divorce attorney tampa fl

If you are looking for a top law firm and a divorce attorney Tampa FL residents trust, it may be in your best interest to contact The McKinney Law Group. The McKinney Law Group is one of the highest caliber law firms where you can find a Tampa divorce attorney. We are here to help you to meet your legal needs and our goal is to provide our clients with a high standard of legal advice during some of the most difficult times of their lives. Life in the immediate consequences of divorce can be messy, which is why we place sincere emphasis on this concept to serve our clients’ legal needs. Located below is a description of our focus areas. Call us today to speak with the type of experienced divorce attorney Tampa FL residents deserve and learn how we focus on addressing our clients’ needs. Learn about Wealth Management In Divorce

Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

A divorce attorney Tampa FL locals recommend from The McKinney Law Group is available for those who desire a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement. Since 2012, Super Lawyers continues to name Damien McKinney a rising star, and he works hard to maintain his growing reputation. As a divorce attorney in Tampa FL, Damien is well suited to help individuals protect their rights prior to entering into a partnership that will hopefully last forever, but may not.

When couples enter into holy matrimony or into a cohabitation arrangement, they intend it to last forever. Sadly, all too often this is not the case and the resulting financial issues can wreak havoc. When a partner enters into the relationship they may have assets that need to be protected before marriage or formal cohabitation. Each situation is unique, which is why it’s important to discuss the details with Damien McKinney, who can advise you on your legal options. Call The McKinney Law Group at 813-906-0048 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The following general information may answer some of your questions about prenuptial and cohabitation agreements.

What are prenuptial and cohabitation agreements?

Both types of agreements are intended to preserve and protect the rights of two individuals prior to getting married or moving in together. Usually the document specifies how assets will be divided if the relationship ends. In addition to assets, other important arrangements such as spousal support may be specified depending on the individuals involved.

  • A prenuptial agreement is one that is agreed to between two people prior to getting married. Many couples hire a divorce attorney Tampa FL relies on to draft a prenuptial because it offers the following advantages:
    • This type of agreement is governed by family law.
    • Upon the passing of one of the spouses, a prenuptial agreement can help reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes on assets inherited by the surviving spouse as well as the children. A divorce attorney Tampa FL offers can provide more information about these tax advantages.
    • The surviving spouse can be protected and provided for financially with a prenuptial agreement in place. A trusted divorce attorney Tampa FL turns to can draft a legally binding agreement accordingly.
    • A Tampa divorce attorney can use a prenuptial agreement to specify the desires of a partner for how they wish their estate assets should be divided and distributed after their passing.
  • A cohabitation agreement is one that is agreed to between two people prior to moving into the same dwelling.
    • This type of agreement is governed by contract law.
    • Cohabitation agreements cannot legally specify child custody arrangements or other issues pertaining to children.
    • Unmarried couples, particularly those who reside in states that do not recognize common law marriage, can use a cohabitation agreement in lieu of a prenuptial.

Many people often get married without worrying about the legal consequences. This can increase the risk of a legal dilemma in the future, such as dissolution of marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be a legal alternative for couples who desire to get married, but would like to have legal protection in place. Postnuptial agreements are willingly drawn after a marriage. Similar to a prenuptial, it can ease any apprehensions over assets and capital distribution in the event that something happens to the marriage. If a divorce is initiated, the postnuptial agreement dictates what happens with assets, personal belongings, and other capital the individuals may own. To get your questions answered, contact a divorce attorney in Tampa FL at the McKinney Law Group.

Alimony and Child Support

Alimony is usually determined during dissolution of marriage cases. It is also known by many as spousal support, and is occasionally granted after dissolution of marriage to provide one party with monetary help to be able to sustain their standard of living. This method is only used when divorce has not been filed. On the other hand, if a divorce has been filed and support is needed, then a Motion for Temporary Aid could be filed with the court. The McKinney Law group is where you can find the type of divorce attorney Tampa FL residents should look for, so don’t hesitate to call us today for your free consultation.

