Maitland, Florida is not only within reach of all the excitement of Orlando and Disney World, but it is also a suburban city with an atmosphere of its own, full of natural beauty, pleasurable activities, and intriguing attractions. One of the nicest places to live in Central Florida, Maitland boasts a delightful movie theatre that serves delicious food and drinks, the Maitland Civic Center on lovely Lake Lily, a fascinating Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, an art center and a delightful park. Even in these idyllic surroundings, however, divorce is not uncommon.
If your family is experiencing the painful turmoil of a marital split, Orlando Family Team is right here in Maitland to support you with empathy as well as excellent legal representation regarding Maitland family law matters. You should be aware that in order to divorce in Florida, one spouse must have resided in the state for at least 6 months before filing papers.
What Makes Our Maitland Family Law Attorney Unique
Because our family law practice is founded by a husband and wife team, we have intimate knowledge of the difficulties that can arise within the family unit. Parents ourselves, we understand the depth of feeling involved when you are going through the terrible ordeal of divorce while trying to protect your beloved, vulnerable children.
Because we are sensitive to your need to navigate your divorce with a minimum of collateral damage, you can trust us to be your allies as well as your attorneys. When necessary, we have the tactical legal skills to fight aggressively on your behalf, but we never do so without considering the emotional and financial fallout.
Also remember that Orlando Family Team is an inclusive enterprise. We are well-prepared to handle your divorce from start to finish no matter how problematic and whether your situation involves a high-net worth, military, or same-sex divorce.
Basics of Divorce Proceedings in Florida
There are only two grounds for a couple to divorce in Florida:
- “Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” meaning that the spouses, in spite of making a reasonable effort to preserve their marriage, usually through some type of counseling, have been unable to do so.
- One spouse has been judged mentally incompetent for a 3-year period.
The former is, of course, the much more frequently cited reason for spouses to part. Depending on the level of hostility or amicability between the partners, the divorce will be either contested or uncontested. Even in an uncontested divorce, in which the two parties appear to be able to agree on primary elements of the process, it is essential for each divorcing spouse to have an attorney looking out for his or her best interest.
This is because the laws concerning divorce are complicated and it is not always possible for participants in the process to imagine how drastically circumstances and attitudes can change over time. As experienced divorce attorneys, we have the perspective to protect you from your own potentially risky decisions.
Having a determined team of attorneys to guide you is also crucial because unless you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are able to reach an agreement, the court will make decisions about your living arrangements, your finances, and the logistical parameters of your closest relationships.
Divorce Issues That Must Be Addressed By Our Maitland Family Law Attorneys
Though state laws regarding various aspects of divorce differ, no matter what state you reside in the issues below must be decided before a divorce agreement can be finalized.
Distribution of Property
In Florida, as in most other states, division of property between a divorcing couple is determined by the principle of “equitable distribution.” Thus, if the couple cannot agree upon how their marital property will be divvied up, the court will divide that property in a way it considers to be “fair,” which does not mean 50-50. While “fairness” may seem to be an unclear term, in making specific distributions of property the court will consider:
- Contributions to the marriage by each spouse, including both income and personal care
- Duration of the marriage
- Present economic circumstances of the spouses
- Whether one spouse supported the other through educational advancement
- Whether one spouse had to interrupt educational advancement in order to provide financial or childcare support
- Whether one spouse retains a business interest
- Past contributions of both parties of marital and nonmarital assets to the family
- Importance of keeping a dependant child in the family homestead
- Destruction or waste of marital assets by one of the spouses during the 2 years prior to the divorce
Spousal Support (Alimony)
These days, when most families have two wage-earning parents, one is often obligated to contribute to the other after a divorce. In deciding whether spousal support is necessary and, if so, how much should be awarded, the following factors will be considered:
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and physical/ psychological condition of each party.
- Financial resources of each, including income, non-marital and marital assets, and debts
- Educational and vocational background and employability of each person
- Time required for the less prepared spouse to acquire education or training to find appropriate employment
- Each spouse’s contribution to family income through homemaking, child care, etc. while the other spouse was obtaining an education or building his/her career
- Child care responsibilities of each going forward
- Tax consequences of spousal support to both parties
Child Custody (Parental Responsibility)
There are two basic workable arrangements for child custody in Florida: sole custody and joint custody. In situations in which one parent has sole custody, the child lives with that parent but spends a sizable amount “time-sharing” with the other parent. If the parents agree on joint custody, various possibilities exist to make this feasible, such as the child spending half of the week with one parent and half with the other, or spending half the year with one and half with the other.
Both parents are responsible for supporting their children, though to what extent often becomes an issue of dispute. Florida follows the guidelines below for child support, unless, of course, the parents can come up with their own workable plan:
- Number of children in the marriage
- Educational expenses
- Cost of preschool or after school childcare
- Health insurance premiums
- Medical expenses
- Special needs such as physical and psychological therapy
- Recreational costs, such as swimming lessons or athletic expenses
Contact Our Maitland Family Law Lawyer
At Orlando Family Team, our Maitland family law attorneys are highly capable negotiators with insight into resolving divorce matters with the least tumultuous approach. We will try our very best to provide you with the most cost-effective, dignified means of marriage dissolution — divorce mediation. Unfortunately, there are too many spouses who cannot be persuaded to negotiate peaceably, either due to rage, a desire for revenge, or pure greed. If you are dealing with any type of divorce, Orlando Family Team has all the necessary talents and tools for aggressive litigation. You can trust us to work with commitment and compassion to get you the best positive outcome. Contact us soon so we can facilitate a divorce that will provide you and your children with the most security and the least discomfort.