About Our Firm

My photo
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 Español.

Friday, December 16, 2022

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Tampa

Everyone understands the basic concept of divorce. It is a legal process people must go through when they want to formally end their marriage. While the concept of divorce is fairly straightforward, there are many legal issues that can arise that people are not as familiar with. If you are going through a divorce, or you are considering it, you probably have a lot of questions. Below, our Tampa divorce attorney outlines the five most common questions we hear, as well as the answers to them.

Can My Spouse and I Get Legally Separated Instead of Divorced?

Legal separations are not recognized under Florida law. When a married couple has not yet obtained a formal divorce, they are still considered legally married, even if they no longer live together and have physically separated. Still, there are many reasons people do not want to get a divorce. For example, a couple may not want to divorce due to religious reasons. In these instances, a postnuptial agreement can outline certain terms, similar to those in divorce, so your interests are protected.

How Do I Start the Divorce Process?

All divorce cases start when the petition is filed with the court. A divorce petition essentially tells the family court that you are legally married and that you want to dissolve the legal union. After one party files the divorce petition with the family court, the other spouse is then served with the paperwork, informing them that the divorce process has started.

Can I Divorce My Spouse if I Cannot Locate Them?

The divorce process is always easier if you know where your spouse is located. There are times, though, when a person wants to get a divorce but cannot find their spouse. In these instances, Florida law does provide an option for getting divorced by publication. To get a divorce using this method, you must publish notice of the divorce in a local newspaper where the spouse was last known to live for two consecutive weeks. Once that time expires, the publication is considered service, or notice, to your spouse, and the Notice is filed with the Court.  There are certain requirements on the publication, so it is always important to speak to a Tampa divorce attorney before publishing.

Do I Have to Attend Mediation with My Spouse?

In most Florida divorce cases, the couple must attend court-ordered mediation before taking their case to trial or to a temporary hearing. This is true for all family law cases in Hillsborough County, in particular.  Mediation helps alleviate the backlog of the courts and allows the couple an opportunity to compromise and negotiate so they can reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce. Mediation sessions often include both parties, the lawyers representing them, and the mediator. However, you and your spouse can also meet with a mediator separately if the conflict between you is high.  Also, currently most mediations occur via Zoom video.

Do I Need a Divorce Attorney in Tampa for Mediation?

You are not required to work with a Tampa divorce attorney; however, it is always recommended that you do, especially as the mediator cannot give legal advice to the parties and you want to make sure that you make sure you get it right. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our seasoned family attorneys can help you resolve the disputes in your case while making sure your rights are upheld throughout the entire process. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.  Se habla Español.




Saturday, November 26, 2022

How Is Child Support Calculated In Florida?

When making decisions on child support during a divorce case, there is no one fixed number a judge will use. Instead, many different factors are considered when the amount of support is being decided. Below, our Tampa child support attorney explains some of the main factors a judge will consider when trying to resolve a dispute.  In essence, Florida uses a worksheet to determine the amount of child support for which each parent will be responsible.  It is called the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.  It incorporates many of the aspects listed below and normally the Worksheet will control how much child support is paid.

The Income of Each Parent

One of the main deciding factors in any child support case is the income each parent earns. The court will consider the gross income of each parent, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and overtime pay. Profits from a corporation or partnership, disability payments, and social security income can all be used to determine the income each parent earns. When one parent is unemployed, or underemployed, the court may use the current minimum wage to impute, or accurately evaluate, the income for that party.

The Child’s Standard of Living During the Marriage

The standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage and prior to the divorce is another factor considered by the courts when determining child support. The court will try to award enough support to ensure the child’s standard of living before the divorce is maintained afterward, too.

The Needs of the Custodial Parent

The court will start with the presumption that the parent who spends more time with the child will incur additional expenses for their needs. If the non-custodial parent earns a higher income than the parent with the majority of parenting time, the non-custodial parent will likely be ordered to pay more to cover the child’s expenses.

