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Divorce Attorneys at O'Flaherty Law

Not All Divorce Lawyers Are The Same

Seeking a divorce attorney is often the first step in the divorce process and a true sign that you’re ready to make a change. But unfortunately, for some, the initial search for a divorce lawyer is where the process ends. The daunting task of filling out the divorce papers, negotiating a divorce agreement with their spouse, and working out child custody arrangements keeps many from getting back the happiness that their troubled marriage took away.

But, with the appropriate divorce plan and an experienced divorce lawyer, we can reduce the burdens of the divorce process. The right divorce lawyer can help you end your unhappy marriage, secure what’s lawfully yours, and put you in the best position to build your post-divorce life.

Each divorce is unique and requires a tailored plan that answers the questions:

  • "How long will my divorce take?"
  • "How much will my divorce cost?"
  • "Is my divorce fixable?"
  • "What will happen to my children in my divorce?"
  • "What will my life look like after divorce?"

O'Flaherty Family Lawyers - What We Can Offer

With our divorce law team you can rest assured that you are getting the best legal advice, we offer legal representation and advice in he following aspects of family law matter.

Remote consultation

Remote Consultation

The uncertainty of the Coronavirus, doesn't mean you have to put your legal needs on hold. You can receive a consultation and most legal services without leaving your home. Our attorneys are happy to speak to you by phone, video conference, or e-mail.

Collaborative divorce

Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce involves both parties hiring their own attorney but agreeing to participate in the divorce process in good faith and openly exchange information. If negotiations break down and litigation is required, the attorneys must withdraw.

Child support

Child Support

Child support is a complex matter and a point of significant distress during the divorce process. Still, each parent is responsible for supporting their children after divorce or separation. We help you simplify the process.

Child custody

Child Custody

Child custody matters are difficult for everyone involved in the divorce process. To get the best result for your child or children, you need experienced legal service from child custody attorneys that understand the law.

Collaborative divorce

Cooperative Divorce

Much like a collaborative divorce, a cooperative divorce works well if both parties are already in agreement on many of the items covered in the divorce process. However, the cooperative divorce process does not require attorneys to withdraw, should litigation be required.

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Our Divorce Lawyers Are Here to Assist You Through The Divorce Process!

While each divorce is unique, nearly all share a common process; beginning with finding the right divorce lawyer. You must complete and filing the divorce paperwork, serve the divorce summons, seek temporary orders for child support, child custody, and alimony (spousal support/maintenance), attend mediation, negotiate the divorce settlement, and if the married couple cannot come to terms on certain aspects of the divorce, gather evidence for the trial.

Divorce attorney consultation

Attorney Consultation

The purpose of a consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. We take your legal matters very seriously, which is why with each consultation, we strive to ensure you feel confident about the future of your case.

  • Attorneys experienced in many areas of law
  • Sympathetic yet effective counsel
  • Putting the best interests of you and your children first!
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What to Expect from Your Divorce Attorney

O’Flaherty Law is renowned for its seasoned divorce lawyers and commitment to customer service. Awarded Avvo’s Clients’ Choice Award for Divorce and receiving 10 Best Law Firms for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Legal Counsel, the firm finds tailored solutions to meet client needs.

Your first meeting with your O’Flaherty Law divorce lawyer serves to map out the specific challenges associated with your divorce. Your divorce attorney will set realistic expectations for the potential outcomes of your divorce proceedings. Through each step of your divorce, expect regular communication with our legal team. You should never feel in the dark on where your case is headed next.

Securing Child Support

Securing child support

In determining child support, the court considers the best interests of the child, which requires weighing the financial needs of both children and parents, the child’s standard of living if the couple stayed together, and the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs. Examples of expenses the court reviews when calculating child support payments include household expenses, mortgage or rent, groceries, transportation costs, and utilities.

Our group of child support lawyers gather and complete the necessary child support forms and review the most up-to-date child support laws when handling your case. Generally, paying parties (obligors) pay child support to other parents (recipients) that are presumed to be spent directly on the child. But the more recipients make compared to obligors, the less they are likely to receive in child support payments.

Filling out Divorce Papers and Filing For Divorce

If you are not ready or willing to get a divorce but want a separate life away from your spouse, O’Flaherty Law can In determining child support, the court considers the best interests of the child, which requires weighing the financial needs of both children and parents, the child’s standard of living if the couple stayed together, and the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs. Examples of expenses the court reviews when calculating child support payments include household expenses, mortgage or rent, groceries, transportation costs, and utilities.

