About Our Firm

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Founded in 1997 we are experienced and knowledgeable Tampa attorneys practicing exclusively in Divorce, Family, Stepparent/Relative Adoption, Criminal Defense, and Personal Bankruptcy. We practice primarily in the cities of Tampa, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lithia, Carrollwood, Northdale, North Tampa, Plant City as well as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Pasco County. We have offices conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay. Our lawyers have extensive 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 as well as criminal defense. We offer a free consultation to discuss your options. Please call us at 813-672-1900 or email us at info@familymaritallaw.com to schedule a consultation. Our representation of our clients reflects our dedication to them. We look forwarding to hearing from you! Se habla EspaƱol.

Monday, December 23, 2019

How Does Domestic Violence Affect a Divorce?

Sadly, there are thousands of reported incidences of domestic violence every year in Tampa Bay. This can either be a civil domestic violence or a criminal domestic violence matter.  This sometimes leads to divorce, which can have a significant effect on a divorce settlement. During divorce proceedings, a judge will take allegations of domestic violence very seriously. They will weigh it as a factor when making decisions on child custody, spousal support, and property division. Below are the four main factors affected by domestic violence during a divorce.
How You Get Divorced
There is more than one way to get divorced in Florida. Mediation and collaborative divorce are two options that are faster and less costly than litigation. However, these methods of getting divorced aren’t usually suitable for cases involving domestic violence.
Collaborative divorces and mediation requires that the parties involved are amicable, and willing to reach a decision outside of the courtroom. These methods of divorce should also not include one party having significant power over the other. Due to these factors, most divorce cases involving domestic violence allegations go through litigation.
Child Custody Matters
When a judge is deciding on child custody matters, they will consider all factors and make their decision based on the best interests of the child. In most cases, this means allowing shared parental custody. However, judges will deviate from this when there is evidence that such an arrangement could hurt the child.
When a divorce involves a conviction for domestic violence, evidence of violence, or a history of behavior that threatens a child’s well-being, a judge may award sole custody on those grounds. That doesn’t necessarily mean a parent accused of domestic violence will never see their children. A judge will consider the safety needs of the child and the domestic violence victim and may try to arrange visitation time.
Spousal Support
Technically, judges do not take at-fault grounds into consideration when making decisions on spousal support. This means they will not necessarily consider domestic violence when awarding spousal support. However, they do take into consideration the physical and emotional well-being of each spouse, as well as their education and earning power. If any of these factors have been affected by domestic violence, a judge may award the victim more spousal support.
Property Division
Like spousal support, judges don’t take grounds for fault into consideration when making decisions on property division matters. However, also like spousal support, if one spouse sustained injuries or suffered financially as a result of domestic violence, a judge will consider these factors and could award more property to the abused spouse.
Do You Need Help? Call Our Florida Divorce Attorneys
If you need to get out of a bad situation, our Tampa divorce attorneys at All Family Law Group, PA, are here to help. We know how difficult any divorce is, but that cases involving domestic violence present their own unique challenges. We can guide you through those to get your divorce finalized as quickly as possible so you can begin your new life. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation.
Resource:
leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/0061.html

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

What are Myths Surrounding Mediation During Divorce?

When a couple is considering divorce, it does not mean that they have to become involved in a long and bitter courtroom battle. Many divorces in Florida today go through mediation instead of litigation. Mediation is a much more amicable way to get divorced and can provide the couple with more control. Instead of a judge determining on the final terms, the couple themselves will. Even though mediation is gaining in popularity today however, there are still many myths surrounding it that are simply incorrect. Below are some of the most common of these myths, and the truth behind them.
A Mediator will Fix All the Problems in My Divorce
It is true that a mediator will try to foster communication and compromise between you and your spouse. They do this to help you come to an agreement. Unfortunately, they cannot do everything. If one spouse is hiding assets, a mediator cannot determine this, or bring those assets to light. Also, if you or your spouse is not interested in coming to an amicable agreement, the mediator also cannot fix this.
Mediation Works in Favor of Men
This is a myth that has been around for some time now. It comes from the fact that years ago, women sometimes were not as aware of the marital finances, assets, and debts. However, this just is not true today. Women know just as much about the household’s finances today as their husbands and so, mediation works very fairly for both parties.
Mediation Does not Work in Complex Divorce Cases
Mediation can help with any divorce case, even those that have complex issues. As long as you and your spouse are willing to work together and compromise, mediation can still be beneficial.
Mediation Will not Help with Issues Related to Child Custody
Many people think that child custody issues are only determined through litigation. However, that is not true. In fact, if your divorce involves children, it is possible that mediation is the best option for you. After going through mediation, the two spouses often feel more amicable towards each other and are more likely to create a parenting plan both parents will abide by, and stick to once the divorce is final. Mediation can help with all the issues that come up during divorce, including those involving children.
Mediation is Always the Best Option
Mediation can help in many cases and it certainly brings with it many advantages. That does not mean that It is right for everyone, however. If the marriage involved abuse or one spouse has a substance abuse problem, mediation probably will not work.
Our Florida Divorce Lawyers can Advise on All the Options for Divorce
If you are going through a divorce, you likely have a lot of questions, including which divorce option is best for you. At All Family Law Group, PA, our Tampa divorce lawyers can help. We can advise on which type of divorce is right for you, and represent you throughout the entire process. Do not go through your divorce alone. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your case.
Resource:
leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/0061.html

