Lake County, Florida has more than 1,000 lovely lakes. Like other idyllic settings associated with romantic encounters and family fun, however, these lakes are sometimes sites of extreme tension and hurtful arguments that may lead to divorce. No matter what the setting or circumstances, divorce is painful, especially when there are young children involved. Having an accomplished, sympathetic family law attorney from Orlando Family Team to advocate for you will help you through. 

Grounds for Divorce in Lake County

Although there are a great many reasons for divorce, e.g. infidelity, constant arguing, immaturity of one or both partners and abuse, the state of Florida recognizes only two legal grounds for divorce:

  1. The marriage is irretrievably broken 
  2. One of the parties is mentally incapacitated

While it might seem that the simplicity of these two grounds for divorce makes divorce easier to navigate, that is rarely true. Though in most cases, divorce is uncontested (i.e. both parties agree that divorce is necessary), the particulars — how the marital assets will be divided, who will have custody of the children, and how much spousal or child support should be paid — can result in a disturbing amount of discord. 

What Are Marital Assets in Lake County?

In the state of Florida, marital assets must be equitably divided in case of divorce. It is, however, often difficult to determine which of the couples’ assets are marital and which are separate. 

Marital Property

Anything purchased or accumulated during the marriage, including real estate, furnishings, income, savings, investments, and pensions or retirement accounts, is considered part of marital assets and must be divided equitably. By the same token, debts the couple incurred (e.g. mortgages, credit card balances) are considered marital debts.

Separate Property

Separate property, on the other hand, is property that was:

  • Owned by one spouse before the marriage
  • Received as a personal gift during the marriage
  • Inherited by one spouse during the marriage
  • Awarded to one spouse as a lawsuit settlement

Note: If one party owned the home prior to the marriage, but the other spouse has been contributing not only to mortgage payments, but to upkeep, renovations, or refinancing, the home will typically be considered marital property.

One reason it is crucial to have a savvy divorce attorney help you protect your portion of marital assets is that complications can arise  during negotiations due to:

  • Commingled assets
  • Concealed assets
  • Existence of a prenuptial agreement

Spousal Maintenance in Lake County

During the mid-1950s when a large proportion of the population believed that “a woman’s place is in the home,” spousal maintenance (alimony) was a part of nearly every divorce agreement. Though today most families have two working spouses, spousal maintenance is still considered necessary if:

  • There is a large discrepancy between the two spouses’ incomes 
  • One spouse is old, frail, ill, or disabled
  • The couple was married for a long time during which one spouse was primarily 

a homemaker and/or childcare provider

  • One spouse supported the other’s education or career advancement and therefore

never received higher education or job training

Sometimes, temporary spousal support is awarded to enable one spouse to finish schooling or receive training in order to become more employable. Sometimes, unfortunately, an undeserving spouse demands spousal support simply out of a feeling of entitlement or as a way of punishing the other party. If you are being victimized in this way, you can trust us to uncover the fraudulent motive and protect your assets.

Determining Child Custody and Parenting Time in Lake County

At Orlando Family Team, we know that nothing is more important to you than the well-being of your children so we make them our priority. Though the courts tend to favor joint custody, this is not always possible or practical in terms of parental locations or schedules. Whether the divorce agreement establishes joint or sole custody, it is essential that (except in rare instances) both parents can spend reasonable periods of time with their children.

We will always listen carefully to the details of your circumstances and help you negotiate the best arrangement for your children, one that takes into account your schedule and their physical, emotional, and educational needs. 

Child Support in Lake County

Throughout the U.S., both parents are required to support their children. Most of the time, after a divorce, the higher wage earner will be expected to pay child support to the other parent, though in addition to income level, the court will consider:

  • Whether there is joint or sole child custody 
  • How many children each parent has 
  • Whether a child has special needs

Clearly, child support is critical to any working divorce agreement involving a family with offspring. Whether you are the payor or the payee, we know how important it is that your children receive the financial support they need. 

We also understand that unless you have the resources to manage your household properly you can’t be the parent you want to be. We will do everything in our power to see that you and your children are treated fairly during divorce negotiations. If necessary for a successful outcome, we have the well-honed litigation skills to protect your rights in court.

In Cases of Domestic Abuse, We Will Support and Protect You

Whether you are fearful for your own safety or the safety of your children or are worried that a false accusation against you will be believed, our divorce attorneys will fight vigorously to protect you. Although we have a well-earned reputation as empathic and diplomatic lawyers, we also know how to fight aggressively when it comes to protecting our clients from physical or reputational harm.  

In Some Cases, Negotiated Settlements or Mediated Divorce May Be Good Alternatives

In cases in which both spouses agree on the basics — e.g. who will have custody of the children, whether one party will have to pay spousal support — and both want an amicable arrangement that keeps the stress level as low as possible, mediated divorce or a negotiated settlement may be excellent alternatives. Either method is likely to be less costly and far less tumultuous than a courtroom battle.

Contact Our Experienced Lake County Divorce Attorneys Today

Whoever you are, and whatever the circumstances of your divorce, we have the skill and determination to get you through this challenging time. We are here to help you navigate the divorce process and come out ready for a new beginning. Contact us today.