Lakeland Divorce Attorney
Divorce is rarely easy. In fact, it’s frequently one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone: An experienced Lakeland, Florida divorce attorney at the O’Mara Law Group can be your trusted advocate as you navigate this complex and emotional process.
Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: May 19, 2023
A divorce attorney is an essential part of the divorce process, regardless of how simple or complex a divorce may be. In complicated divorces, working with a Lakeland divorce attorney, is likely unavoidable. However, even a separation that appears simple on the surface is best navigated with the guidance of an attorney.
All cases of divorce can impact retirement benefits, inheritance rights, and other technical issues that divorcing couples often don’t address in the marital settlement agreement. A divorce lawyer ensures that all considerations are attended to and the legal proceedings are managed efficiently and correctly.
Contact O’Mara Law Group today to learn more about how a divorce attorney in Lakeland, Florida, can help simplify your divorce and protect your finances.
What is an uncontested divorce?
If you have begun the steps toward divorce, you have probably wondered, “What is an uncontested divorce? What is a contested divorce? Which applies to me?”
Under Florida law, every divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage.” An uncontested divorce is the simplest kind—both spouses agree to a divorce and to the most significant terms of the divorce agreement.
In a complex divorce, one spouse may fight the divorce or have a significant difference of opinion on the terms of the agreement. Complex divorces can be far more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple usually agrees on matters like division of assets, selling a shared home, alimony payments, and child custody. Uncontested divorces are most common after shorter marriages, in cases that don’t involve children, and when both spouses are financially self-sufficient.
However, just because a divorce is uncontested doesn’t mean it is straightforward. Many legal matters must be addressed in a divorce agreement. The divorce attorneys at O’Mara Law Group routinely work with individuals seeking an uncontested divorce to ensure all legal matters are handled correctly.
Facing a contested divorce? Contact an experienced contested divorce attorney in Lakeland, Florida for top-tier representation.
What am I entitled to in a divorce?
One of the most common questions answered by the divorce attorneys at the O’Mara Law Group is what someone is entitled to in a divorce. Depending on the complexity of assets and the length of marriage, the answer to this question can be complicated.
Generally speaking, a divorcing individual is entitled to 50 percent of the marital assets, meaning the assets accumulated by either spouse during the marriage. Common examples of marital assets that are split 50/50 in a Florida divorce include:
When a marriage involves children, the general standard is that both parents are entitled to equal parenting time and must equally split costs like childcare expenses.
In divorces in which only one spouse was employed or one spouse earned significantly more than the other, splitting expenses becomes more complex. The divorce attorneys at O’Mara Law Group can help identify how alimony and child support should be divided fairly in the case of income disparity.
How to Find a Good Divorce Lawyer
Not all divorce attorneys are equally adept at their jobs. If you are considering divorce, finding a good divorce lawyer is one of the first matters to focus on. An untested divorce attorney can negatively impact your financial well-being for years to come.
Some of the best indicators of a good divorce lawyer include years of experience and positive client reviews. These demonstrate the firm achieves results that leave clients satisfied.
O’Mara Law Group has served clients in central Florida for over 35 years. Our divorce attorneys have the experience to protect your finances and rights in a Lakeland divorce.
How to Prepare for a Divorce
Being prepared for a divorce is a smart choice, both legally and financially. The best way to start is to consult a divorce attorney. A lawyer can help identify which types of divorce are right for you and what paperwork should be completed.
All finances must be considered in a divorce, so it is best to proactively organize and keep track of all finance-related items. You will need to collect documentation including:
When children are involved, it can also help to collect information related to a child’s routine, school, and extracurricular involvement. Details about their daily schedule and how parenting responsibilities are split may be necessary during hearings related to child custody and time-sharing.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce can vary widely by case. An uncontested divorce typically takes the least amount of time. When couples can agree on the terms of a divorce, it usually takes only a few months from initial filing to a finalized divorce.
A contested divorce takes much longer, but the time frame depends on how the proceedings unfold. The two biggest reasons for a contested divorce are disagreement over finances and disagreement over child custody arrangements.
These two areas can bring heated arguments and often cause divorce proceedings to go on for many months. On average, a contested divorce takes from 9 to 18 months to finalize.
Your divorce attorney will work to help you settle the divorce through negotiations. Avoiding divorce court has many benefits. Shorter time frames and much lower costs are two benefits that often incentivize couples to overcome their differences and arrive at a negotiation agreement.
In cases in which negotiation proves impossible, the divorce must go to court. A divorce hearing can take place over several sessions. Ultimately, the judge will give a ruling on the disputed issues, and this will be outlined in the marital dissolution contract.
How much does a divorce cost?
The cost of a divorce depends on the details of the case. In an uncontested divorce settled through negotiations, you will likely face several hundred to a few thousand dollars in filing fees and attorney costs.
When a divorce is contested, particularly in cases involving complex finances or children, it becomes much more expensive. A drawn-out divorce that must go to court can cost many thousands of dollars.
Although hiring a divorce attorney adds to the overall costs of a divorce, it is the smartest investment you can make to protect your long-term finances. A skilled divorce attorney can save you from losing assets or signing an unfair alimony agreement. They can also help you avoid court expenses.
If you are considering divorce in Lakeland, Florida, your first step should be to speak with a divorce attorney. Contact O’Mara Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the divorce process.
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