When dealing with family issues, you need a skilled family lawyer who will take the time to understand the specific complexities of your case and advocate for you.   

At James Horne Law, PA, we understand each family case is unique and sensitive. Our Lakewood Ranch family lawyer will advocate for and support you as you make these challenging decisions. Our experienced trial attorney isn’t afraid to fight for your best interests in negotiations or at trial.

Our Practice Areas

Cases involving family law can be challenging and contentious. At James Horne Law, we provide compassionate representation to our clients while passionately advocating for you in court. Our Lakewood Ranch family attorney tailors our representation to each client’s needs because we know each client has different goals in a family law proceeding. 

Our family law attorney in Lakewood Ranch provides representation in family law issues, including:

  • Paternity,
  • Child support,
  • Child custody and visitation,
  • Divorce,
  • Division of marital assets, and
  • Collaborative divorce.

If you are looking for an experienced family lawyer in Lakewood Ranch who isn’t afraid to provide aggressive representation in court, look no further than James Horne Law.

Florida Divorces

Lakewood Ranch Family Lawyer

When you get married, divorce may be the last thing on your mind. However, divorce may be the best decision for you, your spouse, and your children as time passes. 

Florida has complicated divorce laws you should carefully follow to give yourself the best chance of getting a positive outcome. For any divorce, we recommend consulting with an experienced Lakewood Ranch family law attorney, such as James Horne Law, to help you navigate these complex laws and procedures.

Grounds for Divorce in Florida 

Under Florida law, you must state a specific legal reason for filing a divorce. In Florida, there are only two legal reasons for filing a divorce: 

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship, or
  • One of the parties is mentally incapacitated.

Florida does not have a fault-based ground for divorce. Most Florida divorces are based on an irretrievable breakdown in the marital relationship. This means neither spouse has to prove the other is to blame for the marriage’s end.

You can also file for divorce if your spouse has been mentally incapacitated for at least three years before filing the divorce. You’ll have to serve the divorce papers on your spouse’s close relative or guardian. 

Understanding the legal reasons for a divorce may be confusing. Consult with our Lakewood Ranch family lawyer to better understand the legal grounds for divorce.  

Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms “contested divorce” and “uncontested divorce.” The difference between a contested and uncontested divorce is whether the spouses can agree on all of the issues in the divorce, such as the grounds for divorce, the division of marital assets, alimony, and child custody if children are involved. 

If the spouses can quickly resolve these issues without a judge, it’s an uncontested divorce. However, if the spouses can’t agree and must resolve the case through the judicial process, it’s a contested divorce. A knowledgeable Lakewood Ranch family law attorney can help you manage an uncontested divorce or litigate a contested divorce. 

Collaborative Divorce

Floridians also have the option to pursue a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is a divorce that takes place outside of the judicial process. Both parties must agree to use the collaborative process. Then, the parties attempt to resolve all of their issues in the divorce through settlement discussions. This process can save a great deal of time and stress because the parties don’t have to worry about a judge making the final decisions in their divorce. If you are interested in a collaborative divorce, contact the James Horne Law office to discuss if this option would work for you.

Marital Asset Division

A dispute about the division of marital property is typically why a divorce becomes a contested divorce. In Florida divorces, courts divide marital property equitably. An equitable division isn’t necessarily an equal division.  

The factors courts look at when determining how to divide marital property include:

  • The earning potential of each spouse,
  • The length of the marriage,
  • Whether one spouse will be primarily responsible for minor children,
  • Whether a spouse made sacrifices for the other spouse’s education or career, and
  • The health of each spouse.

A court can also look at other factors it deems relevant. The court will then divide the assets according to the needs of both parties and the children, if there are any. An experienced family attorney can help you navigate the division of marital assets and fight for your fair share.

Child Custody 

Your children’s custody can be handled as part of the divorce or as an entirely separate matter. Florida courts make all custody decisions based on the child’s best interests. There are numerous factors the court looks at when deciding on a child’s best interests. A family lawyer near Lakewood Ranch will be able to explain these factors and how they might apply to you and your children.   

In a custody case, a court decides, or the parties negotiate, two issues: parenting time and parental responsibility. Parental responsibility refers to the power each parent is granted to make significant decisions on behalf of the child. Generally, courts favor both parents sharing parenting responsibility unless one parent committed abuse or has other issues.  

Each parent will also be allocated parenting time. To allocate this time, the parties or the court develop a schedule called a parenting plan. Courts usually favor a schedule that evenly splits parenting time between the parties unless one party has a history of abuse or violence. 

Contact an Experienced Lakewood Ranch Family Lawyer 

Your family law case requires an experienced, compassionate, and aggressive attorney who will fight for your best interests. Lakewood Ranch family attorney James Horne Law will develop a strategy tailored to your needs. Whether you’re negotiating a collaborative divorce or need an attorney to fight for you in the courtroom, James Horne Law can help you resolve your family law issues.

Contact us today by phone or online to find out how our family law attorney can help you.