Your spouse has told you that he or she wants a divorce. You’re at a loss; you may or may not be suspecting that your marriage was in trouble. In any event, you are feeling emotionally distraught; you may believe that you can’t afford a divorce attorney.
You are fearful about the future. However, a Florida board certified divorce attorney can assist you and to make certain that you receive the expert advice and direction to ensure that you receive everything that you deserve during your divorce case. If your marriage has any complicated issues to resolve, a Florida board certified marital and family law attorney can be an invaluable asset. For example, if there are timesharing (custody/visitation) issues and alimony and child support issues, substantial income, debts, assets or future assets (an inheritance, etc.) or stock options, then you should hire a Florida board certified attorney in marital and family law to protect your interests.
- Reduce your stress levels: It goes without saying that divorce is a stressful time for everyone. It creates great demands on your time, emotions and finances. You will have a hard enough time trying to keep your head on straight regarding your job, your children, your career, maintaining a home, maintaining your sanity, much less having to deal with the procedural deadlines, production of discovery documents, filing of pleadings. Hiring an attorney board certified in family and marital law is a way to reduce the stress and time demands of the divorce. While an attorney will need to gather information from you, the board certified family law attorney will take care of almost everything else, allowing you more time to take care of yourself and your family. You have enough things to worry about when you’re getting divorced, let an attorney take care of the legal work;
- Avoid errors: The legal system is complicated and the stress of the divorce can make it difficult for anyone to think clearly, much deal successfully with it. If you simply forget to meet a procedural deadline, then it could have a negative impact on your ability to obtain the relief that you want. You also may forget to address an issue such as life insurance as security for child support or alimony payments; failure to request a resumption of your maiden name (which can cost you time and money in a post-divorce name change petition proceeding); mishandling the distribution of retirement accounts (which can result in significant penalties in ordinary income taxes that a Florida attorney board certified in family and marital law can help you avoid). By hiring a Florida board certified lawyer, you can rest assured that your case is being properly handled the first time and that you are avoiding costly mistakes that you might regret the rest of your life.
- Time: Although a person may use court provided forms or online documents to file for a divorce, there still may be problems with completing the proper forms and providing adequate information and supporting documentation. In addition, a person who goes to court without legal counsel may find problems with the paperwork and other issues that may delay getting finalization of your divorce by several months. By hiring an attorney, a person can avoid paperwork or procedural issues that could cause a delay and have your divorce resolved and completed as quickly as possible;
- Documents that say what you mean: You and your spouse may be able to resolve your divorce by a marital settlement agreement on your own without the assistance of an attorney. You and your spouse may believe that you clearly understand the meaning of each and every phrase in your settlement agreement. However, because you are not attorneys, you may not have worded important clauses in your agreement clearly. This may result later in a judge not understanding what you are trying to do on each point of your divorce agreement. This may result in a marital settlement agreement or final judgment that states something other than what you intended. By using a Florida attorney board certified in marital law and family law, you can be certain that the legal documents presented to the court will accurately state what you want and that it will be free of errors on clear language that may make components of the marital settlement agreement difficult or impossible to enforce.
- You will only get divorced once in your life: Consequently, you owe it to yourself, your children and your future to hire an experienced Florida attorney board certified in marital and family law to assist you in navigating the potential pitfalls of your divorce and to obtain a resolution that is fair to you, and is clearly enforceable in the future in the event that your spouse fails to live up to the terms of the agreement, and that you don’t inadvertently victimize yourself by failing to deal with an important issue.
An attorney board certified in family and marital law devotes more than 50 percent of their practice to family law issues. They have been reviewed by their peers and by family law judges and have undergone detailed testing of their knowledge of family law.
You are certainly at a disadvantage if you attempt to do the divorce when:
- You believe your spouse is hiding assets and income;
- Your spouse is domineering, and you have trouble speaking up or you are afraid to voice your opinions;
- Where there is a history or threat of domestic violence (physical, and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children;
- Your spouse has a drug/alcohol condition or substance abuse problem; and/or
- Your spouse has diagnosed mental health disorder.
In any of the above situations, you will be at a distinct disadvantage in attempting to resolve the divorce case by agreement or in attempting to litigate a resolution with the court. Under these circumstances, if you attempt to do the divorce, you will be potentially victimized by the greater power that your spouse wields in your relationship or by his or her erratic behavior.