Is It Time to Hire a Divorce Lawyer?

While this may seem like a black and white question, for many, it may be a very grey answer. Deciding whether or not to file for divorce or how to handle receiving divorce papers is a very personal and sometimes devastating reality.

Whether you’ve been married for more than 25 years or less than two, handling a divorce can be complicated. For some, if there are no children involved or business assets, this process can be fairly simple. For others though, there are many elements that need to be addressed.

As we enter 2018, here are some areas to think about before you take the next step:


If your children are grown, then this will probably not apply to you. However, if you have children under the age of 18, you will need to think about custody arrangements and a parenting plan. Both parties will have the opportunity to address the court in a concerted effort to determine what is in the best interest of the child(ren). Child support will also be considered during this discussion, should either parent request it.

Alimony (Spousal Support)

Depending on the circumstances, alimony recognizes that one party may not be as well off as the other and may be awarded alimony to help that individual establish a post-divorce life. Payments may be provided in a lump sum or re-occurring on a permanent or temporary basis. This may be adjusted depending on life changes such as the recipient taking a better-paying job, receiving an inheritance, or remarriage. Rules vary by state and each case is different.


In the State of Florida, the statutes allow for equitable distribution of marital property. This means if both parties cannot reach an agreement themselves, the court will decide and it may not be divided equally. Assets could include real estate property, vehicles such as cars, motorcycles and boats, cash, stock, and other assets.


Under Florida law, a pet is considered property. For some, deciding who will care for the family pet(s) can be very emotional. While some may say their pet is “family,” the court does not have the ability to make legal decisions as it does with children.

At Wagstaff, we work tirelessly to ensure our clients going through divorce proceedings have someone by their side to answer any questions and make this process as painless as possible. To schedule a private consultation, please contact us today. We’re here to help you.