Sunday, October 20, 2019

How Long does Divorce Take in Florida?

When a couple is going through a divorce, they typically want it finalized as quickly as possible. Florida divorce attorneys are regularly asked how long the divorce process takes. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. Every case is unique and presents different challenges and situations. How long a divorce will take depends on many factors. Two of the main factors are whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, and how complex certain issues are, such as division of property. Generally speaking, most divorce cases take between three months and two years.
Uncontested Divorces
Uncontested divorces are the least complex and easiest of all divorce cases. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on every single aspect of the divorce. However, they must agree on all terms. If the two parties have a dispute on even one of the terms in the divorce, such as child custody, it becomes a contested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both sides are also typically very cooperative.
Uncontested divorce cases are in the minority, as couples typically tend to disagree on at least one issue in most divorces. That being said, these cases take typically three weeks to prepare, and a divorce attorney can file them instantly. Still, couples must wait approximately three months to get a hearing. At the hearing, a judge will finalize the terms of the divorce and the couple will be declared officially divorced. This process in total, takes approximately four months.
Contested Divorces
Contested divorces take much longer before they are finalized. They typically take about 12 months before the process is complete. When a divorce is lightly contested, meaning there are few disagreements that can be easily overcome, a contested divorce will take approximately four months to one year before they are finalized. When the divorce is heavily contested, meaning there are many disagreements that are difficult to overcome, a contested divorce can take as long as two years before it is finalized.
There is good news, though, for those going through an uncontested divorce. In Florida, all contested divorces are required to go through mediation before litigation. The point of mediation is to get the couple to come to a settlement agreement before going to litigation. A mediator facilitates discussions and tries to get each spouse to compromise and come to a decision that is agreeable to both of them. Most divorce cases do settle during mediation. When this is the case, the divorce can be finalized in five to eight months.
Need Help with Your Divorce? Call Our Florida Divorce Attorneys
Going through a divorce is a stressful experience. It’s not surprising that those going through it want it to be over as quickly as possible. One way to ensure a divorce will proceed more quickly is to work with a Tampa divorce attorney. At All Family Law Group, PA, we can negotiate effectively with the other side to ensure your divorce proceeds as swiftly as possible. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 for your free consultation so we can review your case and answer any other questions you may have.
Resource:
leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0044/0044.html

Friday, October 18, 2019

Why are High Net Worth Divorces so Complicated?