Our group of child support lawyers gather and complete the necessary child support forms and review the most up to date child support laws when handling your case. Generally, paying parties (obligors) pay child support to other parents (recipients) that is presumed to be spent directly on the child. But the more recipients make compared to obligors, the less they are likely to receive in child support payments.

Filing Temporary Orders Of Child Custody

Determining child custody and parenting time agreements in divorce cases are often the greatest source of stress during the divorce process. Ideally, both parents want what is best for their child, but emotions sometimes cause them to lash out at the other parent by fighting over custody. A good child custody lawyer will be well versed in your local child custody laws and can act as a mediator between you and the other parent. Ultimately, the court will award parenting time based on the best interests of the child, which is determined by weighing a variety of factors, including the:

  • Parents' wishes and the child's preference;
  • Time each party spent caring for the child in the appropriate time period preceding the divorce;
  • Child's adjustment to home, school, and surroundings;
  • Whether any restriction on parenting time should apply;
  • The parents' past behavior;
  • Willingness to place the child's needs above those of the parent;
  • Distance between the parents' residences and the inherent difficulties of travel
  • Length of marriage;
  • Assigned property values;
  • Child custody agreements;
  • Requests for spousal maintenance;
  • Waste of martial or separate property;
  • Each spouse's skills and employability

Spousal Support or Alimony

Spousal support and alimony attorney

Most commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support (also called spousal maintenance) describes support payments owed by the higher-earning spouse to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed by the lower-earning spouse during the marriage. However, does this alimony definition really answer the question “What is alimony?” or “How is alimony determined?” Part of an alimony attorney’s job in a divorce case is to help their client understand why they should be receiving the alimony payments to which they are entitled.  

Not every divorce results in spousal support. Rather, spousal maintenance is “needs-based” and much like child support, the court will review a number of factors associated with the marriage and the evidence presented by both sides in the divorce to determine an appropriate alimony payment, if any. Whether you feel you deserve more in alimony or that your spouse is overreaching in their request, you are right, and our divorce attorneys will make every effort to execute your desires.

Property Division in Divorce

Property division in divorce

Property division in divorce often requires the court to first distinguish between “marital” property (also known as community property) acquired during marriage, and “non-marital” property (also known as separate property) acquired before marriage. Part of the property division lawyer’s job in your divorce case is to help you determine what property is yours exclusively and what is marital property. Property division doesn’t end with the home; everything from the car down to your great aunt’s vase is included in the divorce as property. In deciding how to divide property, judges may consider factors such as:

  • Length of marriage;
  • Assigned property values;
  • Child custody agreements;
  • Requests for spousal maintenance;
  • Waste of martial or separate property;
  • Each spouse's skills and employability

It's in the couple's best interest to divide the property on their own, but your divorce lawyer can help you get the property you feel you deserve and guide you through mediation to arrive at a settlement, if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions in Divorce Cases

We encourage our clients ask us many questions during a family law case. Once the judge hands down the final order, we want our clients to feel excited about the outcome and the legal services we provided. Some of the more common questions we get from family law clients include:

What Do I Need to Start the Divorce Process?

Prior to starting the divorce process, you will need to gather your financial records so that you can have an accurate picture of where you and your spouse are financially. Get bank account information, tax records, deeds, retirement account information, any documents related to investments or trusts that the spouses have together. Then you will need to gather any records you have regarding marital debts. Get copies of loan paperwork, mortgages, student loans taken out during the marriage, statements for jointly held credit cards.  

If there are minor children from the marriage, you may need to complete a confidential vital statistics document identifying them. This document is sealed by the court to protect the privacy of the minors.  

If you will be requesting temporary spousal support, child support or an order allowing you to reside in the marital home during the divorce, you will want to make that request immediately, in order the ensure as little disruption as possible in your life.  

Are Divorce Records Public?

Generally speaking, yes, divorce records are a matter of public record in the majority of states. Some states will automatically seal parts of the record, for example, any information identifying the minor children of the marriage, cases that deal with child or spousal abuse or documents containing vital information like social security numbers or financial information.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when the spouses agree that the marriage is no longer working and amicably agree to divorce. Another example of an uncontested divorce would be if the other spouse simply chose not fight the divorce. The spouses then work together to divide assets and debts from the marriage and the custody and visitation for any minor children of the marriage. Sometimes, the spouses file a joint petition for divorce, depending on what their state of residence requires. As long as things remain amicable between the parties, the divorce remains uncontested.

