A seasoned family lawyer Tampa FL residents trust understands that when a client is facing a family law issue, it can be emotionally trying. Attorney Damien McKinney built his practice, The McKinney Law Group, as a solid reputable firm and a dedicated Tampa family lawyer who aggressively fights for his clients. The legal team from The McKinney Law Group has been focused on the practice of family law for over a decade. Attorney McKinney has been named a rising star by Super Lawyers each of the past five years. In 2016, he was awarded the Super Lawyers Distinction of Excellence, an honor presented to just 5% of the lawyers in the entire state of Florida.

Florida is known as an “equitable distribution” state. This essentially means that in the event that a couple of divorces and a judge is called upon to make a decision about that couple’s property division scenario, the judge is bound to divide the couple’s property equitably. What does this mean practically? Property acquired during a marriage is ordinarily considered to be jointly owned. Therefore, a 50-50 split of marital property is considered equitable under most circumstances. However, if there are unique considerations to be taken into account (ex: one spouse received a significant inheritance from their parents while the marriage was already on the rocks, one spouse attempted to hide assets during the marriage, etc.), the concept of “fairness” will come into play and a 50-50 split of property acquired during the marriage may no longer be deemed appropriate.

Family Lawyer Tampa, FL


How We Can Help

A professional family lawyer Tampa FL clients recommend should be knowledgeable in all aspects of Florida family law statutes. Florida lawmakers are very focused on doing whatever they can in order to improve on current family law statutes, so those laws are always evolving. It is critical that the Tampa family lawyer you choose to represent you stays current on whatever those changes are. Some of the more common family law issues that clients come to our firm for include:

Dissolution of Marriage

If you have decided to end your marriage, a family lawyer Tampa FL has to offer may help. There are several options for ending your marriage, depending on your circumstances. The most common way to end a marriage is through divorce, either through traditional litigation, mediation, and collaborative divorce. If either spouse is in the military, our firm can also handle the complexities of military divorce. In some cases, couples may end the marriage by having it annulled. Florida law requires strict criteria to be met for an annulment, and a family lawyer Tampa FL families trust can explain if you qualify. Some couples choose to file for a legal separation first if they are having difficulties but are unsure if they want to end their marriage permanently. Our firm may help you decide which option is best for your situation. If you are currently in a relationship and you fear for your safety (or the safety of your children) in any way, our firm may be able to help you find an immediate solution before pursuing legal protection.

Child Custody and Child Support

Another important element of divorce is child support and alimony. Child support is money that one spouse pays to the other to help with the costs associated with raising a child. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is payments made from one spouse to another to spouse that spouse until he or she can get back on her feet. You don’t want to pay any more money than you should, and a lawyer can help you navigate this process. 

Another issue that family lawyers in Tampa, FL can handle is child custody. Child custody issues can be difficult to navigate, and you need a lawyer who can assist you. The judge is always going to act in the best interests of the child. Therefore, you need to show the judge that spending time with you is in the best interests of your children. There are a lot of elements that must come together to formulate a comprehensive plan for child custody. 

Whether legally married or not, when the relationship between two parents is ending, a family lawyer Tampa FL parents rely on may assist in negotiating a child custody arrangement. We may help you determine if shared responsibility or sole responsibility is in your child’s best interest. It is also important to work out a parenting plan that addresses all other aspects of shared parenting, including parenting time, holidays, vacations, and other parental responsibilities. Along with child custody, it is usually necessary for the courts to determine if and how much child support there should be. In addition to a regular monthly payment, other financial factors may be considered, including the costs of education, medical insurance, and extracurricular expenses.