The Amount of Overnight Visits

The number of overnight visits each parent spends with the child is also a factor considered when determining the amount of overnight visits. When a child is in one parent’s custody, that parent is financially responsible for them. If the non-custodial parent spends one overnight visit with the child and the other parent spends the rest of overnights with the child during the week, the court may award the parent with a larger amount of child support.

Special Needs Children

A very common factor considered when determining the amount of child support are any special needs the child may have. For example, if the child has special educational needs or medical needs, it is not uncommon for the court to require the higher-income earner to pay more in child support payments.

How Our Child Support Attorneys in Tampa Can Help with Your Case

If you are going through a divorce that involves children, determining the amount of support, as well as the parent who will pay it, will be a very big factor in your divorce. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa child support attorney can answer your questions, and help you determine how much you may receive or be ordered to pay. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation of your case and to learn more about how we can help.  Se habla Español.




Thursday, November 24, 2022

Understanding When You Can and Cannot Modify Alimony In Florida

 In Tampa, as throughout the rest of Florida, there is no guarantee that a judge will award alimony during the divorce process. When it is awarded, a judge will take many factors into consideration. The main factors considered are the requesting spouse’s need for alimony, and the other party’s ability to pay it.

Like with other terms of any divorce though, alimony orders are final and legally binding, but they can also be modified, or changed. Modifying alimony can be complex and can only be done under certain circumstances. Below, one of our Tampa alimony and divorce attorneys explain more.

When Can You Modify Alimony in Tampa?

When there are changes to the two main factors considered when awarding alimony, either party can petition the court to modify the original order. If the party paying alimony experiences a substantial change in their income, they or their former spouse can petition the court to modify the order. For example, if the party paying support received a promotion and they earned significantly more than they did during the time of divorce, the other side may argue that they can now afford to pay more in support.

On the other hand, if the party receiving alimony experienced a significant change in their finances, they may petition the court to modify the original order. For example, if the recipient lost their job, they may ask the court to increase alimony payments, at least temporarily, until they can earn a higher income.

When Can You Not Modify Alimony in Tampa?

Although it is often possible to modify alimony payments in certain cases, there are always exceptions to the law. Spousal support orders are no different. There are times when it is not possible to modify alimony orders. These are as follows:

  • The original divorce decree did not award alimony: If alimony was not awarded during original divorce proceedings, neither party can go to the court and request that it is ordered in the future.
  • The original alimony order was non-modifiable: There are times when the couple will agree that alimony cannot be modified in the future, or a judge may include this provision in the final support order. If the original alimony order included a non-modifiable provision, it is not possible to change it in the future.
  • The party requesting a change cannot prove their case: If you cannot prove that your former spouse can afford to pay more alimony, or that you require additional support, your petition to modify the order will likely be denied.

Our Alimony and Divorce Attorneys in Tampa Can Help with Your Modification

In some cases, it is possible to modify original divorce orders. However, obtaining the result you hope for is not always easy. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa alimony and divorce attorneys can help you through the process so you obtain the best outcome possible. Call our family law lawyers today at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.  Se habla Español.




Monday, September 5, 2022

Can You Get A Florida Divorce if You Cannot Find Your Spouse?

 Divorce is a legal process in which one person files a petition to dissolve their marriage and afterwards, serves their spouse with the divorce papers. Sometimes though, it is not possible to locate the other party so they can be served with the paperwork. This is particularly common in divorce cases, when one spouse may have moved out before the process was initiated, and perhaps they even moved to another state.

Many people think that if they cannot locate their spouse to serve them with the papers, they cannot get a divorce. Fortunately, that is not true. There is another way you can serve your spouse when they are absent. Before using it, you should know that while you can proceed with the divorce, there are some drawbacks. Below, our Tampa default divorce attorney explains further.