Child support refers to economic support concerning the care of child after a dissolution of marriage or similar legal situation. In regards to child support, the reimbursement areas are broad, but not restricted to fees for medical care, living expenses, school, and extracurricular activities. The McKinney Law group is standing by to assist you with our current situation and develop a customized plan that can work for you and your family. Contact us today to speak with the kind of divorce attorney Tampa FL has to offer. Learn about What are the current divorce statistics?


child support chart

The Various Levels of Child Custody

When two parents decide to split up, they must find out a way to negotiate the terms of child custody. The parents may try to do this through mediation, but if that is not possible then they may have to attend court for a judge to have the final say. There are many levels of custody a parent may be awarded. Disputes regarding who gets custody can get ugly very quickly, as emotions are probably running very high during this time.

An attorney at The McKinney Law Group understands how stressful fighting for child custody may be for you and your children. A Tampa, FL divorce attorney will do everything in their power to see that you maintain a strong relationship with your children.

Physical Custody

The judge may decide to award sole physical custody to one parent, or have each parent share this role through joint physical custody. The benefits of shared custody can be that each parent still feels as though he or she plays a pivotal role in their children’s lives. It can also be healthy for children to maintain an equal relationship and shared time with each parent, versus feeling like one parent is seen less often than the other. When parents are trying to figure out the terms of child custody through mediation, they may consider the following:

  • What days or weeks shall be spent with each parent (assuming they both have joint physical custody)
  • Whether one parent or the other plans to move within the next year or so
  • How well each parent can deal with seeing the other on a fairly regular basis (when dropping off or picking up children)
  • Which school the children would go to based on where both parents live
  • How holidays and weekends are to be split up for the year

Legal Custody

Similar to physical custody, a judge may award one parent sole legal custody, or have each parent share this role together. The parent with legal custody can make decisions regarding their children’s medical care, after school activities, education, religion, and more. An attorney at The McKinney Law Group can help you get ready for mediation sessions or court hearings in regards to custody. It is common for both parents to be awarded joint legal custody, unless any of the following had occurred throughout the marriage:

  • Abusive behavior (physical, mental or emotional)
  • Neglect involving the children or other parent
  • Incarceration
  • Diagnosis of mental illness which has an impact on parenting
  • Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)
  • Abandonment

When Mediation Fails

When mediation sessions between you and your former partner regarding child custody are unsuccessful, then family court may be needed. Two parents may do their best to settle disputes but simply cannot arrive at a solution which makes them both happy. It can help to have a Tampa, FL divorce attorney be there for advice, answer questions, and represent you during your court hearings if needed.

Please contact our law firm to schedule an appointment with an attorney at The McKinney Law Group right away, if you need help during your child custody battle. You deserve having an experience Tampa FL divorce attorney at your side.

4 Important Things to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer

Many Americans are finding out the hard way that marriage isn’t what they expected it to be. With over 50% of marriages breaking up, hiring a divorce attorney in Tampa FL, has become pretty common. The problem with splitting up is it inevitably comes with collateral damage. Things like child custody, homeownership, and family finances can quickly become under dispute and spouses will each likely engage the help of an attorney. Here are a few things someone engaged in a divorce might think to ask an attorney.

1. What About the Kids?

Each state obviously has its own set of laws regarding child custody, divorce and family affairs. A lawyer like one from Mckinney Law Group might be able to assist with family court proceedings. Hiring an attorney ensures that someone fluent with the law is guiding the process and hopefully gains a favorable outcome. Children are within a special bracket of family law and finding an attorney who specializes in this can be a key element to success.

2. What About the House?

The home is the largest asset usually shared between spouses in a marriage. People often find themselves in dispute with their partners, however, when splitting up becomes a reality. It’s a good idea from the start to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa FL, and explain to him or her the ownership situation of the house. The dispute, of course, won’t end there and soon a list of items will be under ownership dispute.  

3. What About the Court Appearances?  

A divorce attorney in Tampa FL, might be able to assist with all of the court dates that follow the divorce filing. A family attorney like one from Mckinney Law Group may help by coordinating schedules with the courthouse docket since they are in communication with the judge’s secretary and will make sure important court hearings are not held on days where it conflicts with a client’s schedule. An attorney can often waive his or her client’s appearance for less important hearings.