Divorce and Options

Tampa FL family lawyers from The McKinney Law Group understand that when it comes to marriage dissolution, each client has their own unique set of circumstances that can affect how the case should be litigated. Some of the factors which may affect how your divorce proceeding is handled include:

  • Whether it is a no-fault or fault divorce. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that a spouse does not have to prove there are grounds in order to end their marriage. However, there may be issues that could affect other areas of the divorce process. This can include whether or not there is domestic violence occurring presently, or if it has happened in the past.
  • Whether the divorce is not contested or contested by the other spouse. If both spouses agree on all matters that need to be decided, then the divorce is considered a simple dissolution of marriage. If spouses cannot agree, the process moves into negotiation and possible litigation.
  • Whether mediation is an option for ending your marriage. Mediation is considered collaborative law and allows couples – with the outside help of a mediator – to negotiate the terms of their divorce and come to an agreement rather than have it litigated in the courts.
  • Whether you qualify for an annulment instead of a divorce. In some situations, a marriage may qualify for an annulment, which would mean the marriage never existed in the eyes of the law.
  • Whether you or your spouse qualify for a military divorce. If either or both spouses are in the military, there are federal requirements that need to be addressed in addition to the standard state laws.

Some of the issues that may need to be handled during your divorce include property division, division of assets, division of debt, retirement accounts, and spousal support.

Dividing Your Assets During Divorce

It is important to understand that our role as Tampa, FL family lawyers is not to “push” you into any specific approach to your divorce. Our role is to support you as you pursue your divorce-related goals. Therefore, if you and your spouse are grappling with fundamental differences concerning your asset division needs, we will build a strong case on your behalf that can be argued in court. If you and your spouse have already drafted a sample property division agreement and only need help to formalize your wishes, we can make that happen. If you are in the “middle ground” of agreeing on some points and needing to resolve others through negotiation and/or mediation, we can represent your interests efficiently and effectively.

Prenuptial Agreements

Discussing a potential divorce before you are even married can dull the shine of most romances. However, discussing a prenuptial agreement does not have to be a discussion about splitting up down the line. Prenuptial agreements can be a practical way for spouses to protect their individual interests, as well as being a starting point to future estate planning.

As the name suggests, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into by two people before they get married. The agreement typically outlines the parties’ property rights and how their assets would be distributed in the event of death or divorce. Despite the common perception from television shows and movies, as family lawyers in Tampa FL can attest, you do not need to be extremely wealthy to have a prenuptial agreement. You can also use this type of agreement to keep future debts separate. In some cases, prenuptial agreements have fidelity clauses with penalties; for example, in the event of divorce with allegations of infidelity, the cheating spouse might forfeit some property or sum of money.

Florida law requires a prenuptial agreement to be in writing and entered into after both parties have fully disclosed their financial situations. The decision to enter into the agreement must be voluntary and the agreement cannot be unfair to either party. When the parties are ready to sign, the agreement must be signed before a notary public.

Other than these basic requirements, anything that goes into the agreement is up for negotiation between the parties, possibly through their Tampa FL family lawyers. Note that, generally across the United States, you cannot include any arrangements about children in a prenuptial agreement.

Constructing A Parenting Plan

If you and your spouse share minor or otherwise dependent children and will be co-parenting moving forward, our Tampa, FL family lawyers will help you to craft a workable parenting plan. This plan will set legally-enforceable expectations about your co-parenting arrangement that will help to ensure that everyone affected by it knows how “things will work.” Being proactive in the crafting of your parenting plan can help to reduce tensions, minimize conflict, and mitigate the likelihood that you’ll need to return to court any time soon to modify your parenting plan arrangements.

Additional Family Law Services

Divorces and child custody agreements are two of the most common services that a family lawyer in Tampa FL trusts might handle. However, at The McKinney Law Group, we have a history of helping our clients with a variety of legal services. These include:

  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Determining which property or assets belong to each party
  • Repayment of existing debts
  • Evaluation of marital property
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Adoptions and guardianships
  • Post-judgment modifications

The classification of family law cases can vary extensively, and each category has its own challenges. The myriad of complexities associated with a divorce or a family law matter can quickly become confusing. At The McKinney Law Group, we understand that your needs are unique. Our team is proud to give our clients trusted legal services while also remaining compassionate and caring. If you need to speak with a family lawyer Tampa FL can provide about an issue that isn’t listed above, we still encourage you to contact our office.

