Florida Contested Divorce Lawyer During Coronavirus

Family law Tampa

family law Tampa

The nearly nationwide quarantine following the Covid-19 outbreak resulted in some major changes to daily life for most Americans. In some families, this turn of events has altered relationships with loved ones. For example, if you were stuck inside with your spouse for nearly two months (or longer), you likely experienced more tension and arguments than usual. This particular challenge was widely reported and commonplace.

For some couples, especially those who were already facing relationship difficulties, the Coronavirus quarantine has proven to be the “last straw” in marriages that were already experiencing difficulty. The U.S. may see a spike in divorce rates now that most states have lifted stay-at-home orders.

If you are among those Americans facing divorce in the time of Coronavirus, it’s important to understand your options going forward. If you and your spouse are likely to disagree on some of the terms of your divorce settlement and/or child custody arrangement, it’s important to connect with a Florida contested divorce lawyer during Coronavirus. Don’t wait to explore your legal options until after the pandemic resolves, as it is likely that the virus will continue to spread for some time to come. Also, the longer you wait to speak with a Florida contested divorce lawyer during Coronavirus, the more complex your case is likely to become. If you and your spouse are experiencing difficulties now, that tension is likely to grow until you’ve reached an equitable settlement. The experienced team at The McKinney Law Group can help you start weighing your options so that you and your spouse can move forward with your lives sooner rather than later. 

What is a contested divorce?

The process of contested divorce goes by a number of names, including “litigated” and “traditional” divorce. It’s what most of us think of when we picture divorce. It simply means that significant decisions will need to be made regarding property division, child custody and financial support and that you and your spouse disagree on at least some of the settlement terms.

Here are some of the most basic elements, although when you consult with a Florida contested divorce lawyer during Coronavirus, our firm can help you understand how these generalized rules will apply to your situation specifically:

  • One spouse files for divorce (the petitioner) and the other becomes the respondent
  • The petitioner must have been living in Florida for at least six months immediately prior to filing for divorce
  • The couple must wait 20 days between filing and finalizing the divorce, which will not be an issue because contested divorce can take months to complete
  • The petitioner must file no-fault divorce, asserting that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage (filing fault-based divorce is also an option, but requires much more work and usually confers almost no additional benefits)

How are Disputes or Contested Issues Resolved?

Most couples who file traditional divorce do so because they simply cannot see eye to eye about the terms of their divorce or child custody matters. When there is no room for compromise, despite efforts at attorney-led negotiation and/or mediation, the decisions must necessarily be outsourced to a third party: the judge overseeing the case.

In contested divorce, both spouses prepare their arguments with the help of their respective attorneys, and the case eventually goes to trial before a judge.  The judge will make the final ruling on any contested matters.

Although litigated divorce was once the only way to get divorce, alternatives have been developed that tend to be less contentious, less expensive and less time-consuming. However, there are instances in which cooperation and negotiation simply aren’t possible, usually due to one spouse’s refusal to participate in good faith. In these cases, litigated divorce is the most appropriate option.

Contact Us to Discuss your Legal Needs Today

Our firm offers comprehensive family law representation, including highly experienced representation in contested divorce. To discuss your legal options with a Florida contested divorce lawyer during Coronavirus, contact us to arrange an initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you during this uniquely challenging time.