losing a job, incurring significant medical expenses, or other situations that impact income levels. A divorce attorney Tampa can handle all matters related to child support, including establishing, enforcing, and modifying these obligations.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is another aspect of divorce that requires careful consideration. A family law attorney can help you prepare and submit evidence to support your argument on the appropriateness and amount of spousal support.

Unlike child support, mandated by specific monetary guidelines, judges have broad discretion when determining if and how much spousal support should be awarded. In addition, unlike a child support order, which can be adjusted with cost-of-living increases, spousal support typically does not automatically increase.

A New York City married support lawyer can also help you petition the court to modify your existing alimony agreement if your circumstances have changed significantly. Spousal support payments are tax deductible for the supporting spouse and taxable to the recipient spouse. Spousal support aims to enable the supported spouse (of either gender) to achieve self-sustainability through job training or schooling.

Property Division

Property division can be a significant part of any divorce. Couples may negotiate a property settlement agreement or go to court for the judicial process of dividing their assets and debts. A judge will consider various statutory factors to determine what is fair. In New York, an equitable distribution state, the courts will consider all property that either spouse acquired during the marriage unless it was separate property or the couple signed a prenuptial agreement to separate specific individual properties.

When dividing assets, a knowledgeable attorney can help you bring all relevant information to light. Whether considering one spouse’s nonmonetary contributions or financial misconduct, an experienced attorney can advocate on your behalf.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is a process similar to divorce where a married couple petitions (asks) the court for a legal decision regarding living arrangements, finances, and child custody or visitation. In addition, the Judge can order spousal support, how assets are distributed, and how debts are paid.

Some couples choose a legal separation for religious reasons or as a “cooling off period” in a troubled marriage. Decision-making rights and property laws remain intact in these cases, but the court can legally rule on issues like support and property division. The appropriate forms must be filled out, and divorce law varies from state to state. Only with an attorney’s assistance is this even remotely possible. A New York family law lawyer can assist in filing required and optional separation paperwork.