Tampa Family Law Infographic

Dissolution of Marriage Infographic

Tampa Family Law Statistics

According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. The US divorce rate has seen fluctuations over recent decades. While once alarmingly high, recent trends show a decline in divorces. Multiple factors influence these changes, including shifting societal norms, economic stability, and increased focus on education and career. Despite this decline, divorce remains a complex and significant issue in America.

3 Things to Remember When Going Through a Divorce

Divorce is hard. There’s no questioning the fact that splitting up with your spouse is a rough time emotionally. As confusing and emotional as this period can be, keeping a few things in mind will help make it a little easier on you and your family. Minimizing stress will help you get through the divorce process with better mental health and better relations with your ex. 

1. Your Kids Didn’t Ask to be Involved

One of the biggest things you’ll be reminded of by family lawyers in Tampa, FL, is to protect your children. No matter what the circumstances of your divorce are, your children didn’t ask to get involved. At every stage of the proceedings, it’s important to make sure your kids are being well taken care of. As much as possible, try to shield your children from the tension in your home. Keeping the fight between you and your spouse will help protect your children’s mental health and spare them from years’ worth of trauma down the line. No matter how painful things might get between you and your spouse, remember that your kids are innocent bystanders. Protect them as much as you can. 

2. Social Media Isn’t Private

Another important thing McKinney Law Group urges their clients to remember is that social media is a public forum. While it may be tempting to rant about your marital troubles online, anything you post can be used by your spouse’s attorney to build a case against you. When you’re looking for family lawyers in Tampa, FL, make sure you find one who can tell you what’s safe to post online. The more careful you are in your online presence, the less your partner will have to use against you. 

3. Civility Makes a Difference

Finally, it’s important to remember to be as civil as possible. Of course, emotions tend to run high during the divorce process, but maintaining formality helps the whole procedure go over smoothly. No matter how you feel about your spouse, do your absolute best to make every interaction with them polite and appropriate. Family lawyers in Tampa, FL, such as those at McKinney Law Group, know that how you act toward your spouse during the divorce proceedings has a long-term effect on how your case will go. Chances are, the more civil you are towards your spouse, the easier and faster your divorce case will go. 

How To Talk To Your Children About Your Divorce

Even if your children are grown and not affected by child support and custody decisions as you work with your family lawyer in Tampa, FL, it is important to consider their feelings. Here are some key points McKinney Law Group wants you to remember when it comes to talking to your children about your divorce.

Show That You Care About How They Feel

It can be far too easy for spouses in an unfriendly divorce to speak ill of each other to their children. While you may be feeling very hurt or emotional yourself, it is important to try to keep your focus on how your kids are feeling whenever you discuss the divorce with them. They might seem to be doing fine, but offering your children sessions with a counselor, or even attending counseling sessions together with your children, may prevent a lot of emotional and mental trauma that can occur during a divorce. Make sure to create space for all of you to talk through your feelings during what McKinney Law Group knows can be one of the most difficult experiences a family faces.

Keep Lines of Communication Open

Your children may be afraid to talk to you about the divorce for fear of hurting your feelings or causing you to become angry, so be sure you are reaching out regularly and asking how they are feeling. It’s OK to let your children know if you are going through depression or other changes in emotions that may leave you feeling vulnerable and even unable to be there for them the way you want to. It is better to try to talk about how everyone is doing throughout the divorce process with your family lawyer in Tampa, FL, than to remain silent, which can lead to misunderstandings and create an unhealthy distance between you and your children.

Be Honest About Mistakes You Made

If you made some mistakes that led to your marriage ending, be sure to share these with your children. It’s OK to admit mistakes to your children; it helps them to see that you are a real person and may offer them a valuable learning experience as well.