Any couple going through a divorce is going to find the process stressful, and perhaps even a little bit complicated. When the couple getting the divorce has a high net worth, it’s even more challenging. Issues such as property division, child support, and alimony all revolve around worth and assets. This means that during any high net worth divorce, these are the issues that are going to be the most complex and many times, even the most contentious.
Property Division Issues in High Net Worth Divorces
Property division is one of the most heated issues in any divorce, and it’s no different in those involving a high net worth couple. Individuals with a high net worth typically have numerous assets. They own more than one home, vehicle, and often even have a business or two that must be divided during divorce proceedings. That means a high net worth divorce takes longer, and there are typically more arguments over the assets.
Florida is also an equitable distribution state, meaning the property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Instead of simply dividing all the assets right down the middle and giving each party their share, judges must consider what is fair and just. With so many assets, that becomes tricky.
Alimony Issues in High Net Worth Divorces
Alimony is not awarded in every divorce case, but a judge is more likely to grant it in high net worth cases. This is often because one spouse has become accustomed to a certain standard of living, and they cannot afford to keep up that standard on their own. However, if the marriage involved infidelity that led to the divorce, a judge must also take that into consideration when determining alimony. Combining all of these factors, and many more, make alimony decisions very difficult.
Child Support Issues in High Net Worth Divorces
Under Florida law, parents are financially responsible for their children until a child is no longer considered a minor. Florida courts also expect that children will maintain the same standard of living after their parents are divorced that they did while the couple was still married. While the law has specific guidelines for determining the amount of child support a parent must pay, the scale ranges from $800 combined income to $10,000 combined income. When high net worth couples are worth more than this, judges must deviate from the guidelines, which makes it more difficult.
Do You Need Help with a High Net Worth Divorce? Call Our Florida Divorce Attorneys
If you have a high net worth and are considering divorce, it’s important to let a Tampa divorce attorney handle your case. These cases are far more complex than other divorces, which means they typically take longer and are more stressful for everyone involved. At All Family Law Group, our attorneys are aware of the issues these divorce cases present, and we have the experience to overcome them quickly and efficiently, so you can put your divorce behind you sooner. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 or email us to schedule your free consultation.
Resource:
flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/61.30

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

How Does Domestic Violence Affect a Divorce?

Sadly, there are thousands of reported incidences of domestic violence every year in Tampa Bay. This can either be a civil domestic violence or a criminal domestic violence matter.  This sometimes leads to divorce, which can have a significant effect on a divorce settlement. During divorce proceedings, a judge will take allegations of domestic violence very seriously. They will weigh it as a factor when making decisions on child custody, spousal support, and property division. Below are the four main factors affected by domestic violence during a divorce.
How You Get Divorced
There is more than one way to get divorced in Florida. Mediation and collaborative divorce are two options that are faster and less costly than litigation. However, these methods of getting divorced aren’t usually suitable for cases involving domestic violence.
Collaborative divorces and mediation requires that the parties involved are amicable, and willing to reach a decision outside of the courtroom. These methods of divorce should also not include one party having significant power over the other. Due to these factors, most divorce cases involving domestic violence allegations go through litigation.
Child Custody Matters
When a judge is deciding on child custody matters, they will consider all factors and make their decision based on the best interests of the child. In most cases, this means allowing shared parental custody. However, judges will deviate from this when there is evidence that such an arrangement could hurt the child.
When a divorce involves a conviction for domestic violence, evidence of violence, or a history of behavior that threatens a child’s well-being, a judge may award sole custody on those grounds. That doesn’t necessarily mean a parent accused of domestic violence will never see their children. A judge will consider the safety needs of the child and the domestic violence victim and may try to arrange visitation time.
Spousal Support
Technically, judges do not take at-fault grounds into consideration when making decisions on spousal support. This means they will not necessarily consider domestic violence when awarding spousal support. However, they do take into consideration the physical and emotional well-being of each spouse, as well as their education and earning power. If any of these factors have been affected by domestic violence, a judge may award the victim more spousal support.
Property Division
Like spousal support, judges don’t take grounds for fault into consideration when making decisions on property division matters. However, also like spousal support, if one spouse sustained injuries or suffered financially as a result of domestic violence, a judge will consider these factors and could award more property to the abused spouse.
Do You Need Help? Call Our Florida Divorce Attorneys
If you need to get out of a bad situation, our Tampa divorce attorneys at All Family Law Group, PA, are here to help. We know how difficult any divorce is, but that cases involving domestic violence present their own unique challenges. We can guide you through those to get your divorce finalized as quickly as possible so you can begin your new life. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation.
Resource:
leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/0061.html

Friday, August 23, 2019

What are the Different Types of Alimony in Florida?

The concept of alimony in Florida seems fairly straightforward. When a couple gets a divorce, one spouse may receive it, while a judge may require the other spouse to pay it. Many couples however, think that when alimony is ordered, one spouse simply writes a check to the other spouse every month. While this is often true, there is more to alimony in Florida than just that. The Florida statute that governs alimony identifies six different types. The final alimony order will depend on the nature of the case.  Click here for more.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Is that Money from Your Ex’s Family a Gift or a Loan?