What is a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is where the spouses ask the court to declare them separated. This may include asking the court to rule on temporary orders such as child support, child custody and who lives in the martial home. A legal separation is not a divorce, you are still legally married, and any assets or debts acquired during the separation could be viewed as community (property of both spouses).  Sometimes people who want a divorce but cannot or will not divorce for financial or religious reasons, choose this avenue to lead separate lives, but again, you are still legally married.  

What is Cooperative Divorce vs Collaborative Divorce?

In a cooperative divorce, the parties work together towards an amicable agreement with the assistance of their attorneys. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, they proceed to litigation, where it goes before a judge. Some people like this approach because they can at least try to resolve things amicably, but they have recourse if that cannot be accomplished.

In a collaborative divorce, the parties sign an agreement stating that they agree not to litigate. Additionally, the attorneys representing the parties in the collaborative divorce also agree to no litigation. What that means is if things do not work out, you must get a new attorney to represent you and start the process over. Some people find that this approach helps provide an incentive to negotiate the divorce peacefully.  

How Do You Serve the Divorce Papers?

You should use a personal service to deliver the summons and complaint or the summons and petition depending on what your state law requires. It would be best to utilize a disinterested third-party in personal service, both to minimize the possibility of an uncomfortable confrontation and to have them complete an affidavit of service once they have delivered the papers. Some states do allow service by mail..

When is the Divorce Final?

The divorce is final once the judge signs the decree of divorce. The clerk of court will enter the decree onto the record. Once the decree is entered onto the record, the clerk will send a copy to your attorney, who should then give a copy to you for your records.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

It depends on the individual situation and if the house was purchased during the marriage. Some of the time, spouses will agree to who gets the house or if the house should be sold. In other divorce cases, the judge orders the sale of the home or a buyout of equity in the home by one spouse. There is no guaranteed outcome in regard to who gets the home in a divorce.

What Child Support Forms Do I Need?

It varies, depending on what your state of residence requires. Typically, the court will require proof of vital statistics for the child or children. If the child has a social security number, a birth certificate and their social security information should be enough to give your attorney the information they need to include on the petition or complaint for divorce. Any documentation that shows why your child might have needs that require a higher amount of support than is usually awarded should be included. Any proof of special needs or medical conditions that would require care need to be taken into account when requesting child support. Finally, it would be helpful to prepare a monthly expense report that breaks down the cost of child maintenance.

Can I Ask For More Child Support?

To successfully request more child support, you would need to ask the court to modify child support. Generally speaking, child support is calculated based on the income of the parent ordered to pay the child support. In order for the court to grant a child support modification, you will need to show that the party paying the child support has experienced an increase in their income, warranting an increase in the child support they can pay. That can mean that the person paying child support got a raise, a new job with higher pay or even an inheritance.

Other reasons for requesting additional child support would be if the child's needs changed in such a way that warranted increased support.  

What Should I Not Say in Child Custody Mediation?

As more and more courts require the parents to attend mediation, it is vital to remember that the whole point of the child custody mediation is for you and the other parent to work together to develop a livable parenting plan for your child. The mediation session is about making sure your child's needs are met. The mediation session is not the place for you to discuss any issues that lead to the divorce. Although divorce is very stressful and many resentments are bubbling under the surface, it is important to understand that any negative comments towards or about your spouse are not productive and a waste of your time. Stay focused, stay polite and stay open to cooperating with your spouse about the needs of your children.

Is Alimony Tax Deductible?

Alimony used to be tax-deductible. Any party ordered to pay alimony that had their divorce finalized before December 31, 2018, would have qualified to claim a deduction on their taxes for alimony. In any divorce finalized as of January 1, 2019, and onward, the alimony payments are not eligible to be deducted from your taxes. The IRS no longer requires recipients of spousal support to declare alimony payments as income, so it is not taxed.

Is Alimony and Child Support Different?

Yes, alimony and child support are different. Alimony or spousal support is money that one ex-spouse pays to the former spouse in either lump sum or regular installments. The purpose of alimony is to keep the party receiving it in the manner to which they have grown accustomed over the years of the marriage, especially if they are not in a position to earn that money themselves.

Child support is one parent's contribution to the care and well-being of the child. Child support helps to pay for necessities like food, clothing, tuition, school supplies, and other expenses. The support is also used for things beyond basic needs that enrich a child's life, for example, summer camp, music lessons, or playing a sport.

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