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 Tampa Bay. 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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why should divorcing couples consider mediation in Florida?





Mediation is a great way to help you come to an agreement. In a lot of counties in Florida they actually require you to go to mediation before you can ever got to a final hearing. The reason for that is because mediation is a great process where both parties can kind of lay out what they're looking for. The mediator works between the parties to try to help them come to a resolution. It's a really great way to try to resolve your case without spending lots of money on litigation.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Amicable Divorce is Possible

Divorce is never easy, though some people seem to breeze through it more unscathed than others. There are a lot of emotions packed into the relationship and these tend to seep out during the divorce process. The result can be a messy, difficult, or even tumultuous time period that may be difficult to get through. The best option, of course, is to try to resolve the divorce as amicably as possible. This is especially important for couples who have children because they need to transition to a new type of parenting situation. There are some tips for getting through a divorce with as few problems as possible.


Resolve the Big Issues First

It may be easier and less stressful to try to tackle the biggest or most difficult issues first. Both parties may be able to maintain a cordial relationship, especially at the beginning. Once things become more involved and emotions begin to run high, the couple may have more trouble trying to sort through even the most basic decisions. The more settlement terms you can agree with together the better, because this is the basis for a more harmonious situation.


Conscious Uncoupling

One of the most popular catch-phrases of divorce in the last couple of years is conscious uncoupling, and there is certainly more to this than just a name. This movement is a method of working on divorce as a growing experience and not as a blame-game. The root of this method is to look inside yourself for reasons and answers as to the situation and to use the divorce as a reason to improve yourself. While most couples will not go as far as to try the specific method of conscious uncoupling, they can try to look at the divorce as a stepping stone or transition to a new or better place.


Seek Help for the Rough Spots

It is important to realize when a rough spot is coming as soon as possible. If you know, for example, that there will be a disagreement over the house, make sure that you let your attorney know immediately. An experienced divorce lawyer will address the difficult situation in the best possible way while protecting your rights and respecting your position. The key to an amicable divorce is not to allow disagreements to get too far. If they do they will inevitably cause a breakdown in communications and the entire process will suffer as a result.


Guidance from Your Divorce Attorney

Divorce is a legal process and can be rather complex. It is essential to make sure that the decisions you make today are the best for you and your family both now and in the future. Your lawyer is your first and best choice for guiding you through the divorce process. Meet with your attorney as soon as possible and let your lawyer know what issues are most important to you. You should also indicate which areas could be contentious so that they can be addressed preemptively. If you have decided to divorce, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law 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+

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bird Nesting – An Alternative for Harmonious Divorces

Bird nesting is a new buzz word making the rounds of modern-thinking parents across the country. Bird nesting isn’t new – but it is becoming more in the mainstream. A bird’s nest divorce is a parenting arrangement between parents that allows the children to remain in the family home while the parents take turns moving in and out. The family home is thus referred to as a “nest”, where children can feel safe, comfortable, and happy. The arrangement is best suited to parents who will be sharing parenting responsibilities as well as for those who are involved in a harmonious divorce.
Bird Nesting is Good for the Kids
Parents in a divorce are often trying to do what is best for the children while creating enough quality parenting time for both parents. According to some psychologists, bird nesting may be the best solution to provide children with the stability they need while their parents enter into a transitional phase. Kids in bird nest divorces are generally happier than those who must shuffle between two households.
It is easy to see why children may be less stressed by a bird nest divorce. They can keep their schedules, maintain friendships, and continue participation in their activities all as if nothing has changed. They stay in their regular bedrooms and have access to all of their toys. Indeed, it could be an ideal situation for the children. But what about the parents?
Parents and Bird Nesting
Parents may find it difficult if to participate in this situation. It will only work well if parents are otherwise able to participate in a timesharing arrangement. Both parents will need to agree to move in and out of the home at regular specified intervals. One of the common arrangements provides for one parent to stay in the home for three days and the other parent to stay for four days each week. Parents will need to maintain another residence outside of the family home. If finances are a concern parents could agree to rent a small studio apartment where they each stay while the other is in the home. Many of the actual logistics of the arrangement would need to be discussed in detail, but this is a situation that could, in fact, work for many parents.
After Bird Nesting Is Complete
A typical bird nesting arrangement provides for the home to be used as the nest until the youngest child is 18 years old. After this time period, the home may be purchased by one or the other parent or it may be sold and the parents will divide the profits. The family home basically continues to be owned by both spouses after the divorce and until such time as they agree to discontinue the arrangement.
This option may allow both parents to become more financially independent and thus able to more easily purchase the home. However, disputes could arise over which parent should be allowed to buy the other out. It is helpful if these details are worked out in advance and become part of the initial divorce agreement.
If you are divorcing you may want to learn more about bird nesting as well as other parenting options available to you. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law 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, April 6, 2016

