Divorce Lawyer St. Petersburg, FL

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Tampa Divorce Attorney

Divorce Lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL

A divorce is something no married couple wants to go through, but sometimes the difficult decision has to be made for the benefit of both parties, as a divorce lawyer that St. Petersburg, Florida trusts and respects very well. At that time, having a divorce lawyer there to offer critical legal representation and support can make a significant impact. Going through such a complex legal issue on your own can add stress, emotional strain, and can run you the risk of making crucial issues that can impede the divorce case. You don’t want to have to deal with additional obstacles that could have been avoided if you had a lawyer. If you are in need of legal help, contact a lawyer like one from The McKinney Law Group for divorce-related legal assistance.


Divorce Lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL 

As a law firm that specializes in various aspects of family law, The McKinney Law Group knows that family law cases are one of the toughest types of cases to assist clients with. Having been in practice for over 10 years, the legal team at McKinney has extensive experience in developing individualized strategies that will serve each client and help them advance towards their desired outcome. If you are seeking an attorney that you can rely on for divorce support and general legal needs, you should consider working with an attorney from The McKinney Law Group.


Understanding the Divorce Process

When couples go through divorce, the entire process can take many months, from the initial claim to finalization. Divorce has many layers, and it comes with legal hurdles that many clients may need guidance with, as a divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL can explain. Submitting the required documents, reviewing information, completing each of the requirements can be a lengthy and complex process. A lawyer can illuminate the decision-making process and explain the context so that you are fully informed of the situation.


Costs and Expenses of Divorce

The costs of divorce can be hard for both parties to handle. Divorce typically costs thousands of dollars, and according to the legal website Nolo, the average cost of a divorce in the United States is roughly $12,900. This financial toll adds another layer of complexity to a divorce case. A lawyer can explain in detail how divorce costs are calculated. Factors such as your state of residence, whether or not you and your ex have disputes, and whether your case needs to go to trial can add additional expenses. Some primary costs and expenses that clients can expect to pay during a divorce can be broken down into the following items:

  • Attorney fees
  • Court fees
  • Divorce filing fees
  • Miscellaneous fees

If you have children, child custody and child support will also be issues handled by the court around the same time as the divorce proceeding. Other optional expenses include mediation or arbitration, family therapy, and other miscellaneous fees.


Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce

Social media allows people to stay connected to their family and friends. However, if you’re currently in the middle of a divorce, you need to be a little more careful about what you post on social media. Here are some common social media mistakes a divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL wants you to avoid making.

  • Talking poorly about your ex: If you and your spouse are getting divorced, it’s natural for you to have some ill feelings toward him or her. Perhaps your ex was unfaithful in the marriage. Or maybe he or she was verbally abusive. However, you should avoid badmouthing your ex on Facebook and other social media profiles. It will only make you look bad in front of the judge and may negatively affect your child custody case.
  • Stalking your ex: When you’re going through a divorce, you may find yourself constantly checking your ex’s social media pages for updates. You’re curious what he or she is up to and can’t help but to check up on him or her. However, this will just make it more difficult to move on from yourself. For your own emotional health, avoid stalking your ex on social media.
  • Oversharing the details of your divorce: A divorce is emotionally painful, so it’s understandable that you want to talk about your feelings. However, a divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL would advise you against doing this on social media. It could end up hurting your relationships and career prospects. If you want to talk about your divorce, do so with a trusted friend or family member in private.
  • Posting photos of big purchases: Another mistake people going through divorce make on social media is posting their big purchases. This can ultimately hurt your financial gain in your divorce. For example, if you’re claiming that you will struggle financially and need alimony, but post photos of a new sports car you bought, it could make you look bad in court.
  • Posting inappropriate photos: People love posting photos of themselves on social media sites. However, if you’re going through a divorce, you have to be extra careful about the types of photos you post. For instance, if you post a photo of yourself drinking at a bar, it could make you look like an irresponsible parent and hurt your child custody case.


Keeping Divorce Costs Manageable

One of the primary reasons why the divorce process seems like such a stressful prospect is that, traditionally, divorce is expensive. There will always be costs involved in dividing a single household into two. However, the divorce process doesn’t need to be unnecessarily expensive. There are many different ways to keep divorce-related costs as manageable as possible under the circumstances. With that said, there are times at which you may benefit from navigating an upfront cost in pursuit of a long-term goal.


Needs, Wants, and Priorities

The complexity of any couple’s divorce process depends primarily upon the approaches taken by the spouses involved. If both spouses want to split amicably and with minimal legal “fuss,” there will be far fewer costs involved in this process than there would be if fundamental differences needed to be resolved via judicial intervention. Sometimes, digging one’s heels in is worth the associated legal costs if the goal involved is important. Other times, negotiation, compromise, and coming to a mutual agreement can advance a mutual goal to settle things in a manner that is as low-stress and low-cost as possible.

