Volatile and Highly Charged Cases of Contested Divorce
If you find yourself facing the daunting challenge of divorcing your marital partner, you are very possibly facing a volatile, highly charged situation. It is important to understand your legal rights as well as the options Florida Law allows regarding Family Law and Divorce. When a Divorce is Contested, this means that the parties cannot agree either on getting a Divorce, or about the terms of the Divorce (such as Parenting Plans/Child Custody, Spousal Support/Alimony, division of property, etc.). In Florida, the word “dissolution” is used in Family Law when referring to a Divorce. It is possible for this dissolution to be a fairly straightforward procedure if it is Uncontested, but if there are unresolved issues of any kind between the parties involved, the dissolution is considered Contested. Many factors can enter into the case, and it is vital to consult an experienced and knowledgeable Family Law Attorney to help ensure your legal rights are protected.
Put our experience to work for you. Call now, 904-794-7898.
More Contentious Matters like Hidden Assets
Marriages involving hidden assets or the business division of a family-held company can complicate a divorce and make resolving matters more contentious. A Contested Divorce can also take a heavy emotional toll, especially on children.
Attorney Michael Hines has the hands-on courtroom experience to fully represent you in a Contested Divorce trial and will fight hard on your behalf for such critical concerns as:
Child Custody/ Parenting Plans and Visitation/Timesharing
• The courts are likely to assign a family services investigator, guardian ad litem, parenting coordinator, or a combination depending on your circumstances. While an added expense, this can save problems in the end because they have a neutral perspective.
• Courts look for the parent that can foster a close and loving relationship with the other parent. Unless it can be proven your spouse is unfit - difficult to do in most cases, we must approach timesharing carefully in order to achieve your objectives.
• Determining whether one spouse pays Child Support and how much, is a more predictable issue. Based on well-established guidelines, the court has the discretion to deviate by as much as five percent, but they must be given good reason.
• Support is determined according to actual incomes, not what a spouse may claim for tax purposes. Courts can establish trust funds that benefit a child and not an ex-spouse. Your options vary and we can help you find strategies to meet your objectives.
Spousal Support/Alimony• The most unpredictable issue.
• The court uses up to eight factors concerning the needs and ability to pay spousal support, including the duration of the marriage, age, physical health, education, current incomes, existing financial resources, contributions to the marriage, and the established standard of living in the marriage. It is important for unemployed spouses to be prepared for the possibility they may have to return to work or begin working.
• Contested or not, dividing property in a Divorce is not about being equal so much as it is being equitable.
• We consult with forensic accountants to ensure all available assets from pensions and investments to real estate and business interests are properly identified, valued and distributed under the law.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
Florida Statutes, Chapter 61, governs the dissolution of marriages for the state. According to Florida Statute, Chapter 61.052, the grounds for divorce are:
• The marriage is irretrievably broken, or
• One of the spouses suffers mental incapacity.
Additionally, there is a requirement that one of the parties must reside in Florida for a minimum of six months before the petition for dissolution is filed.
Many important issues will need to be resolved during the process of a divorce. For instance:
• How will the assets be divided?
• How will the debts be split?
• How will the needs of the children be met?
• Will you have to move, change jobs, maybe even change careers?
If the correct court procedures are not strictly followed, you run the risk of permanently losing certain rights in your Contested Divorce case. It is vital that you obtain legal representation now.
At the Law Office of Michael Hines, P.A., we know what needs to be done and we’ll take action on your behalf immediately.