Helping out family financially is a common way of supporting loved ones. When a couple first marries, this support may be especially necessary to set up a new household or get settled into married life. These exchanges are usually given and received with appreciation and gratitude, and the specifics of how the giver views the exchange may never be explicitly stated. This is not necessarily an issue unless the couple later divorces, and the person who gave the money wants to recoup this money as a loan. This expectation can add a lot of conflict into what may be an already difficult divorce, and the question of whether the transaction should be treated as a gift or loan is not always easy to answer. Courts tend to favor seeing exchanges as gifts when possible, and only when the evidence is clear otherwise will they treat it as a loan. A missing mother of five is in the middle of a divorce that includes allegations by the woman’s family that her husband owes them $1.7 million for loans related to his property development firm. This claim adds complex dimensions to the case, and highlights why strong representation in some divorce cases is necessary.  Click here to read more.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

What Is the Purpose of a Deposition in Divorce?

The divorce process is scary and overwhelming for many spouses because they do not understand the legal procedures that go along with moving a petition through the court system. The mysteriousness of the legal process often increases during the discovery stage of a divorce case, which is the period each side is allowed to request documents, testimony, and other evidence to help support his/her arguments. Depending on the complexity of and conflict in the divorce, this period can last for a substantial amount of time. One type of information-gathering approach that occurs in most legal cases, including divorce, is to take a deposition of a party, witness, or other person who could have knowledge of an issue. Click here to continue.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Role of DNA in Paternity Cases

With more couples choosing to skip the bonds of marriage in favor of living together in a less formal arrangement, more children are born outside of wedlock. This situation does not have the stigma formerly imposed on the children of unwed parents, but it can create some legal difficulties that need to be addressed. The most prominent issue unmarried parents encounter is establishing paternity. Paternity is needed to be considered a child’s legal father, and without this designation, the man has no rights to seek time or information about the child. Married men are automatically presumed to be a child’s father, but unmarried fathers must go through several steps to receive this status.

Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Is Your Spouse Hiding Money in Advance of Filing for Divorce?

Filing for divorce starts a long and complicated road of decisions that will affect the rest of a couple’s life, much of which is driven by the fact that marital property must be divided. No one enjoys giving up their property, least of all a spouse who wants out of a marriage, but avoiding this outcome, without a prenuptial agreement, is not possible...Click here for more.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Is Texting Your Spouse During a Divorce Case a Good Idea?

Communication is a common issue for many couples, and those going through divorce will particularly struggle with how to navigate this area of interaction in light of the emotional and legal aspects of this process. Some level of communication is usually a good idea for most divorcing couples, especially if they are trying to negotiate a settlement and/or share children. Click here to learn more. 

Attorney Fees and Costs: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Divorce Attorney in Tampa Bay?

Divorce may be the right decision for a particular relationship, but getting to the end and seeing a judge officially dissolve the union is an entirely separate matter. Accessing the legal system for any issue comes with a financial cost, and the complexities of divorce, both from a legal and procedural standpoint, make it inadvisable for a spouse to navigate a divorce case without the assistance of a divorce attorney. Click here to learn more.

Group Looking to Eliminate Permanent Alimony

Anyone associated with divorce knows about the financial strain of this event, and some spouses are able to weather the transition better than others. For those with little to no access to financial resources, alimony is often requested to at least cover the costs of living for the first few years post-marriage. For the person ordered to pay, this ongoing obligation, which is often in conjunction with child support, is hard to meet. Click here to learn more.

Are There Risks with Doing a Divorce Yourself?

Dealing with the emotional, financial, and psychological fallout of divorce is no small thing, and even couples who know this step is coming still generally walk through the same process to transition to life outside of marriage. The biggest hurdle to moving on is the divorce process itself, and some spouses are intent on bringing the marriage to a close in the most efficient and least costly way possible. Click here to read more. 

Negotiating a Parenting Plan

Parents seeking divorce have a large task in front of them, as they consider, negotiate, and settle on the terms that will govern child custody. Divorce is particularly hard for children, and trying to find the right balance that addresses the desires of both parents to have an active role in the child’s life against the child’s need for predictability, stability, and consistency is hard. In Florida, these agreements are called parenting plans, which cover how the parents will divide parenting time and decision-making authority. Click here to learn more.

How to Protect Your Privacy During a Divorce

Divorce is one of those intensely personal life events that must be mentioned because of the drastic changes it triggers, but going into the details of the situation is typically limited to immediate family and close friends. For those that pursue the traditional court process to obtain a divorce, one element of the legal system in this country can prove to be unnerving and unpleasant.  Click here to learn more.

