Family Lawyers in Pensacola
“Dissolution of Marriage” is the Florida legal term for a divorce. Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that under Florida divorce laws, you do not need to prove cause or “fault” to obtain a divorce. A court can issue a divorce judgment if a spouse swears under oath in court that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
Our Pensacola family law attorneys handle two types of divorces: Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage and Contested Dissolution of Marriage. An uncontested dissolution of marriage occurs when you or your spouse agree on all the issues concerning your divorce. The uncontested divorce process usually takes less time to complete and is less expensive, since you and your spouse have already agreed to all the terms.
If you and your spouse do not agree on all of the terms of your divorce, you must proceed with a contested divorce case. Many times, the issues are still resolved short of an actual trial through mediation and later approved by the judge. If the conflict is not handled prior to trial, the case will go to trial and be resolved by a judge. A trial involves witness testimony from both parties as well as exhibits, documents and other evidence.
Seeking early advice of a qualified Florida divorce attorney is essential to protecting your legal rights. Many times, an experienced Florida divorce lawyer can help you settle the outstanding issues without the need for mediation or a divorce trial.
Our Pensacola family law attorneys can help you with issues related to a divorce and other family legal matters. These include but are not limited to:
- Alimony: Also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, alimony is paid from one spouse to the other usually when there is a wide income disparity, the couple has been married for a significant length of time, and/or the lower earning (or non-earning) spouse will have trouble supporting himself/herself on their own.
- Child Custody: In Florida, child custody is now being called “allocation of parental responsibility”, and the state prefers that both parents maintain an active role in the child’s life. If one parent has the majority parenting time, the other is usually given liberal visitation rights unless the court is convinced that doing so would not be in the best interests of the child.
- Child Support: As with parental responsibility, both parents have an obligation to support their children. Child support in Florida is determined using preset guidelines, although the court has discretion to deviate from these guidelines based on factors that it deems relevant.
- Division of Assets: During a divorce, the marital property will need to be divided fairly and equitably. This starts with determining what property is part of the marital estate and what is considered nonmarital. Division of property can be an emotionally charged issue as spouses often fail to see eye to eye on what specific assets they should be allowed to keep.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: A prenuptial or premarital agreement is one that is created before a couple is married to determine in advance how assets would be divided in the event of a divorce. A postnuptial agreement is similar, the only difference being that the agreement is made after the couple is married.
- Domestic Violence: Sadly, domestic abuse is a problem within many families. There are also times when someone is falsely accused of domestic violence. Our family law attorneys also have extensive criminal law experience, and we can help with restraining orders as family legal matters or in the context of criminal charges.
- Paternity: Our attorneys can assist both mothers who are trying to prove the paternity of their child’s father or fathers who want to establish paternity in order to take an active role in their child’s life.
- Adoption: There are few things more joyful than welcoming a new member of your family. That said, adoptions are extremely complicated legal proceedings, and there are numerous pitfalls that can delay or sadly even derail the process. We assist families with all types of Florida adoptions.
To ensure your legal rights are protected during any of these or other family law proceedings, it is important to seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney who is familiar with Florida laws.
Complex Divorce Lawyers in Pensacola
Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, which assumes that all property be distributed fairly between the spouses. However, equitable does not always mean equal. During the divorce process, a court will look at a number of factors before making any decisions regarding property distribution, spousal support or child support. The relevant factors may include the length of the marriage, the contribution by each spouse to the marriage, including the care and education of the children, the economic situation of the parties, what is in the best interest of the children, and much more.
Regardless of how simple or complicated your divorce is, the attorneys at Whibbs Stone & Barnett are well-equipped to handle it. We represent clients for divorces with all levels of complexity. Some of the issues we have in-depth experience with include:
- High Asset Divorces: Couples with significant and/or unique assets will be in for a more complicated divorce process. There could be issues such as family owned or closely held businesses or other complex assets that are difficult to place a value on, hidden assets that need to be uncovered, and divorce tax consequences.
- Military Divorces: We are honored to be located among so many who serve our country nearby at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Florida has 20 other military bases as well. When a military couple gets a divorce, there are a number of unique issues and procedures that need to be addressed.
- Divorces with Special Needs Children: When a divorcing couple has a special needs child, there are special considerations that must be made, specifically around parenting time, medical supplies and equipment needed for the child during visitations, extra healthcare costs, and many others.
- Long Distance Relocation of the Children: Relocation out of the area is not uncommon after a divorce, and this can cause a dispute between parents about whether a child should be allowed to move a significant distance from one of them. If you are on either side in this type of situation, you will need a strong advocate in your corner to argue for your interests with the court.
- Post-Divorce Modifications and Enforcement: In addition to a potential child relocation, there are many other issues that could arise after a divorce is finalized that could warrant a modification of the original divorce decree. There are other instances when one of the spouses is not fulfilling their obligation, such as failing to pay child support. We are available to help with any post-divorce issues you may have.
Contact a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Pensacola, FL Family Law Attorney
If you are contemplating a divorce or you need help with any other family legal manner, it is important to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney. Divorces can be very stressful with your future and your children’s future at stake. An experienced Florida family lawyer can help you understand Florida divorce laws, draft your paperwork, provide legal advice, and help protect your rights.
Whibbs Stone & Barnett handles family law cases in Pensacola, Florida and Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties. Our experienced family attorneys are licensed to practice in all Florida state courts. We are conveniently located a block North of Joe Patti’s Seafood. Contact us today to speak with one of our attorneys about your divorce or other family legal matters.