About Our Firm

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Since 1997 we are experienced and knowledgeable Tampa attorneys practicing exclusively in Divorce, Family, Stepparent/Relative Adoption, Consumer/Personal Bankruptcy & Mediation. We practice primarily in Tampa, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lithia, Carrollwood, North Tampa, Plant City and all of Hillsborough County,Polk, and Pinellas Counties. Our lawyers have experience practicing in contested and uncontested divorces, including military divorces, and family law, child support, child custody and visitation, relocation of children, alimony, domestic violence, distribution of assets and debts, retirement/pensions (military and private), enforcement and modification of final judgments, paternity actions, adoptions and name changes. We offer a free consultation and we are happy to discuss your case. Call or email to schedule a consult. Our representation of our clients reflects our dedication to them.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Moving Away with Children after a Divorce

divorce can cause a lot of emotional turmoil and can disrupt the family for a long period of time. The children are of utmost importance when making the many decisions that are involved in the divorce process. In Florida, as in other states, the courts are required to make judgments that are in the best interest of the children. The major parenting decisions are handled in with a document called a parenting plan. The parenting plan details how the care and custody of children will be handled after the divorce is finalized.
Child Custody
Most parents today take part in what is known as “shared parenting”. This means that both parents share legal custody of the kids. Legal custody refers to the major decisions that must be made for a child. For example, some of the important decisions include medical, educational, and religious options. Physical custody is simply the location where the children reside. Sometimes one parent has primary physical custody while they share legal custody with the other parent.
Moving Out of State
Once a parenting plan is put into place as part of the divorce, it is a legal order and must be followed. Both parents are typically allowed access to their children. Moving to another state would severely limit the contact of one parent, so it is usually not allowed. If you are considering a move to another state and you are the primary custodial parent, you must first consult your divorce documents. Determine how a potential move is to be handled. This is often covered as part of the parenting plan.
Request a Hearing
A change to the divorce order, including changes to a child’s residence, must be made through the court system. Even if the other parent agrees to the move, the change must be made legally by a judge. However, in many cases the other parent will not approve of the move. The first step is to discuss the matter with an experienced divorce attorney. Your lawyer will assist you in taking the steps needed to request a hearing.
Preparing for the Hearing
The hearing is the court date during which the judge will review your request and make a determination. Both parents are required to attend the hearing. Each parent is allowed time to present information and data to support their position. It is important to remember that the judge will always make a decision based on what is best for the child. All aspects of the case will be reviewed when making such a serious decision.
It is helpful for parents to have a plan in place that addresses how visitation will occur in the future. When the children are older, typically over age 12, they may be consulted regarding their wishes. This would be done by the judge, often in chambers. The courts always make sure that the children are protected and the decision will reflect that.
If you are considering making a move out of state, or your former spouse has requested to move with your child, you need help from a skilled legal team. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Reviewing Time-Sharing Options

When parents’ divorce, one of the most controversial and complex decisions is how to resolve issues regarding the children. There are various time-sharing arrangements available to Florida families. In Florida, custody is now called time-sharing, as both parents are expected to make decisions for the child, spend time with the child, and provide support if applicable.
Parenting Time
Generally, shared parenting is the preferred option for child custody. However, the courts do review all factors when considering arrangements. Parents are both expected to provide for their children and spend time with them on a regular basis. Ideally, parenting time should be split in a manner that provides equal time with each parent.
Factors in Considering Custody
The courts have the final decision when determining child time sharing issues. Some of the factors that they use when considering custody include:
  • Ability of each parent to provide care;
  • The relationship between parent and child;
  • Physical and mental health of each parent;
  • Moral fortitude of each parent;
  • Ability to provide safe, substance-free home; and
  • Ability of each parent to meet the developmental needs of the child.
The most important factor that is always at the forefront of any decision is choosing what is in the best interest of the child. The welfare of the child is of utmost importance, and comes before almost every other factor in making a decision of where the child should live.
Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is required for all couples who have minor children at the time of the divorce. The plan is part of the Florida divorce statutes, and is necessary before a divorce will be granted. Parenting plans should address the major areas of concern regarding the children. Some of the important aspects that must be included are:
  • Parents will share daily responsibilities of child care and upbringing;
  • A time sharing schedule to specify time spent with each parent;
  • Determination of how parental responsibilities will be distributed; and
  • How parents will communicate with each other and with the child.
A detailed parenting plan will save parents from disagreements later on. The plan should include information about how to make modifications to the agreement should they become available.
Child Residence
Although parents often share legal responsibilities for the child, the child will usually reside primarily with one parent. Many times, the child resides most of the time with one parent and the other parent has regular visitation with the child. Visitation times should be outlined in the parenting plan. The parents need to share time when the child is on holiday or vacation from school. Changes to these arrangements can only be made through the court. A hearing must be requested where both parents will have the opportunity to speak to the judge.
Parenting issues are very serious matters because they can have a major impact on your child’s life for years to come. As a parent, you probably have many questions and concerns about parenting time during a divorce. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and bankruptcy lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

