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Stuart Divorce Lawyer

Stop trying to pick up the broken pieces, and start focusing on making something new.

Popa Law focuses on representing both men and women in all types of divorce, ranging from a simple dissolution of the legal ties, to the complicated intricacies of finances and child welfare. Our divorce lawyer in Stuart is skilled in appreciating the individual’s complexities while maintaining the importance of resolution and collaboration.

It took both people to get married, but it may only take one of them to get divorced.

The Dissolution of a Broken Relationship

“The Only Basis you need for a divorce is that your marriage is irretrievably broken” - Kevin Rollin, Esq.

This simple, yet poignant statement can hold a cataclysm of meaning for anyone personally, but what it means for your legal binds to a spouse is that Florida is a no-fault divorce state.

That is a difficult concept to reconcile for individuals struggling in a loveless or abusive relationship, and can become a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to overcome. But just because the State of Florida made the grounds for divorce clear-cut, there are options available for spouses and families to go from there to ultimately reach a beneficial resolution.

Children - Child Custody, Child Support, & Child Advocacy

Child Custody, Child Support, & Child Advocacy
This is the bigger picture of “worth” in your life. Your spouse is becoming your “Ex”, not your child’s. Divorce is a change in your child’s life that shifts where they sleep, eat, and what their mind’s eye knows as home. Bad spouses can be great parents, but they must be prepared to balance rights as parents with the practical realities and responsibilities. It is possible to maximize your presence in your child’s life while minimizing your interaction with the other parent.

The Courts will establish a parenting plan that sets forth all of the parties’ rights to make major decisions, where the children will live, and which parent must pay child support. A “primary parent” does not exist anymore. Florida law is clear that the best interests of minor children are of paramount importance in determining shared parental responsibility. Learn more about child advocacy and custody here.

Nobody knows your family better than you, but it is important that you have an experienced child advocacy lawyer in Stuart to safeguard your interests and avoid pitfalls adopting a Parenting Plan.
Equitable Distribution

Equitable Distribution to Avoid Financial Ruin

This is the money. What you have and what you owe. In Florida, everything you accumulated jointly, whether in your name or theirs, is equally divided. Your marriage was a financial arrangement whether you intended it or not, and with its dissolution, you will need to ensure that your finances are safe, protected and that any detriment is shared. Financial transparency is an inevitability in family law cases, usually because the parties are familiar with their marital finances or with their spouses clandestine tactics.

What does that mean? It means there is no pot of gold for either person, and quite often people end up with the very opposite if they expect differently. The good news is that you do not have to sacrifice what you should otherwise retain.

Equity is the basis, but when people are dividing personal affects, what is equitable to each person becomes a very grey area. By taking the time to consider your personal goals, long-term and short-term, and what you want your financial stability to look like after the divorce, you can shape and mold the financial future that is right for you and independent of your spouse. Every circumstance presents an opportunity to act reasonably, but even the unreasonable can usually be dissuaded by dollar value.


That “equity” pendulum touches the area of spousal support and alimony as well. The antiquated ideas of alimony have been replaced with a more modern opinion of maximizing a person’s potential. People do not become unemployable because they are divorced. Even if only one person worked during a marriage, both parties should work and use his or her best efforts to earn income. Courts will use tools to impute income to those who refuse to work or earn an income, whether they are a high-income earning spouse who suddenly decides to voluntarily stop earning or someone who quite simply elects to remain lazy.

Florida Statute still provides for the Court to award alimony where appropriate. A very real concern is what the financial future holds after a household becomes dependent on a single-income. In many marriages, a spouse may need alimony for a short period of time in order to cover specific expenses, education, and the transition from married to single life. This is an extension of the Florida Court emphasis on equity, not just for the moment, but for after the marriage is dissolved.

In some cases, long-term marriages, where one spouse was the primary income earner and the other spouse contributed to the marriage in other ways, the Court will take into consideration the global contributions to the marriage and may award permanent periodic alimony.

Florida Divorce Lawyer - Attorney's Fees

Financial superiority is used as leverage. Always. When spouses separate logistically, they often start separating their finances. The Courts may equalize the parties by requiring the wealthier party to pay all or a portion of the other party’s attorney’s fees. If one party cannot afford an attorney, then the Court may order the wealthier party to pay all or a portion of the other party’s attorney’s fees. Alternatively, a parties’ refusal to support themselves may minimize a party's contribution to those attorneys fees.

It is important to have an experienced and tactful attorney to help artfully navigate the financial disclosures. Certain protections can apply to specific information, but objections to those disclosures must be raised appropriately and timely. 


Financial Disclosure

Full and candid financial disclosure is required in all cases. In the First 45 days of a divorce case, both parties are required to exchange certain documents and information, including a financial affidavit. Financial transparency is usually an inevitability in family law cases, whether it is because the parties are familiar with their marital finances or their spouses’ clandestine tactics.

It is important to have an experienced and tactful attorney to help artfully navigate the financial disclosures. Certain protections can apply to specific information, but objections to those disclosures must be raised appropriately and timely.

Collaborating with the Community

For the last decade, James Popa has fostered relationships with professionals, accountants, and therapists throughout the Treasure Coast and Florida. These connections are often essential to addressing a client's particular needs or later called upon to accomplish specific objectives.

Undiagnosed mental illness and substance abuse issues need to be addressed in order to make recommendations for a parenting plan. A parent’s good intentions do not relieve the dangers inherent to mental illness and rampant drug and alcohol abuse. Courts look to professionals to make diagnosis and treatment recommendations to safeguard the children from abuse, abandonment and neglect.

Similarly, complex assets or financial misconduct will require a forensic accountant or investigator to expose nefarious activities.

Call Popa Law today to discuss your case with an experienced divorce lawyer in Stuart. We will help you navigate the complexities of divorce, child custody, child support, and finances.
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Trials entail a huge financial burden and parties often cannot reconcile squandering their life’s savings as the cost of doing business. Instead, settlement should always be a consideration of avoiding financial ruin, but does not have to be at the cost of your integrity, your emotions, or your rights.

Proper preparation is the only way to achieve ones goals in settlement. This may include preparing for a trial, even if a trial is not the most optimal route for a case to take. Settlement can provide for creative solutions and explore alternatives that preserve assets, benefit children, maintain stability, and expedite resolutions. There must be a point of moving on with life.

Good mediators, and even judges, will explain how parties are more likely to be satisfied with and follow settlement agreements they helped to craft. Settlement gives people a chance to have a say in the resolution of a very difficult time in their life. There is a true value in finality, and being able to not only close a chapter in life, but also where to begin anew.
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