4. What About Expenses?  

The state might require one of the divorcees to pay the other in support of continuing living expenses. Each state has different laws regarding the amount and frequency of alimony payments. Make sure to bring this up with a divorce attorney in Tampa FL, so he or she can figure out what the details of this might be. Child support expenses may come into effect if one of the parents is expected to house and support the children for a majority of the time.

4 Important Things to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer Infographic

4 Important Things to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer Infographic

If you’re at the point wherein you’re up late nights Googling “Divorce attorney – Tampa – free consultation,” it’s time to schedule a free case evaluation with our firm. You have absolutely nothing to lose by attending a free consultation as this meeting doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t obligate you to either work with our firm or take any legal action whatsoever. However, you do have – potentially – much to gain by taking this particular meeting. After our legal team learns some details about your current situation, we can provide you with personalized guidance about your options. This will empower you to make informed decisions regarding whether it makes sense for you to pursue divorce, how the divorce process will affect you financially and practically, as well as how to time a divorce in ways that will make this transition less difficult on you and your family.

Timing Your Divorce Process

The main considerations you’ll likely be faced with when thinking about timing your divorce are:

  • The ability of you and/or your spouse to move out of the marital home
  • Whether any of your financial assets will be significantly compromised by the timing of your divorce
  • Whether any minor children will be impacted by the timing of your divorce and how significantly those impacts (the end of the school year, moving your child to another school district, etc.) should influence your timing choices
  • How challenging it will be to fully separate your physical and intangible property between two households

With that said, when you attend a “Tampa divorce attorney free consultation” with a member of our experienced team, we’ll be able to more fully analyze the ways in which you, your family, and your unique situation may be impacted by timing your divorce in certain ways.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you are trying to figure out the most advantageous timing for your divorce process, consider scheduling a free consultation with the experienced divorce lawyer Tampa, FL recommends from The McKinney Law Group today. A free consultation allows you to explore your options, ask questions, and clarify your legal situation in a no-risk, no-cost setting. Attending this meeting won’t obligate you to file for divorce, nor will it obligate you to work with our firm moving forward. This is simply a forum that allows our team to get to know potential clients, provide them with a free case evaluation, and address any concerns they might have.

We take a great deal of pride in helping individuals navigate family legal challenges – from divorce to child custody modifications – as successfully as they possibly can. When possible, timing these legal challenges to your family’s advantage can make a big difference in regard to how challenging these transitions end up being. To get a better sense of how to time your divorce to your family’s greatest advantage, schedule a free Tampa divorce attorney consultation with our firm today; we look forward to speaking with you.

The McKinney Law Group

Florida prenuptial and cohabitation agreements are legally binding and can be in effect indefinitely. It’s important to make sure they are drafted and reviewed by a qualified attorney. Call The McKinney Law Group at 813-906-0048 to consult a divorce attorney Tampa FL couples trust and find out how you can protect your assets and legal rights.

We are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you and can be reached by phone at 813-906-0048 or by e-mail at contact@themckinneylawgroup.com. The McKinney Law Group is considered one of the highest caliber law firms where you can find a divorce attorney Tampa FL is proud to have representing its community, so don’t hesitate to contact us today for your free consultation.

What happens when divorce and bankruptcy overlap?

As a Tampa FL divorce attorney can tell you, money problems are one of the main causes of failed marriages. In turn, divorce can lead to substantial money problems. Divorce is an already stressful ordeal, but what happens when a partner endures money problems that require them to file for bankruptcy? Sometimes divorce and bankruptcy overlap. Dealing with divorce and bankruptcy at the same time can seem impossible to handle. The following are some important things to consider when a divorce and bankruptcy overlap. For more information about handing divorce and bankruptcy proceedings at the same time, contact a Tampa FL divorce attorney from The McKinney Law Group.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcies

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates all unsecured debts. Typically, all debts are discharged within a few months. To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are certain income and means requirements that must be met.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is different in that it requires a repayment plan to pay back debts within 3 to 5 years. If you make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this is the next best option. Regardless of which type of bankruptcy you opt to pursue, you may be best served by working with a Tampa FL divorce attorney who can guide you through the process.

Should I File for Bankruptcy Before or After My Divorce?