Sometimes there aren’t any mistakes to look at, and a divorce is just a simple parting of ways. If this is the case, try to talk to your children about what it is like for you to make a big change in your life.

Let Our Tampa Family Lawyer Help You

Some additional family law issues that our legal team may assist you with include prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, alimony, and any modifications or enforcements of current orders. If you need the services of a skilled family lawyer in Tampa FL, contact us today at The McKinney Law Group. Damien McKinney works diligently to ensure that clients have a family lawyer Tampa FL families count on advocating for them in court. You can trust that our primary goal is to protect your family during a potentially turbulent time.

Family members who find themselves dealing with a family law case may confide in our attorneys when they’re searching for proper representation in court. There’s no reason why you have to go through your situation alone. Having a family lawyer in Tampa FL work alongside you can help prevent unintentional mistakes and excessive emotional trauma. The various scenarios that impact a family dynamic can result in an abundance of pain or tension between individuals.

We strive to maintain the health and well-being of all parties involved, especially adolescent children who may not understand the full extent of what is happening. We take great care of each client and his or her needs throughout the family law litigation process. We work tirelessly to make sure our clients understand every step, feel heard, and know that our team is dedicated to protecting their families. Contact a dedicated family lawyer Tampa FL provides to set an appointment to discuss all of your family law issues.

Taking Guardianship of a Minor

In a perfect world, every child would be raised by two loving parents, have everything they need, and grow up to be successful adults. However, this is real life and, unfortunately, it can throw us some unexpected twists. Sometimes, those events leave parents unable to provide for their child, temporarily or even long-term. For these cases, the courts offer guardianship responsibilities to capable and consulting adults.

Guardianship is a court order to have a person other than the child’s biological parent take custody of the child as well as the child’s estate. A Tampa FL family lawyer can assist in filing the necessary petitions with the court. In the event that a parent becomes ill, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to care for their child, the courts will name a guardian to take over care of a child. Generally, this is someone in the child’s immediate family such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle. However, this can be anyone who shows an interest in the child’s welfare.

Guardianship is not adoption. If the biological parent is living, this does not take away their parental rights and it is not necessarily a permanent solution. It is entirely reasonable to assume that one day the parents can resume full responsibility again. In fact, in many situations, the parent will have a Tampa FL family lawyer prepare the documents which would grant guardianship to the person of the parent’s choice.

Types of Guardianship In Florida

There are two different forms of guardianship. Guardianship can be granted to a person or of an estate. If a child will be staying with a person who is not their parent for only a short time – weeks or a month – guardianship should probably not be pursued. If the duration is any longer, then guardianship may be necessary. This will give the named guardian the right to enroll the child in school, get the child medical care, and register for benefits.

A family lawyer in Tampa FL can explain all of the legal responsibilities a guardian has, but, in general, these responsibilities include the following:

  •       Deciding where the child lives
  •       Counseling and mental health
  •       Damage the child causes to other property
  •       Parental visitation
  •       Filling out an annual status report
  •       Applying for a driver’s license
  •       Enlisting in the military

As previously mentioned, one does not necessarily need to be a guardian of the child themselves. A guardian may be named for a child’s estate. This occurs when a child comes into a large amount of money, generally upwards of $5,000. This is most likely a gift from a relative, perhaps in the form of a will inheritance. Often, when a child comes into a large amount of financial property, they are not ready to handle those responsibilities. Yet, the bank or the executor of the will cannot simply give the inheritance to the parent because they may misuse the money and the bank or the executor would be liable and may be open to future lawsuits.

Therefore, the benefits of establishing guardianship of an estate of a minor are twofold, such as:

  •       It frees the bank and/or the executor of any liability
  •       It subjects the guardian’s management of the property to court scrutiny

If you have been named a child’s guardian, would like to name a guardian, or would like to be named guardian of an estate, you may want to consider skilled legal assistance. An experienced family lawyer in Tampa FL clients recommend can assist in filing the necessary petitions with the court. Your Tampa FL family lawyer can provide insight into courtroom procedures, assist in finding witnesses if necessary, and offer various strategies to create an effective case. If you have guardianship questions for a guardianship attorney, please contact The McKinney Law Group today.

