Divorce Lawyers in Palatka, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville
Every dedicated Palatka divorce attorney at Douglas Law Firm understands that bad things sometimes happen to all of us, and those difficult times can affect us in significant ways if we do not handle them appropriately. However, with confidence and perseverance, even the most unpleasant of experiences can be overcome. That is why we view divorce not as an end, but a new beginning. We are a team of lawyers with knowledge and compassion to guide you through the legal maze. We have multiple locations throughout northeast Florida where one of our experienced family law attorneys can meet you for a free consultation in cities including Jacksonville, Palatka, Orange Park, and St. Augustine. We are honored to serve clients throughout northeast Florida in Putnam County, Duval County, St. Johns County, Flagler County, and Clay County.
Work with a Palatka Divorce Attorney Who Understands the Impact of Divorce on Your Family
Divorce proceedings can be emotionally difficult for your family and your children. Small issues become the center of major disputes, and people find themselves in a roller coaster. No matter how intelligent or personable you are, when it is your relationship that is changing course, good advice is less than comforting. When going through a divorce, the assistance of a Palatka divorce attorney can be invaluable in your search for a favorable resolution.
Our experience and knowledge of the law allow us to provide advice on the various issues involved in divorce proceedings, including equitable distribution of property, parenting plans and child support, child custody, alimony or spousal support, attorneys' fees, and post-divorce proceedings.
Our firm handles both contested and uncontested divorce in Putnam, St. Johns, Duval, Flagler, and Nassau Counties. If you are in a battle over assets, including trusts, business ventures, real estate, and prospective off-shore accounts, we are well equipped to address these and other issues that are traditionally outside of the "family law" spectrum.
‘No Fault’ Divorce Explained by a Palatka Divorce Attorney
Getting divorced is often a contentious, emotionally draining experience for everyone involved. It does not, however, need to be a long, drawn-out, and costly legal battle.
Florida law is designed in many ways to avoid clogging up the courts with divorce litigation. Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that one spouse can get a divorce by filing paperwork stating that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Divorcing spouses do not need to waste time and energy pointing the finger at one another to try to prove who is really to blame for the split.
In other situations, however, “fault” may come into play regarding other issues related to the divorce, like how the property is divided or who gets custody of the kids. A spouse who puts his or her family in a dire financial situation with gambling, risky investments, or wasteful spending, for example, may have to explain that behavior to a court considering whether to award alimony or who gets the house.
A Palatka divorce attorney at Douglas Law Firm can help you navigate the legal process and formally untangle your marriage in a way that is mutually respectful and efficient. That includes negotiations to try to resolve issues, like property division and alimony among the divorcing spouses rather than leaving them to a judge to decide.
Types of Divorce in Florida
Florida offers a simplified, streamlined process in certain situations where the spouses are willing to work together to reach a resolution and meet certain requirements. This process is particularly helpful for spouses who do not have young children and want to finalize the divorce without being dragged into a dispute over who is to blame.
To qualify for a simplified divorce in Florida, the spouses have to agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and at least one spouse must have been living in the state for the previous six months. The spouses also have to show that they don’t have any kids under 18, that neither spouse is seeking alimony from the other, and that they have come to an agreement about how they will divide any assets and debt.
An “uncontested divorce” is one in which the spouses do not meet all of these requirements but have agreed to much or all of the terms under which they will effectively wind down their marriages. They detail the terms in a marital settlement agreement that must be approved by a judge and which becomes legally binding.
Even if you and your spouse have agreed to many or all of the terms of the split, it is important to consult a seasoned divorce lawyer. A Palatka divorce attorney at Douglas Law Firm can help you understand your rights and options and ensure that any final agreement accurately reflects your position.
A “contested divorce,” on the other hand, is one in which the spouses are not able to resolve many or all the issues related to the split. It usually features a series of hearings and eventually a trial before a judge. Spouses may be able to call witnesses and present other evidence during this litigation. A Palatka divorce attorney at Douglas Law Firm can help ensure that your rights are protected.
About Dividing Assets in a Divorce with a Palatka Divorce Attorney
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court begins with the premise that all marital property should be divided equally. However, in some cases, unequal distribution is warranted, such as when a spouse has been mishandling marital funds. We will work to ensure that your property rights are protected and distributed in your best interests.
Alimony or Spousal Support
There are a variety of factors the court takes into account when determining alimony. Your Palatka divorce attorney will review each of these with you in detail. These factors include how long the marriage lasted; the age, physical, and emotional condition of each party; the standard of living put forth in the marriage; financial resources of each spouse; and the contribution of each spouse to the marriage. We can help you determine what type of alimony could be involved in your divorce.
About Post-Divorce Proceedings
In some cases, a post-divorce proceeding may be necessary. Some examples include modification of alimony or child support, contempt, and relocation with a minor child. We can help you determine how to proceed even after your dissolution is final.
Attorneys’ Fees Awards for Divorce Lawyers
An award of attorneys' fees and costs may be awarded in marital dissolution proceedings. It can be ordered when the parties are in unequal financial positions in order to ensure that both parties have equal access to representation during the divorce. Your Palatka divorce attorney can determine if this will be an issue in your divorce proceedings.
Contact a Palatka Divorce Attorney Today to Learn More
To learn more about how a Palatka divorce attorney can help you and your family, contact us online or call 800-705-5457 for a free consultation. Douglas Law Firm has offices in Palatka, Orange Park, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville.