Do You Need an Attorney for a Divorce in Florida?

Divorce attorney filling out paperwork

Many individuals who are considering or starting the process of filing a divorce in Martin County, Florida typically weigh the pros and cons of working with an attorney. Of course, every individual’s situation is unique in its own way. No two divorces are alike.

Any individual can file a divorce and go through the legal process without a divorce attorney, however, depending on the circumstances of your divorce, working with a qualified and professional divorce attorney in Martin County, Florida might be a good idea…

In this article, we will outline some of the common divorce circumstances that will help you to determine whether or not you need a divorce attorney.

5 Common Divorce Circumstances

As we mentioned above, every divorce is a unique case. However, many divorces involve similar circumstances, which include the following:

1. Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

There are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. A contested divorce involves one spouse who wants a divorce and the other does not. Contested divorce cases can be very complex, and many can get ugly. Contested divorces usually require a divorce attorney to get through the process.

On the other hand, an uncontested divorce is when both parties agree to the divorce. These cases are more common and straightforward. Uncontested divorce cases don’t always require a divorce attorney, but this depends on what other circumstances are involved.

2. Financial Disclosure

Regardless of the type of divorce, the circumstances, or whether or not you work with a divorce attorney, financial disclosure is a requirement to file for a divorce in Martin County, Florida.

Financial disclosure refers to financial paperwork related to annual income for both spouses, marital and non-marital assets, and retirement accounts. For example, financial disclosure typically includes:

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Children (such as medical or daycare expenses)
  • Retirement
  • Health insurance
  • Tax returns
  • Any relevant pending claims (such as personal injury, workers’ compensation, or bankruptcy suits/actions)

Organizing and filing financial disclosure can be a time-consuming and painful headache. In fact, many individuals end up hiring a divorce attorney to help them organize and handle all financial disclosure.

3. Requests for Alimony

Alimony is another common element of divorce. Many individuals make the common mistake of assuming that if they request alimony in a divorce they are going to get it. This is not true.

The State of Florida considers various factors for determining whether or not a spouse receives or must pay alimony. Some of these factors include the length of the marriage, the type of alimony that is requested, and a mathematical formula.

If you plan on requesting alimony from a spouse, or you think that your spouse may ask you for alimony, it is in your best interest to work with a divorce attorney in Martin County, Florida.

4. Child Custody, Child Support, and Parenting Plans

If you and your spouse have children together—particularly children under the age of 18—then you should be prepared to have conversations about child custody, child support, and parenting, or timesharing plans.

The State of Florida recognizes each parent fairly and wants to ensure that both parents spend time with their children equally. However, this is often where spouses disagree. In some cases, battles for who gets which child when or what they are responsible for can get incredibly complex.

In these cases, we recommend working with a divorce attorney in Martin County, Florida to help you navigate child custody and parenting plan laws in the State of Florida and to also ensure the child’s best interests are considered.

5. Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets

The discussion about dividing marital assets in a divorce is usually a difficult one. Who gets what and how much? Marital assets refer to any asset—or liability—that is incurred during the marriage. Some common examples of marital assets include the following:

  • Cash
  • Vehicles
  • Properties
  • Retirement accounts
  • Personal artifacts

If you and your spouse do not have any marital assets, then you may be able to get away with filing for divorce without an attorney. However, many individuals assume that equitable distribution starts at 50/50, but this isn’t always the case. The 50/50 formula is only a starting point.

Do You Need a Divorce Attorney in Florida?

All in all, depending on the number of circumstances that pertain to your divorce should help you to determine whether or not you need a divorce attorney in Martin County, Florida. However, if you want to ensure the best possible legal outcome for your divorce—for both you and your family—then it’s always a good idea to work with an experienced divorce attorney.

Divorce isn’t something that any spouse wants to be dragged out over a long period of time. At The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A. we understand the common challenges that spouses face during a divorce. Our family law team guides every client through the process and provides solid, aggressive, and compassionate representation.

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