Clarifying Florida Annulments

Some couples who seek to end their marriage by annulment may have a difficult time navigating the process, requirements, and qualifications. Florida law has very specific criteria for this and getting assistance from an experienced family lawyer in Tampa, FL is strongly recommended.

Meaning of Annulment

The difference between a divorce and an annulment lies in the question of validity. A divorce is the dissolution of a valid marriage. An annulment is a process of claiming there was no legally valid marriage, to begin with. As far as the law is concerned, marriage never occurred. However, both types require the parties to go through the process of requesting an annulment, and the Mckinney Law Group can guide you through that process.

Florida Annulment Laws

Florida law does not include any statutes that specifically detail annulments. If a couple wishes to obtain an annulment, the judge must use case law to determine the outcome of their petition. This means that they will reference previous cases and apply those precedents to your case. A family lawyer in Tampa, FL can find past annulment cases that match the details of your circumstances as closely as possible in order to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Grounds for Annulment

The state distinguishes between what it calls void and voidable marriages. A void marriage is one that was never valid and could not be made valid. Examples include marriages that involve bigamy or mental incapacitation. A voidable marriage is not always invalid at the beginning, but a change in circumstances has created a question of validity. Some causes of a voidable marriage include age-related consent issues, fraud or misrepresentation, and duress.

Process of Annulment

You must file a petition with the circuit court system in Florida. You will be required to prove one of the circumstances that qualify your marriage as void or voidable is present. This is a difficult and complicated process and getting assistance from Mckinney Law Group, a family lawyer in Tampa, FL, will be hugely beneficial. If you are successful at proving your marriage is void or voidable, you will not be able to receive or be required to pay spousal support. There is also no property division in annulment cases. Because an annulment essentially erases the marriage from a legal standpoint, assets and alimony are not relevant. Reach out to a family lawyer in Tampa, FL today to discuss obtaining an annulment.

A Father’s Right to Their Children

A family lawyer Tampa FL clients recommend knows that it is all too common for familial issues to make their way to the courtroom. If you are no longer in a relationship with your spouse due to separation or divorce, you may be worried about what contact with your child may look like moving forward. As challenging as it may be, you will have to spend a number of years negotiating with your ex regarding how the both of you will take care of your child together so it is best to let a family lawyer Tampa FL residents call help you obtain a legal custody order. This is vital because, when both parents are working together towards the common good of the child, they will thrive regardless of whether or not their parents are together. As a father, experiencing a breakup or divorce can be daunting. You may be wondering what rights you have to your child. With a family lawyer in Tampa FL locals rely on by your side, you can feel confident in your parental rights being protected.

Determining What Is In The Best Interest Of The Child

When the court hears a child custody case, the judge will be looking to gather information in order to determine an arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. There are a number of factors that a judge will consider in this process. The issue will not go before a judge until all negotiations have gone through your family lawyer in Tampa FL and through mediation. In most situations, a child benefits from having both of their parents in their lives. The only time that this would not be so is in situations where going with a parent would put the child at risk of harm. There are a number of factors that may contribute to this and your family lawyer Tampa FL parents depend on can evaluate your situation to see if one of these factors exist: 1. Drinking and Drug Use 2. Criminal Charges 3. Physical Abuse 4. Domestic Violence 5. Sexual Abuse

Establishing Paternity

Establishing parentage is a vital step in determining your rights as a father. Usually, this is only necessary for fathers who were not married to the mother of their child at the time their birth. Through this process, we will be able to establish whether or not you are the father of the child. In highly disputed cases, it may be required that you take a DNA test to confirm this information.

