Divorce Lawyer Clearwater, FL

Divorce Lawyer Clearwater, FL

When irreconcilable differences lead to the end of a marriage, you want to make sure you have a trusted and respected divorce lawyer in Clearwater, Florida by your side to support you through the situation. Divorce is difficult to go through, and the process often involves a lot of complicated negotiations. Going through the entire process can be stressful, so it is recommended that you work with a lawyer so that you have someone who can speak on your behalf. Securing the protection of your rights, money and other key assets is critical when you are going through divorce. A divorce lawyer such as one from The McKinney Law Group can provide reliable legal assistance to support you through this difficult time.

Divorce Lawyer in Clearwater, FL

As an established family law firm that the Clearwater, FL community has depended on for years The McKinney Law Group has handled many kinds of cases. They have assisted clients with cases involving divorce, prenuptial agreements, alimony, and other topics within the realm of family law for over 10 years. Through their skills, resources, and insight, they will assess your individual situation to propose solutions that will uphold your best interests. Working with many clients and families, they understand that your legal matters are deeply personal and will accommodate your concerns and preferences to the best of their ability so that you obtain the outcome you are seeking. Contact them today to learn more about how they can help you with your case.

How Do I Protect My Assets? 

As a family law attorney is familiar with, questions about asset protection strategies are one of the most common concerns raised by clients who are going through divorce. A lawyer will evaluate your assets and recommend various methods of protecting them, such as setting up trusts or new accounts. These methods will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the value and number of each asset. By suggesting and reviewing agreements and forms of asset protection, you can feel more confident as you go through your divorce proceedings.

How Will My Marital Assets and Property Be Divided in Divorce?

When many people think of property division in a divorce, they imagine that the property is divided in equal proportion to each spouse when the divorce is finalized. While this may be true of couples who live in community property states, it is not necessarily true in Florida. Florida law requires property division in a divorce to be handled by equitable division.

Ideally, your Clearwater, FL divorce lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer will be able to agree on what is marital property and should be included in any divorce settlement. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, then the judge who is overseeing the divorce will determine which property is marital property and can therefore be divided using the principles of equitable division. This means that property is divided equitably, or fairly, however, this distribution will not necessarily be one that is equal.

 Generally, the court does not consider marital misconduct when dividing marital property. However, an issue like the dissipation of marital assets does affect the equitable division. Dissipation of marital assets relates to the inappropriate use of the assets for non-marital purposes. This can sometimes come up if one spouse starts spending marital property to support a new relationship or to start a new business after the couple’s separation pending divorce. Before the court can consider dissipation, your Clearwater divorce lawyer will have to file a claim alleging dissipation by your spouse and meet other requirements.

Factors the Court Will Consider When Deciding Equitable Distribution

Other factors that the court can consider in dividing property include the financial situation of the spouses after the divorce. Additionally, the court can also consider the tax implications of the property division, and whether the spouses have other obligations such as paying child support or spousal maintenance coming from a previous relationship.

 If the divorcing couple also has children, the court could consider which parent will be primarily responsible for the children in awarding the marital home. This could mean that the court offsets any inequity that results from this in another way, for example by awarding the other spouse other assets, or by not awarding spousal maintenance. 

Even when dividing marital assets equitably, the court has to ensure that any valid premarital and postmarital agreements signed by the couple that addresses property division are followed. Therefore, if under a couple’s agreement, all marital property should be divided equally, the court will follow this, even if it is different from Florida’s default law. The exception to this would be if a court finds that such a method of dividing the property would be against public policy.

Why You Should Hire a Divorce Lawyer

It is highly recommended to hire a divorce lawyer for several reasons. The first is to ensure your rights are fully protected. While representing yourself is always an option, if you do not have a legal background you may risk missing crucial details or mishandling your case. An experienced lawyer has worked on many cases, including those similar to yours, so they have a strong understanding of the best practices and strategies to use for a positive case outcome. In case you are also strongly considering alternatives to divorce to avoid excess costs, stress, and time, then a lawyer can help you go through those as well.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation With a Divorce Lawyer

If you are planning to get divorced, one of your next steps is to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in Clearwater, FL. It is important to come prepared. Here are a few ways to get ready for your consultation.

  • Arrive Early: It is best to leave a little early for your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer. This way, you will have a chance to sit down and relax before you have to discuss your divorce.
  • Determine what you want from the divorce: Before you arrive at your first consultation with a divorce lawyer, you have to figure out what exactly you want from your divorce. For instance, you may wish to stay in the family home or get full custody of your children. Tell your lawyer about your wishes and include as many details as possible.
  • Bring the necessary paperwork: To get the most out of your consultation with a divorce lawyer, you should bring relevant paperwork, such as your bank statements, tax returns, and prenuptial agreements. The more information your lawyer has about your divorce, the better he or she can help you.
  • Be completely honest: When you go into your initial divorce consultation, there may be some issues that you feel embarrassed discussing. For example, you may have had a substance abuse issue or were unfaithful to your spouse in your marriage. However, it’s important to be truthful with your divorce lawyer about everything. Your lawyer won’t be able to help you to the best of his or her ability if he or she doesn’t know the complete truth.
  • Prepare a list of questions: During your consultation, your divorce lawyer in Clearwater, FL shouldn’t be the only one asking questions. It’s also important for you to ask questions. For example, you may want to know how many years of experience your lawyer has in divorce law and how often he or she goes to trial. You may also be curious about what the lawyer’s fees are and approximately how long it will take to settle your case.
  • Take notes: At your first consultation, your divorce lawyer in Clearwater, FL will tell you a wealth of information. It may be difficult to remember all of the information that’s being thrown your way. That is why you should consider taking notes during the meeting.

Legal Assistance is Available

During this challenging time, you deserve to have access to trusted legal assistance and nothing less. Divorce is challenging and can take a heavy emotional toll, so it’s best to have that extra guidance and legal support. Explore what legal options are available for you by contacting a Clearwater, FL divorce lawyer and schedule a risk-free consultation to get started.