Options When a Parent Exposes a Child to Drugs

Drug and alcohol abuse are issues that can drastically affect a child’s quality of life, but is a situation a child may not be able to recognize or appreciate for its instability and danger. If child custody is shared, this habit is a true concern that needs to be addressed. Obviously, the issue in these circumstances is the addicted parent’s ability to safely and appropriately care for the child. Click here to read more.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parents generally realize that an environment with lots of conflict is not good for a child’s wellbeing, and divorce can put this knowledge to the test, as it pushes some spouses into highly adversarial positions. However, when children are involved, parents do try to keep things on an even keel to facilitate better cooperation post-divorce. Further, while divorced parents may disagree, both usually realize that having a close relationship with each other is important for the child’s development and welfare and try to support that relationship. Click here to learn more.

Will Courts Split Children in Divorce?

When a family enters the divorce process, the parents try to understand and anticipate the challenges ahead of them. In addition to spousal issues such as property division and alimony, child-related issues such as child support and parenting plans must be agreed to, or accepted by, the spouses, depending on whether the end result was formulated on the parents’ own accord or ordered by a judge. And, retaining the service of a divorce attorney experienced in child custody will go a long way to ensuring that any agreements are fair and sound. Click here to learn more.

When do Courts Award Sole Custody?

The default for divorced parents in Florida, and most other states, is that parenting time, formerly referred to broadly as custody, will be shared. While the ideal is that the child spends roughly equal amounts of time with each parent, typically one parent will have primary responsibility for childcare, with the other parent taking the child on weekends and one or two evenings during the week. Moving to the other end of the spectrum, sole custody is not only discouraged but very hard to achieve outside of the most extreme cases.  Click here to learn more. 

The Limits of Snooping on a Spouse during Divorce

If a married couple decides to get divorced, chances are the level of trust each spouse has for the other is pretty low. In many cases, this mistrust is justified based upon past actions of the other spouse that eroded confidence in the feasibility of continuing the relationship. The high level of emotional distress that divorce provokes can also lead some spouses to engage in questionable behavior, both as a means to punish or embarrass the other side, or to gather damning evidence to present at trial. Click here to read more. 

Home Equity Lines, Mortgages and Divorce

Distinguishing and separating financial obligations are one of the most difficult parts of divorce. The longer a couple is married, the harder it is to figure out when and how many items of property were acquired or which funds were used to maintain them. Family homes and real estate in general is particularly tricky to assess, especially if one spouse brought property into the marriage and the other spouse derived https://www.familymaritallaw.com/home-equity-line…ages-and-divorce/ a benefit from it.  Click here to read more.

Enforcing a Foreign Divorce Decree

People get married at a variety of places around the world, often having no familial, personal, or professional connection to a location, but merely a desire to get married in a certain atmosphere. Divorces are issued all over the world as well, but may only be validly issued by a court with authority or jurisdiction to hear the matter. Consequently, the original court usually retains jurisdiction over enforcement and modification of their issued divorce orders, which can prove problematic when a person moves to another State or country. Click here to read more.

Options for Getting a Spouse Out of the Home

When a relationship starts to go south and spouses begin to consider getting divorced, an early question in this process is often who will stay in the family home and who will leave. This issue can become a huge point of contention, as both spouses likely have rights to be in the home, usually through being listed on a lease or home mortgage. Ideally, the couple can negotiate an acceptable resolution in which one will leave without the need for court intervention. Click here to see more.

Don’t Expect Facebook to Be Private in Divorce

Social media is an important outlet for millions of Americans, and serves to keep people connected with family and friends. These connections are particularly important for moving through a divorce, but the information posted on these platforms can prove problematic if there are images or posts the other spouse could use to challenge claims made by the other party. Click here to see more. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Does Infidelity Matter in Divorce?

Marriages end for a large number of reasons, but one circumstance that often drives this decision is infidelity by a spouse. Not being able to trust a spouse to remain faithful is a deal killer for most relationships, and is bound to generate a lot of emotional pain. The wronged spouse may also feel compelled to air this information in the ensuing divorce proceedings as a way to retaliate for the bad behavior. Click here to read more.

When Would a Court Give Custody to a Non-Parent?

Raising a child without some help and contributions from family and friends is virtually impossible. Childrearing is a full-time, constant endeavor that requires help from the outside for a parent to fulfill his/her responsibilities. However, when it comes to who has final authority over a child, one or both parents are overwhelmingly the only individuals considered for this role.  Click to read more.