Choosing the Best Divorce “Approach” for Your Situation

No single approach to the divorce process is right for every couple. For example, mediation is a popular approach but doesn’t serve the interests of victims of domestic violence. Contentious courtroom “battles” are unnecessary for couples who fundamentally agree on most of their divorce settlement terms. The approach that will fit your situation best will be dependent on the unique details of your circumstances. Once our team meets with you and learns more about your needs, goals, circumstances, and priorities, we can help you to make an informed decision about the approach to your divorce process that will best serve your unique interests. Similarly, if you are thinking about filing for formal legal separation instead of divorce, we can help you determine which approach to this process will best fit your needs as well.

A Study On How Child Custody Affects Children

One of the often-studied issues is how child custody affects children. At The McKinney Law Group, our Tampa FL family law lawyers work diligently to ensure that not only are our client’s parental rights protected but that children are also protected. Our legal team is aware of many studies that show that children of divorce who live with both parents suffer less from stress and other negative impacts. Study after study shows that awarding joint legal and physical custody to both parents is the best choice for the children in most situations.

For example, one study analyzed data from classroom surveys of almost 150,000 children. The children were between the ages of 12 and 15 and were in grades six through nine. Sixty-nine percent of the children lived with both parents in a nuclear family setting, 19 percent lived with both parents in a shared custody situation, and 13 percent of the children lived with just one parent.

Researchers were looking for psychosomatic health problems the children may be suffering from. Symptoms the researchers identified included concentration difficulties, decreased appetites, feelings of dizziness, sadness and tension, headaches, sleep problems, and stomachaches.

The children who lived in nuclear families reported the least amount of psychosomatic problems. However, for children whose parents were divorced or separated, the ones who lived in a shared custody arrangement with both parents reported fewer problems than children who lived with one just one parent.

The most common psychosomatic problem reported was sleep issues. The most frequent problem for girls, who reported more problems than boys, was sadness. There were more children aged 15 who lived with one parent than in the 12-year-old group.

In their conclusion, the team pointed out that having everyday contact with both parents appears to make a significant difference in alleviating stressors in children, compared to custody situations where children see a non-custodial parent every other weekend.

Although there have been numerous other studies that have concluded that in most situations, children do better in shared custody arrangements, family lawyers in Tampa FL families trust know it only happens in approximately 20 percent of custody cases in the United States.

Florida Family Law

Under Florida law, any relocation from the principal residence that was established in the last order or modification issued by the court to another location that is at least 50 miles from that residence is considered a relocation. Temporary moves for education, vacation, or health care provisions needed for the child are not included in this definition.

If both parents agree to the move, then court approval is not needed. However, if the other parent objects to the move, then the court will use the best interest of the child’s standard to determine whether the move should take place or not.

The best interest of the child standard looks at different elements to decide what would be the best for the child. The factors considered include the reason for the move, whether the move will interfere with the other parent’s parenting time, whether the move would increase the living standard of the parent and child, and the motives of the parent objecting to the move.

As one of our Tampa, FL family lawyers can explain, some of the factors the court will consider when making its decision include:

  •     The child’s relationship with both parents.
  •     The child’s age and current needs.
  •     Whether or not the move will have an impact on the child’s health and development.
  •     Whether the move will limit the ability of the non-relocating parent and child to maintain their relationship.
  •     How will the logistics of the move impact parenting time with the non-relocating parent, including travel and expenses?
  •     What is the child’s preference?
  •     How necessary is the move?
  •     Are the relocating parent’s reasons for the move in good faith or is the move an attempt to hinder the child’s relationship with the other parent?
  •     Is there a history of domestic violence or substance abuse with either parent?

To learn more about relocation, contact The McKinney Law Group to speak with one of our Tampa, FL family lawyers.

Tampa Family Law FAQs

Can You Ignore The Prenuptial Agreement In The Event Of Divorce?