In the end, the approach that you should take to your own divorce will be dictated by your needs, wants, and priorities. Hopefully, these will align with your spouse’s, if you hope to keep divorce costs down. Upfront, the most cost-effective decision you can make is to negotiate with your spouse (via mediation, attorney-led negotiation, or one-on-one conversations) to come up with a divorce settlement that is fair and mutually agreeable. If your divorce remains amicable, you will save time and money that would otherwise be spent pursuing a contested divorce in court. However, if your needs, wants, and priorities are not going to be well-served by a process dictated by a need to compromise, it may be more expensive long-term to “give in” to your spouse’s demands than it would be to fight for what you need now.


When to Contest and When to Compromise

If you’re faced with the decision to compromise and lose out on something of great value to you or fight for what you want, you may need to dig your heels in and ask a judge to resolve your fundamental differences with your spouse. It may be necessary to fight for a certain custody arrangement for your child, a fair spousal support arrangement, or a different distribution of assets than your spouse will agree to. When considering what it means to “keep divorce costs manageable,” you must consider both the short-term and long-term consequences of any choices that you make. Agreeing to compromise now may save you on legal fees… but will doing so cost you dearly in the end? If you are unsure of how to weigh the costs and benefits of different approaches, don’t fret. Our legal team can help you to make whatever informed decision is right for you. 


Divorce After Retirement

In the past, the bulk of the divorce rate was centered around couples in their thirties and forties. However, the rate for couples of retirement age (60 and over) has been on the rise for the last decade. Divorce after retirement is a difficult situation, and it is imperative to understand your rights and responsibilities when facing the end of a marriage, especially if adult children are involved. A St. Petersburg, FL divorce lawyer can help.


Why More Divorces Now?

As social roles change, more and more older couples are getting divorced. When seniors were in their twenties and thirties, divorce was sometimes still seen as taboo in some areas, especially among devoutly religious people. That has changed. Also, increasing numbers of women from that generation are joining the workforce and feeling less tied to old lives and old relationships.

However, the most common reason that older couples give for divorcing is a reality check – with retirement comes increased time spent together, and sometimes couples have simply drifted apart over the years. Baby boomers are living longer, and given the less repressive social climate, if a marriage is no longer about successful communication, divorce is an option for more people. This is especially true for those who have been married more than once; after one divorce, any lingering stigma seems to disappear. A St. Petersburg, FL divorce lawyer knows that the divorce rate for second marriages is 67 percent, and for third marriages, it’s 74 percent.


Asset Division – The Main Stumbling Block

By far the most complex part of divorcing after retirement is the division of assets. Many people make the mistake of blindly holding on to their marital home and taking very few other assets. In this real estate climate, that move would be a mistake; too many homes have uncertain equity for it to be safe.

The other assets most common to senior divorces are pensions and Social Security benefits. Pensions are traditionally the property of both spouses if they were earned during the marriage. It is important to be aware that a divorce is the only time a pension may be divided without a court order. Usually, a system is set up to pay benefits directly to the divorced spouse, via a document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

Social Security benefits, by comparison, belong to the person who earned them. However, you may be able to receive such benefits based on specific qualifications. You can also collect survivor benefits even after your divorce if the same condition applies or if you are taking care of a minor child. For these reasons and more, a divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, such as Attorney McKinney, can help you determine which is the best option financially for your situation.

4 Questions To Ask a Divorce Lawyer

If you are currently considering getting a divorce or have already taken some steps in the process, you probably have a lot of questions. When getting a divorce it is important to choose a good divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL. You want someone who will represent you well and who has your best interests at heart. Here are four questions you should ask a lawyer during your consultation with Mckinney Law Group. 

1. Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

Divorce can be expensive, and you might be looking for ways to cut costs. If your case seems fairly straightforward, you might wonder if you even need to pay for a lawyer at all. Lawyers will advocate for you and are often able to get a more favorable outcome than you might get on your own. They will also handle the paperwork and filing that can be stressful to do alone. It’s always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your specific case and decide together whether you will benefit from legal services. 

2. How Much Do You Charge?

Before selecting a lawyer, you’ll want to know how much the fees are, and how and when those payments are expected to be made. A divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, will likely charge a fixed rate, or by the hour. Some lawyers might offer financial help or be able to refer you to a more affordable lawyer.

3. What Are My Rights?

Make sure to ask about the rights and the laws that protect you, your children, your assets, and all other important aspects of your life. It’s good to know early in the process what is reasonable to expect and what things you might need to negotiate on or give up entirely. Knowing these things can help prevent you from being manipulated or coerced by your spouse, family members, or outside parties who don’t have your best interest at heart. Mckinney Law Group is dedicated to making sure you feel confident in your rights.

4. What Do I Need To Do? 

Before leaving your consultation, make sure you understand what your role is in the divorce proceedings. While your divorce lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, will handle the bulk of the work, he or she should advise you on ways you can help your case and things to avoid so you don’t hurt your case. You can also ask what the next steps in the process look like and what kind of timeline you should expect. 

Schedule a Consultation With a Top Florida Attorney 

To learn more about obtaining legal assistance, schedule a consultation with a St. Petersburg, FL divorce lawyer at The McKinney Law Group today.