Assuming both spouses intend to file for bankruptcy, there are a few things to consider when determining whether to file for bankruptcy before or after your divorce:

  • Time: If you are filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it can be done before a divorce since it only takes a few months. Since a Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can take up to five years, it might be best to file after the divorce.
  • Allocation of Debts: If you and your spouse are both responsible for the debts, it is generally easier to file for joint bankruptcy before divorcing. Otherwise, regardless of who is assigned to repay a debt in a divorce, both spouses are still deemed responsible for the debt. Talk to a Tampa FL divorce attorney if your spouse and you disagree about who is responsible for which debts.
  • Property Division: If you and your spouse jointly own most of the property, then it is generally easier to divide the property after a joint bankruptcy. However, you should ensure that your state allows enough exemptions to protect the property. Some states allow more exemptions if you file jointly; if your state does not, it may better to wait until after the divorce to file.
  • Qualifying for Bankruptcy: A joint income while married may hurt your chances of qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Conversely, if you are divorced then your individual income will be less and may improve your chances of eligibility.

Whether to file jointly before a divorce or individually after a divorce largely depends on your situation, as well as the laws in your state. A divorce attorney in Tampa FL can provide you guidance based on your unique circumstances.

What To Provide Your Divorce Attorney

Tampa FL divorce attorney Damien McKinney explains what to bring with you when you’re getting ready to divorce. This checklist helps us strategize how to obtain an outcome that is as close as possible to what you want.

Preparation goes a long way towards helping you obtain the results you need from your divorce. When you compile bills, statements, and other records, we’re able to get a clear understanding of you and your spouse’s lifestyle, plus past and current situations.

These documents also support why the outcome you want is the right one for you and your children. It’s not an exhaustive list, because each case is unique, but it’s an excellent start. To find out what you need for your case, contact Tampa FL divorce attorney Damien McKinney. Learn more on How a Divorce Attorney Can Help Your Divorce Process?

Marriage Documents

In order to divorce in Florida, you need to prove you’re married and that at least one spouse has lived in Florida for 6 months — although, please note that if you or your spouse is serving in the military in Tampa or another military base, the rules may be a little different for you.

Marriage documents can include:

  • You can prove you’re married with a marriage certificate.
  • Bring any prenuptial or separation agreements.
  • Bring personal identification for you and, if possible, your spouse.
  • Bring other proofs of residence as needed.
  • Financial Documents

Your financial documents are a requirement to divorce. Within about 6 weeks of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the initial filing that starts your divorce process, you and your spouse will have to disclose your finances.

Since financial disclosures are often the basis of why we negotiate for certain outcomes, it’s vital to your case that you are upfront and transparent.

The McKinney Law Group is experienced with a variety of financial situations, whether in your prior residence or in Tampa FL. Divorce attorney ethics are clear here. Our job is to help you get your desired outcome, not judge your finances, so don’t withhold information here.

If you’re worried your spouse may be hiding or may try to hide assets, bring every piece of paperwork you can find that is related to what you think may be hidden. We can help you understand how you might do that if you’re not sure.

Financial documents may include:

  • Personal and business tax returns for the past 5 years
  • Proof of income, including pay stubs or offer letters
  • Benefit statements, like company stock awards or insurance policies
  • Bank account statements, including personal, business, or savings
  • Other financial account statements, like stock portfolios or trusts
  • Mortgage documents and household bills
  • Documents for Your Children

If you have children, we work hard to make sure all choices, decisions, and outcomes related to them are in their best interests. Learn more about Alimony

Emotions can run high when it comes to the matter of your children in a divorce, so we look at the real situation and listen to your explanation of the documents in order to understand what’s best for them.

Your children’s documents may include:

  • Birth certificates, indicating parentage
  • Tuition receipts and other school expenses
  • Medical bills or insurance policy costs
  • Daycare receipts and related expenses
  • Expenses related to special needs
  • Other Documents or Evidence

There may be other documents or evidence we require in order to make the strongest case possible for you. As we learn more about your needs, we can let you know if this comes up.

Other evidence can include:

  • Your will, including any living wills
  • Health directives
  • Powers of attorney
  • Personal testimony
  • Testimony from third parties
  • Interviews with your children

If you have been a victim of any kind of abuse, including psychological, physical, sexual, stalking, or harassment, please let us know immediately. We can help you understand how to stay safe and direct you to the appropriate resources.