Using Due Diligence when Trying to Locate Your Spouse

If you cannot locate your spouse, there are other options for serving the divorce papers, such as citation by publication. A citation by publication is a process of running a divorce announcement in a certain newspaper for a certain amount of time. To get a divorce using citation by publication as a service method, a judge must agree to it. The court will only allow a citation by publication if you can show that you have used due diligence when trying to locate your spouse. Essentially, you must show that you have made every attempt to try and find your spouse. Exercising due diligence could include:

  • Contacting your spouse’s current or former employer
  • Contacting your spouse’s friends and family members
  • Checking your spouse’s social media profiles
  • Monitoring your spouse’s bank account or credit card transactions

There are companies who offer services to help you do a diligent search, so essentially it can be done easily for a small fee.  The diligent search results will be filed in your case.

What are the Disadvantages of Citation by Publication?

After a judge issues a citation by publication, you will have to meet several requirements. For example, you may have to run the announcement for a certain period of time. Once you have completed any requirements, a judge will issue a default divorce. This means you can proceed with dissolving your marriage even though your spouse is not present. However, there are some disadvantages to obtaining a default divorce.

The main disadvantage of citation by publication is that the court cannot make decisions on other terms of the divorce. For example, the judge will not be able to award child support or alimony, and property division also cannot occur. If you do locate your spouse in the future, you can take these matters back to court but the terms cannot be finalized until your spouse returns.

Our Default Divorce Attorneys in Tampa Can Help with Your Case

If you want to get a divorce but cannot locate your spouse, our Tampa default divorce attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. can help you through the process. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.  Se habla Español.




Sunday, October 17, 2021

Did Divorces Really Spike During Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic started nearly one year ago and at that time, predictions were being made that it would cause a spike in divorce cases. People were being told to shelter in place at home and many were losing their jobs. Many experts believed that these factors would place an enormous amount of pressure on marriages, and that many would dissolve as a result. However, a new study shows that is not true and in fact, the number of divorce cases in Florida and throughout other parts of the country have actually dropped.

The Study

A recent study conducted by Bowling Green State University’s Center for Family and Demographic Research shows that unlike what many predicted, divorces during the pandemic have actually decreased, as have weddings. The largest state analyzed in the study was Florida. Data showed that here in the Sunshine State, divorces dropped by 28 percent during the months of March and September. Marriages, on the other hand, also saw a decline of 33 percent during the same time period.

If the trends in Florida and other states studied, including New Hampshire, Arizona, Oregon, and Missouri, were seen throughout the country, it could mean divorces nationwide dropped by 191,053 cases. The news is surprising given what many experts had predicted, but there are several reasons for the decline.

Reasons for the Dropping Divorce Rate

The drop in divorce cases during the pandemic does not necessarily mean that couples have been happier during the public health crisis. Instead, it may mean the pandemic has forced people to stay in an unhappy marriage for practical purposes.

Divorce is sometimes an expensive process, and one that many do not want to go through during this extremely challenging time. Job loss has been rampant in Florida and throughout the entire country and without an income, the prospect of paying for a divorce is too difficult for many to face.

In addition to this, tens of millions of people have contracted the virus throughout the country, with Florida being a particular hotspot as of late. Some people that become sick are known as ‘long haulers,’ and they deal with the repercussions of the infection for a long time afterward. People are simply not going to start the divorce process when they are trying to recover from illness, which could also be a reason for the drop in divorce cases.

Lastly, uncertainty about the court system may also stop people from filing for divorce. At the beginning of the pandemic, many of the family courts throughout the country shuttered. While the Florida courts have reopened in some capacity, many people are not aware of this and so, they decide to hold off on filing.

Our Florida Family Lawyers Can Help During This Difficult Time

Divorce is never easy, but no one should feel forced to stay in an unhappy marriage, either. If you are considering divorce, our Tampa family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. can assist with your case. We can advise on the options you have available and how the court system is operating so you are fully prepared for the process. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.



Friday, September 3, 2021

When are Couples in Florida Most Likely to Get Divorced?