Monday, July 25, 2016

Three Valuable Lessons You Can Learn From Celebrity Divorces

Celebrities are in the limelight, but they are just like regular people when it comes to relationships. Many celebrity marriages end in divorce, and when they do the process may involve airing their dirty laundry in public. The reality is, relationships between celebrities are just as complex and difficult as those of average people. When celebrities divorce, you get to see a glimpse into some of the more ugly sides of divorce. And, indeed, you can learn a great deal by watching what happens in high-profile divorces so you can avoid the same problems.
Get a Prenup
It is estimated that only about three to five percent of couples get a prenuptial agreementbefore they marry. This can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Prenups aren’t just for the rich and famous. Virtually all couples can benefit greatly by putting a prenup in place. A premarital agreement details all of the major settlement terms of divorce. It is extremely helpful because couples will not have to argue over many of the small issues that can wreak havoc during a divorce. Instead, these matters will have already been ironed out. It is important to note, however, that you should always have a prenup reviewed by an attorney before signing it.
End Things the Right Way
Don’t move on until you have finalized this chapter of your life. The best divorces, if there are such things, are between partners who still have respect for one another. This can be difficult or impossible to do when one spouse moves on way too soon after the split. If you aren’t happy, you need to let your spouse know, and take steps to try to resolve the issues so you can be sure that you want to get divorced. Then, move on at an appropriate time.
Plan Properly
Many times, celebrity divorces seem to come out of nowhere. In reality, we know that there has likely been trouble brewing for quite a while. In Florida, as in other states, property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and is therefore divided equitably between partners. Before pursuing a divorce, understand your finances, including information regarding your home. Children should be cared for by both parents, although they usually reside primarily with one parent. Review your pension plans, retirement accounts, bank accounts, and investments so that they can be evenly distributed.
How an Experienced Divorce Attorney Will Help
If you are new to divorce, as are most people, you may not know what to expect or how to proceed. You probably have a lot of questions and concerns about the divorce process. Seek out an experienced divorce attorney to guide you through the procedures. Your lawyer will answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease as you begin this new stage of life. Choosing an attorney with experience in family and divorce issues will allow you to leave the details to her while you concentrate on emotional healing for you and your family. If you are interested in pursuing a divorce from your spouse, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and bankruptcy lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Becoming a Better Parent

Parenting is never easy. Children don’t come with an instruction guide, yet parents are expected to instinctively know how to care for all of their children’s physical, emotional, and financial needs. Unfortunately, divorce can intensify the need for better parenting by both the mother and father. Kids need leadership now more than ever. Although the adults may not see eye to eye on the issues surrounding their split, they can each learn how to become better able to provide the stable support their children need.
Parenting Classes
Taking a parenting class is one of the best ways to improve your skills. After your divorce, you will need to learn new ways to parent with your former spouse. Children need to know that both parents are available to provide them with the nurturing and caring environment they need. Parents can take classes through various sources or they may be required to take a class through the court. Parents will learn valuable information about how to talk to their children about the divorce.
Children, like adults, have to work through the changes that come as a result of divorce. Parents may not have the ability to assist children with these concerns, especially when they are working through their own emotional demands. For these reasons, counseling may be a good solution. A therapist or family counselor is a first step towards getting children to talk about their feelings. This will help them come to terms with the divorce. Children are remarkably resilient, but they may need some assistance in dealing with the very adult issues that are around them during a divorce.
Good communication is the key to all successful relationships, even with your children. Be careful not to discuss adult matters with children because this can give them anxiety and it involves them in a situation that they do not need to worry about. Instead, make sure that you maintain open communication with the children and answer any questions they may have as a result of the divorce. Kids often have very simple needs. They want to be assured that both of their parents still love them and will spend time with them, even if they don’t live together anymore.
Resolving Divorce Issues
Many various issues come up during the divorce process. These can evoke feelings of fear, anger, heartache, and guilt. Children often deal with these same emotions as they go through the changes that divorce brings. To keep everyone’s emotions at bay, try to resolve the major areas of concern with help from your divorce attorney. Head off any serious problem areas before they can become large disagreements. Your divorce lawyer is often able to help keep the divorce progressing along without any significant arguments. A more agreeable divorce will help to create a much happier resolution for the entire family as they move towards creating a new life. If you are about to go through a divorce, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and bankruptcy lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+