In most cases, you cannot easily invalidate a prenuptial agreement. However, if you can show the court that there were circumstances at the time you signed the agreement that made entering into the agreement unfair, you have a better chance at invalidating it in a divorce.

Some courts have found that if the agreement was signed too soon before the wedding, for example, days before the wedding, there may have been some undue influence. Another scenario in which an agreement may be considered invalid may arise if one party hid assets from the other at the time the agreement was signed. Tampa FL family lawyers from our firm can evaluate your prenup to see if there is an issue that would render it invalid.

If you are considering preparing a prenuptial agreement before you get married, or if you have been asked to sign one, you should consult a family law lawyer for guidance. If you go through the trouble of preparing and entering into a prenuptial agreement, you should make sure that it will be legally valid in the future. The experienced family lawyers Tampa FL clients recommend from The McKinney Law Group are available for a consultation and can help you prepare a document that can put your mind to rest before your big day.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have questions about how your property will be divided during this process, please connect with our firm’s Tampa, FL family lawyers today to learn more. It is important to be proactive when it comes to the divorce process. By being proactive, even if you are unsure of whether you’ll ultimately end up filing for divorce or not, you’ll be empowered to make the most informed decisions possible about your situation. The team at The McKinney Law Group has extensive experience with all kinds of asset division scenarios – from low-asset, straightforward cases all the way to high-worth and highly complex cases. No matter what your unique situation is, we can help.

How Does Relocating After Divorce Affect Custody and Visitation?

It is not uncommon for people to consider relocating after they have gone through a divorce. Maybe they feel it is a good way to get a fresh start after dealing with all the issues of the marriage. There may also be a new job opportunity that will require a move to a different town or even a different state. However, if there are children from the marriage, it is important to understand how Florida law address any relocation and the impact a move will have on child custody and/or visitation orders already in place.

If you are thinking about relocating with your children, or you want to prevent the other parent is moving with the children, you should contact our office to speak with one of our family lawyers in Tampa FL.

Family law lawyers in Tampa, Florida know that there have been multiple studies done that examine the effect divorce has on children. Depending on the circumstances of the breakup of the marriage and how well each parent can deal with marital and divorce issues, the divorce can have either a negative impact on the child or it may have a positive impact.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is when one spouse receives financial support from the other after the marriage has ended. The reason for alimony is to help the spouse with less income maintain the same standard of living or have time to obtain training and/or education so that they are able to become self-supporting. It must be proven that you are in need of financial support and the other spouse must have the means to pay spousal support. Having one of our Tampa FL family lawyers on your side may help increase the likelihood of you receiving alimony.

How Can I Obtain Alimony?

If requested, alimony can be apart of the legal divorce proceeding. However, if you do not ask for alimony during the divorce process, you cannot ask for it later. You can either decide on your own who will receive the alimony and the amount. However, in many cases, the ex-spouses cannot come to an agreement. In this situation, the judge will decide whether or not you are entitled to receive spousal support and the amount you should receive. A skillful lawyer from The McKinney Law Group can help defend your case and prove to the judge why you deserve the alimony.

How Long Can I Receive Spousal Support?

Our family lawyers have helped clients achieve two different types of alimony time periods:

  • Indefinite Alimony: Under this agreement, you will receive financial support until either spouse dies, the receiving spouse remarries, or the court decides that alimony is no longer appropriate.
  • Time-limited Alimony: This is seen more often and lasts a certain amount of time. The time frame can either be determined by the spouses or the judge. Typically, you will receive enough time for you to obtain training or work experience to help you become self-supporting
  • Learn about Dealing With a Spiteful Spouse During a Divorce

What factors are looked at when determining Alimony?

There are several factors that are taken into account when deciding if someone should receive alimony. Those include:

  • If you are able to support yourself
  • The time needed to get a job or training so that you are able to become employed
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • What standard of living you are used to
  • Each spouse’s age
  • The mental and physical condition of each person
  • The paying spouse’s financial situation and if they can afford it
  • The financial needs of each person such as their income, child support, taxes, assets, and much more.

