Family Law

_DSC6735-smallThere is no substitute for experience.  I have served families and divorce litigants in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Hernando Counties for some forty (40) years.

If you are browsing this website for a divorce attorney and are contemplating or involved in litigation, then you are probably stressed and conflicted.  Consider the information provided as merely a signpost towards selecting an attorney.

I have personally handled non-jury trials (no jury trials premitted in Family Law Court) or handled adversarial hearings (not settled or stipulated to by the parties), in the following types of proceedings:

CHILD CUSTODY:  (now known as) Parental Authority and Parenting time.

CHILD VISITATION: (now known as) Parenting Time/Best interest of minor child(ren).

CHILD SUPPORT:  Daycare and Health Care Premiums.  Guideline support.  Upward and downward deviation from Support Guidelines.  Deviations based upon overnight time spent with children.  Deviation based upon 50-50 time share arrangements.  Special Needs Children.

CONTEMPT/ENFORCEMENT:  Failure to pay child support.  Failure to pay alimony.  Suspension of Drivers License for failure to pay.  Enforcement of settlement, Mediation agreements, as well as enforcement of Orders and Judgements.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND REPEAT VIOLENCE HEARINGS:  Modifications, defense of Petitions for Injunction.  Advocate for party seeking injunction.  Violence as it bears on custody/visitation determination.  Impact on concealed weapons permit.

MEDIATION:  Both temporary and permanent Mediation issues.  Private Mediation.  Court Provided Mediation.

MODIFICATIONS:   Child custody (changing custody).  Alimony (reduction as well as increasing).  Co-habitation and “supportive relationships”.

ALIMONY:  Including Permanent, Periodic, Bridge the Gap, Lump Sum, and Non-Modifiable.  (Watch for potential significant legislation in Florida in 2015 effecting all future alimony requests.)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION:   Equal divisions, special interests requiring acquisition of a specific asset such as a marital home or a business.  Unequal distribution (one party seeking more than one-half of assets).  ( I represented a litigant in a two (2) day  non-jury trial held in June, 2014 on the issue of unequal distribution.  That case is currently on appeal with the Second District Court of Appeals.)

PATERNITY:   DNA Testing, (non-invasive prenatal paternity testing N.I.P.P., Amniocentesis testing).  Petition to Determine Paternity.  Petition to Disestablish Paternity (denying paternity after signing Acknowledgement of Paternity form) or (litigation over a child born to a married couple FATHERED by another).  Florida Putative Father Registry.

PRE/POST NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS:  Litigation over setting aside, as well as enforcing Mediation, Pre Nuptial Agreements, Post Nuptial Agreements, Marital Settlement Agreements (M.S.A’s)

The object for the client should be, of course, not to go to trial and to avoid contested hearings.  There are, of course, two (2) or more legitimate reasons for that:

  • Attorneys fees and costs
  • Stress on the litigant(s)

I have found that the parties are happier and more likely to abide by decisions they have reached rather than decisions a judge has reached for you.

I have listed above areas of the law I have personally handled.  The ultimate decision as to whether to go to trial on all or any issue is yours.  You may be forced into trial.  An unreasonable spouse can certainly cause this result.  An offer of settlement that makes you realize “I can’t possibly do worse than this if I do go to trial” is another reason.

Regardless, you need to have confidence in your choice of trial attorney.  You need to have counsel that is prepared and knows the current changes in the law.  I believe that I am that type of attorney.

It is my opinion that you are best served by local counsel.  Simply because the attorney will be more familiar with local practices and procedures of clerks, court personnel, and judicial assistants.  This is also true of judges’ rulings in the past on like or similar matters.  The local attorney knows what the judge wants to hear and what facts are favorable to your case and need to be emphasized.

Contact me at my office at (727) 847-3942 or our contact form to schedule an appointment.

No matter which attorney you ultimately choose, I sincerely wish you the best.