Pets and Divorce

Pets and Divorce

Our pets are a very important part of our families. For some, our pets are like our children. But what happens to our pets when we divorce? There are many people who feel that spouses should be awarded custody of pets in much the same way as child custody. As much as we may consider that our dog or cat is our baby, in the eyes of the law, pets are property. Generally, in Florida, divorcing couples are required to divide up their marital property in an equitable manner. This means that most likely your pet will be owned by just one party after the divorce is finalized.
Divorce Settlement Terms
As part of the divorce process, couples must resolve and come to an agreement of the main settlement terms. This includes such things as asset and debt division, child custody and visitation, and alimony. These issues need to be ironed out between couples prior to the finalization of the divorce. When couples cannot reach an agreement they may require help. The first line of assistance comes directly through your attorney, who will always work to protect your best interests and knows how to negotiate on your behalf.
Pets as Property
While pets are considered property under the law, there are some special considerations you can make to provide properly for your beloved animal. If the pet belonged to one partner prior to the marriage it technically belongs to that person and is not included in the property division. The same holds true if the pet was received by one person as a gift. However, if the pet was obtained by both people while they were married, the situation can seem unclear. The best situation is for both people to consider the needs of the animal when making the decision regarding who should retain possession.
Children and Pets
When children are involved the process of determining who will keep the pets can become more complex. Remember that the children may be attached to the pet and this should be considered when deciding where the pet should stay. Other things to think about when deciding which party should keep the pet include the space available and the time each person has available to spend caring for the pet. Additionally, there are costs associated with pet ownership. When a person owns the pet himself, these costs are usually his sole responsibility.
Pet Time Sharing
Child custody in Florida is also known as time sharing. Both parents are expected and entitled to spend time with their child. Since dogs and cats are not children, the same rules do not apply. But, pet parents can make special arrangements between each other that will allow them to share time with their pet. For example, the couple may agree that the pet will live primarily with one party but that the other has the opportunity to take the pet for several hours a week. These arrangements may seem like an agreeable solution but in practice may be quite tricky to pull off. There are both advantages and disadvantages to pet sharing after a divorce.
If you are considering divorce with pets, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law 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, April 4, 2016

Avoid Making the Top Mistakes in a Divorce

Avoid Making the Top Mistakes in a Divorce

Divorce can be a very emotional experience, but it is also a legal process. It is important that you keep this in mind while you navigate the waters of divorce. Some mistakes made during the process could have a devastating effect on your divorce settlement and may indeed impact your family’s life in the future. Make your divorce as easy as possible by avoiding these mistakes.
Saying Too Much
Divorce can take its toll on your attitude and some of the problems that occur can cause you to get angry. Anger and irritation are normal reactions, especially if the divorce has become acrimonious. While these emotions are certainly understandable, it is important to keep them in check. Avoid the temptation to vent on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter or in emails. Once you put it out there it cannot be taken back and it could actually be used against you in court.
Fighting
Fighting with your partner can only lead to disastrous results. Verbal arguments are never pretty and you could end up saying something you don’t mean. Arguments can even lead to domestic violence, especially if there were problems of this nature in the past.  Also, fighting in front of the children can be destructive to them and can lead to long-term emotional stress and scarring.
Alienating the Children
Children are not part of your problems, but they can get stuck in the middle. When children are forced to take sides with one parent over another the situation can have a negative impact on them. Further, they may come to resent or alienate one or even both parents after an ugly divorce.
Getting Revenge
All too often, one spouse is not ready for a divorce when the other one is. A nasty divorce can ensue and one party may even seek revenge on the other. If one party has seemingly moved on more quickly than expected, the other spouse can become hurt and may try to make the divorce more difficult. Keep in mind that a difficult divorce punishes all members of the family, even you and the children. As much as it may upset you, it is best for everyone’s sake that you take the high road to keep your divorce on track.
Turning to Drugs or Alcohol
Although you are going through a difficult time, no good will come from the overuse of alcohol or drugs. In fact, using these crutches can actually hurt you in a custody battle. Don’t give your spouse something that he or she can use against you in a divorce fight. If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse talk to your attorney about getting tested voluntarily, something that can help you to maintain your parental rights during and after your marriage ends.
If you are going through a divorce it is wise to seek guidance from an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will review your situation, answer your questions, and help to keep you grounded during the process to make it as stress-free as possible. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law 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, April 2, 2016

Resolving High Conflict Divorce

Resolving High Conflict Divorce

Divorce can be extremely difficult for families; however, it may be particularly hard when there are major conflicts between the parties. And, of course, when there are children involved it can be even more problematic. One of the many areas of contention may be child custody issues, which can be complex and hard to resolve. The main thing to consider in such instances is the child. Parents must put the children first and provide them with the love and reassurance they need during this stressful transition.
Consider a Guardian Ad-Litem
Because children are your first priority one way to ensure that their needs are protected is with the appointment of a guardian ad-litem. This is a professional appointed by the court to represent the child throughout the divorce proceedings. This individual coordinates with the child’s important contacts to gather information that will assist in making decisions that are in the child’s best interest. The guardian may speak with teachers, relatives, coaches, and others to learn details that can be used to resolve custody and visitation conflicts.
Meet With a Psychologist
A psychologist will analyze you to help determine how well you are able to care for the child. An evaluation may be completed for both parents in a high conflict divorce. The psychologist may conduct interviews and testing in order to provide a complete professional evaluation that can be used in court. This type of assessment can provide critical information when one spouse has accused the other of being unfit to parent the child. Your attorney will assist in choosing a psychologist to work with.
Deposition
In cases of high conflict divorce, your attorney may want to question the other parent or other witnesses with a formal deposition. The deposition is a legal method of asking important questions that may be relevant to the case. Recording these statements can be helpful later on because the witness is locked into statements made at the deposition. If you are deposed it is essential that you properly prepare with your own attorney ahead of time. Also, your attorney may be present during the deposition.
Substance Abuse Evaluation
In cases where you are concerned about substance abuse of the other parent, it may be necessary to request an evaluation. In certain situations your attorney may need further evidence of substance abuse, which may need to be gathered through various methods. For example, the friends or relatives may need to be deposed or a private investigator could be utilized.
Help from a Skilled Divorce Attorney
Many of the issues that come up during a high conflict divorce can be more easily resolved with help from a skilled divorce attorney. Those attorneys with experience handling high conflict divorces are more adept at resolving situations and in preventing some problems from occurring in the first place. If you feel that your divorce may be one of contention it is ideal to choose a divorce attorney who will act preemptively to keep the divorce on track with as little harm to the family as possible.
If you are about to go through a divorce and fear that it could be high conflict, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law 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+