Divorce can be one of the most stressful and expensive experiences of your life. Most people do not reach the decision to divorce without great thought. However, they may not know what to expect during the process or even how to get started. Even if you and your spouse agree that it is time to separate and divorce, you should hire a Pinellas County divorce lawyer.
Local is Best
We recommend that you choose a local attorney in the county where the petition for divorce is filed whenever possible. They know the ins and outs of the court system locally. An attorney from another part of the state will not be able to take care of things as easily or expeditiously. And, before you can file for divorce, one spouse must have been a Florida resident for at least six months. As your Pinellas County divorce lawyer will tell you, one of you must currently live in the county in order to file your petition for divorce there.
Expect to Start with Either Mediation or Collaboration
Unless there is a restraining order, abuse or another extenuating circumstance, you are expected to attempt divorce through either mediation or collaboration. You will still want a Pinellas county divorce lawyer of your own. This helps ensure you receive a fair settlement in your divorce. Your attorney can also draw up the final paperwork and file it with the court system.
Not All Divorces Include Alimony or Child Support
Alimony is only awarded in cases where a spouse needs the financial support. However, if the other spouse can not afford alimony, it may not be granted even in cases where the other spouse may need it. In most cases, alimony is temporary. The exception is when there are reasons that prevent one parent from returning to the workforce.
Child custody in Florida is most often equal time between parents. When there is not a significant income disparity between the two parents, there is no financial need for child support. However, if equal time sharing is not possible due to one parent’s work or another reason, even if both parents income is close to equal, the parent with the most time with the children may receive child support.
Wagstaff & Pitelis is Your Local Pinellas County Divorce Lawyer
If you and your spouse decided that divorce is what you want, we can help. Our compassionate team will help you through the process. We are experienced in mediation, collaboration and court based divorce. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 for your initial consultation.