Does Custody of the Children Always Go to the Mother?

It was once common for the mother to always be awarded primary custody, especially when the child resided with the mother prior to the legal dispute. However, as a Tampa FL family lawyer can attest, that mindset is changing and the court will examine what is in the best interest of the child. When a child has formed an attachment to the parent they live with, the results of removing them can be traumatic, whether that is the mother or father’s home. In order for a child to be taken from that parent’s home, you would have to show that they are not capable of caring for the child. In most court situations, the judge will be looking to involve both of the child’s parents in the care and upbringing of their child. It is never easy to battle through custody situations with someone you had a child with. There may be a lot of unknowns during a process that can be incredibly stressful. You will be worried about what contact with your child will be like and how they will be impacted. Call us today at 813-906-0048 so that a family lawyer in Tampa FL provides can assess your case today.

How to Keep Divorce Costs Manageable?

Sometimes, it is important to “dig your heels in” when it comes to property division issues or child custody matters. Sometimes, your needs and priorities cannot hope to be addressed unless you fight for them. With that said, not all divorce cases are contentious. Many divorces are resolved without a traditional “courtroom battle” and the intervention of a family law judge. Other divorces are largely resolved outside courtroom walls and only require judicial intervention when it comes to limited matters of fundamental disagreement between spouses.

Depending upon your needs, priorities, and your spouse’s approach to divorce, you may need to litigate some aspects of your divorce process. However, if this is not the case, you can keep your divorce costs more manageable by approaching your divorce via mediation and/or attorney-led negotiation. If you and your spouse agree on every aspect of your property division settlement (and child custody arrangement, if applicable), you may only need legal guidance to review your documentation and to properly file it.

The reality is that how much the “legal side” of your divorce will end up costing is largely up to you and your spouse. The more legal guidance you require, the more fees will accumulate. With that said, it is critically important to avoid being “penny wise and pound foolish.” Fighting for a fair divorce settlement now may save you money, stress, and follow-up legal fees down the road. Every divorce is different. But, by being conscious of how you’re approaching your divorce process, you may be able to save a great deal of money on legal costs.

The McKinney Law Group Tampa Family Lawyer

1105 W Swann Ave, STE 100, Tampa, FL 33606

Tampa Family Lawyer Google Review

“Damien McKinney is a professional, punctual, and patient lawyer and one who you’d want representing you on a case. His knowledge of the law and proceedings, as well as his practical wisdom, will enable you to make decisions that will best serve you in navigating the complexities of family law. His paralegal Nathan is also extremely helpful in gathering information and communicating with you about your case. His approach is very personal and he emphasizes the importance of your case. I would recommend using The McKinney Law Group in your divorce or custody settlement.” – Christopher P.

Contact Our Compassionate Tampa Family Lawyer

When you need one of the most dedicated family lawyers in Tampa FL, look no further than The McKinney Law Group. Our family lawyers are available to meet with you and discuss the specifics of your situation. We have successfully represented many family law clients and will advocate for you and your family to ensure the best outcome possible.

If you have not yet contacted The McKinney Law Group to schedule a risk-free consultation, please do so now. Investing an hour or two of your time to learn about your rights and options requires little effort and may benefit you significantly in the long run. No matter what your unique circumstances may be, our team can clarify the “ins and outs” of your case and help you to make informed decisions about your property division options in the event of divorce. Please connect with our Tampa, FL family lawyers today to learn more – we look forward to speaking with you.

If you are having issues child custody issues or any other family law problems, contact one of the experienced family law lawyers clients recommend from our firm, Whether you are facing a first-time custody battle or have a modification or other issues that need to be addressed, the legal team at The McKinney Law Group is here and ready to help. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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“Such an amazing lawyer! If you need someone to fully handle things and set your mind at ease- he’s your man!”
Julie C
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