Divorce Can Be Stressful

divorce during coronavirus

As family law attorneys, we know even thinking about a divorce can be stressful. There are just so many questions to answer, so many thoughts running through you head on all the possibilities. How will I protect the children? How will my quality of life diminish? How painful will it be?

The Orlando Law Group was formed to be a different kind of law firm, one that cares about its clients and we will be there to answer any questions you might have and to achieve the best possible results in a very difficult situation.

The first step in the process is for you to decide if you truly want a divorce. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. A divorce is painful and messy. It’s one of the most difficult things anyone will go through. There is very rarely a friendly divorce.

But with The Orlando Law Group by your side, you won’t be alone.

Your Questions About Divorce

What’s the first step in the process?

To get started, The Orlando Law Group will review your case and write the legal petition for divorce. In all divorce cases, the first step is to file that petition in the county where you live.

Do I do this with my spouse or separately?

Every case is different and the attorneys at The Orlando Law Group have experience in all cases. Sometimes it sets a cooperative tone throughout the case if both sides agree to the divorce. Other times is better to have a process server or your attorney deliver the news to your spouse. Your spouse will have 20 days to respond.

What’s next?

Following the response of the spouse’s divorce file there is more paperwork to be done. This paperwork includes both spouses individually going over their personal finances meaning income, debt, assets and bills. This will help divide the money and decide the child support payments (if there are children involved).

My spouse and I will not have an issue with deciding child support, arrangements and splitting of our assets. Do we need an attorney to handle that?

It’s rare that a couple comes to a complete agreement except in simple divorces with no children and limited assets. However, much of the final agreements must match the state laws that dictate child support, alimony, etc. Those laws are constantly changing too.

When I leave my spouse, I’m planning to move out of state. Will I be allowed to do so?

It depends on if you have children. If you do, once you file for divorce, the court may prohibit any changes to the child’s life, such as moving out of the area. Most of that will have to be negotiated through the divorce.

Can we go through mediation?

All family law cases require an effort at mediation before proceeding through the courts. The hope is that a consensus agreement can be developed with the use of an impartial third party.

Am I eligible for alimony?

The determination of alimony is based on a wide range of factors and state law. Early in 2022, the Florida Legislature passed new rules dealing with alimony that can become law when and if the governor signs the bill.

How much child support should I expect?

Child support will be given to the one that takes care of the children. Child support payments will be determined based on extracurricular activities (such as dance, baseball, etc.), medical co-pays (what insurance does not cover), living costs (house, food, clothing, water) and other child-related expenses. Both parents must take a childcare course before the divorce is final.

How can I ensure child support payments will be paid?

Your attorney will file an Income Deduction Order to take the income straight out of the parent’s paycheck that is paying child support. This makes it impossible for them to miss a child support payment if they are working.

What all is involved in the final settlement?

Following all the paperwork the parties must come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. This means child support, splitting the funds and everything entailed in a future living situation.

Do I have to go to court?

If an agreement has still not been reached by this time it is time to go to court. Generally, you start with a half-hour hearing in front of a magistrate who will make a recommendation. If the parties are still not in agreement, then the parties will go on trial. This does not have a minimum or maximum length of time.

When will my divorce become official?

There are so many factors in a divorce that it is impossible to say when it will end. Your attorneys will work to come to a swift conclusion that results in a final judgment, the final and official statement dividing the said property between the two parties.

What if I want or need to change the final judgement?

There are options to alter your final judgement, but it is usually more of a “need” to change than wanting to change. In any case, you will need to show a substantial change in your life to qualify.

What are some examples of substantial changes to alter child support?

Some events that may constitute a substantial change in circumstances are:

  • The loss of a job
  • A substantial decrease in income
  • A substantial increase in income
  • A substantial change in daycare/aftercare or health insurance expenses for the child at issue
  • A child graduating from high school or turning 18 years old

What about alimony?

Modifying alimony is generally much more difficult than modifying child support.

First, some alimony is non-modifiable. If you signed a settlement agreement agreeing to non-modifiable alimony, you will not be able to change your payments even if a substantial change occurs.

Second, the term of alimony is usually non-modifiable. This means that you may be obligated to pay permanent alimony forever, but the Court has the ability to modify the amount.

Can I alter the visitation agreement of the children?

Just like alimony and child support, you must show a significant change in circumstances to even approach the court. Unlike alimony and child support, the final decision is based solely on the best interests of the child.

How can we help you?

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Meet Your Family Law Attorneys

Team Member

Marsha Summersill

Family Law Specialist

Marsha is steadfast in protecting her client’s interests while still helping put the children and their needs at the forefront. She understands that divorce is often a terribly stressful time for adults and children alike.

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Jeffrey W. Smith

Family Law Specialist

Jeffrey handles all aspects of divorce that include dissolution of marriage, modification, child support enforcement and establishment, paternity, visitation issues, as well as pre and post-nuptial agreements.

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