The ‘seven-year-itch’ has been around for decades and it seems as though it is still very prevalent today. Throughout the country, the average length of a marriage is 8.2 years, which may mean that people start considering divorce at around the seven-year mark. Many marriages do not even make it that long. Infidelity is most likely to occur within the first two years of marriage, which is one reason ten percent of marriages end in divorce during that time. That is the highest rate of divorce for all couples.

Gray Divorces are Becoming More Common

While many couples may divorce when their marriage is still relatively new, others wait much longer before ending their marriage. Gray divorces, or those that occur when couples are over the age of 50, are becoming more common. In fact, gray divorces have doubled since the 1990s, and the rate of couples over the age of 65 getting a divorce has tripled in that same amount of time.

The trend of gray divorces is on the rise for many reasons. One of these is because people are waiting to get married later in life and so, they get divorced later in life, as well. People are also living longer and so, they are more eager to get out of an unhappy marriage because they still have a lot of life to live. Couples that are in their 50s and 60s are also more likely to have been married before, and second and third marriages are much more likely to end in divorce than first marriages.

Our Family Lawyers in Florida Can Help with Divorce at Any Age

Regardless of when you are considering divorce, you should enlist the help of a Tampa divorce lawyer Tampa Divorce Attorneys that can help with your case. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our experienced attorneys can assist you with the divorce process and help you secure the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. Se habla Español.



Monday, August 23, 2021

How Can A Lawyer Help when Divorcing a Difficult Spouse?

Divorce is difficult enough when the two spouses try to work together to come to the best possible terms. However, when one spouse is extremely difficult to work with, the entire process becomes even more challenging. When your spouse refuses to work with you, it is easy to think that the divorce will inevitably take a long time and cost you more money than necessary.

Fortunately, this is not true, but it will become even more important that you work with a divorce lawyer. An attorney will know how to deal with the issues that are more likely to arise when you are divorcing a difficult spouse.

Dealing with an Unpredictable Spouse

It is impossible to predict what will happen in a divorce case, but an unpredictable spouse can make it even more so. If a spouse is dealing with a mental illness or substance abuse problems, they may not show up at mediation sessions or important court hearings. A lawyer will advise on whether certain options such as mediation are right for you, or whether you need to go to court and let a judge decide how to deal with an unpredictable spouse.

Dealing with a Spiteful Spouse

It is not uncommon for a spouse to go through the divorce process feeling spiteful. Your spouse may blame you for the divorce and anything else that is going wrong in their life, and they may try to make the process as difficult as possible. A lawyer will know how to overcome these obstacles. For example, if your spouse is so spiteful that they stalk you or harass you, a lawyer will know how to obtain an injunction, or a restraining order, so the behavior does not impact your life on the same level.

Dealing with Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is one of the most hurtful things that can happen during and after divorce proceedings. When one spouse alienates a child from their other parent, they may tell them things that are untrue or take other actions to turn the child against the other parent.

The courts take parental alienation very seriously and a lawyer will know this. If your spouse tries to alienate your child from you, a lawyer will raise this issue in court and it may even work in your favor. For example, a judge may award your spouse less parenting time, and you more, when they have tried to alienate your child from you.

Dealing with a Deceptive Spouse

Spouses often try to hide assets and other information to gain a favorable outcome in court. When they do, a lawyer will know the tactics to use to uncover the information so the process is fair for both of you. For example, if your spouse hides assets, a lawyer can reach out to a forensic accountant that will uncover the assets so you receive your fair share.

Our Florida Divorce Lawyers are Here to Help with Your Case

Regardless of whether your spouse is going to cooperate during the divorce process or not, our Tampa divorce lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. can help. We know the tactics difficult spouses use to delay the process, and we also know how to overcome them so you can move forward in your new life as quickly as possible. Call us today at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Se habla Español.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Tampa

Everyone understands the basic concept of divorce. It is a legal process people must go through when they want to formally end their marriag...