In these instances, please provide us with copies of police reports you may have, too.

Tampa FL Divorce Attorney Explains Alimony Basics

After a divorce, spouses may be obligated to pay support for the former spouse. This agreement can be decided between the couple or in some cases be determined by the court. At The McKinney Law Group we strive to help you during this already difficult time. You may be in need of spousal support but find that a fair agreement is not being meet. Our lawyers will work along your side and guide you every step of the way so that you are receiving the financial support you need.

The Purpose of Alimony

Alimony was put into action as a way to restrict one-sided economic effects after a divorce on either individual. Alimony is having the higher paid spouse provide financial support to the lower wage earning spouse or a non wage earning spouse. There are two primary purposes of alimony:

  1. One of the spouses may have chosen to stay home with the family to help raise children. Alimony will allow that spouse the opportunity to develop job skills without the extra financial burden.   
  2. Help the spouse maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage.

Determining the Amount of Alimony

If the couple can come to an agreement on their own regarding spousal support you may not need to go to court. However, in the event that you do, the court has few guidelines and restrictions that must be followed when determining if alimony should be awarded or not. Our knowledgeable Tampa FL divorce attorney will advocate on your behalf and encourage the court to keep the following factors in mind when making decisions regarding alimony:

  • Physical condition, age, financial condition and emotional state of the spouses.
  • If it is feasible for the spouse paying alimony to still support herself or himself.
  • The standard of living that the couple shared during marriage.
  • How long the marriage lasted.
  • How much time would the individual receiving spousal support need for training or education in order to become self-sufficient.

Alimony Timeframe

The length of time that alimony must be paid varies according to different factors. These may include:

  • Spousal support is only being paid for the time period it takes for the recipient spouse to gain training or education needed to become self-supporting. However, the court orders must specify a termination date in order for them to stop, otherwise alimony must continue to be paid.
  • If the recipient spouse gets remarried, the spousal support will most likely end.
  • In some situations, if the spouse paying alimony dies, spousal support may still be obtained by the other spouse. This is determined by the court and they will analyze age and/or health conditions. If they believe the individual is still in need of financial assistance, the support may come from the paying spouse’s life insurance or estate proceeds.  

Get the Help you Deserve from a Tampa FL Divorce Attorney

If you are concerned about how you will support yourself after going through a divorce then consider contacting the skillful divorce lawyers from The McKinney Law Group. A divorce can be an emotional and stressful time without the added legal issues. Our lawyers can provide excellent service and prepare you for the future. When you are ready for a free consultation with a Tampa FL divorce attorney, call The McKinney Law Group.

Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Attorney

If you are planning to get a divorce, it is wise to have an experienced Tampa, FL divorce attorney on your side. A divorce is a complicated matter, and you do not want to go through it alone. Here are some of the benefits of hiring a divorce attorney.

  • Assist with paperwork. Divorce involves mountains of paperwork. It can be incredibly overwhelming and include legal jargon that you may not understand. If you make the smallest error while filling out these documents, it can delay your case. This is one important reason to work with a skilled divorce attorney. He or she will make sure that you fill out the paperwork accurately and by the deadline.
  • Provide objective advice. Getting divorced can cause you to feel a wide range of emotions. When you are overwhelmed with so many emotions, it can be difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions. That is why it pays to have a divorce attorney on your side. He or she will remain impartial and provide you with objective advice throughout the process. This can prevent you from making a mistake, such as accepting an unfair settlement to get the process over with quicker.
  • Determine if you are getting a fair share. One of the most important aspects of divorce is deciding how to divide marital assets. Different states have different laws regarding these matters. If you do not have knowledge of the law, the other side may take advantage of you. An experienced divorce attorney, on the other hand, will have knowledge of the laws in your state and will improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
  • Reduce your stress. A divorce can be one of the most stressful events of your life. If you have to handle the legal process without assistance, it can become even more overwhelming. A divorce attorney will handle all the legwork, so you can have time to take care of yourself.
  • Speed up the process. Since a divorce is a difficult process, you naturally want to get it over with as fast as possible. If you work with a skilled divorce attorney, you have a better chance of finalizing your divorce faster. He or she knows how the court process works and will make sure that you meet all important deadlines.

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