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.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

In Sickness and in Health? Think Again.

Think that your marriage can survive a prolonged or significant illness? A new study suggests that, for women aged 51 and over, a serious health complication can increase the chances that their marriage will end in divorce. The study found that there was no significant increase in the risk of divorce if the husband became ill. The study examined over 2,700 marriages involving individuals aged 51 and older and found that there was a six percent increase in the chances of divorce when the wife comes down with a serious illness. The study did not examine which partner initiated the divorce under these circumstances, nor did it ask the specific reason why the couples divorced.
A Serious Illness Followed by a Divorce Creates a Perilous Situation
It is no secret that a divorce can ruin a person’s personal finances. This becomes even more likely when a divorce is preceded by a long or significant illness. It is during these times that retaining the help of an experienced Florida divorce attorney can make all the difference. While it may seem like an expense you cannot afford during this time, it should be remembered that one party can ask the court to order the other party to award him or her attorney’s fees at the conclusion of the divorce. In some cases, a court can even order one party to pay the other’s attorney’s fees on a temporary basis while the divorce is pending.
What Can a Florida Divorce Attorney Do for Me in This Situation?
Some may wonder what good an attorney can do for them when the filing of a divorce is preceded by their own illness. After all, an attorney cannot prevent one spouse from filing a divorce petition against the other spouse any more than an attorney can prevent an illness. But an experienced Tampa, Florida divorce attorney can help you obtain alimony, or spousal support. In certain cases, one party can be ordered to pay some or all of the living expenses of the other spouse. An alimony award is typically entered as part of the court’s final divorce decree, but an attorney may be able to help you obtain spousal support while the divorce is pending.
While permanent alimony – that is, alimony that continues until the recipient either remarries or dies – may soon be a thing of the past in Florida, a spousal support award can help the spouse who was ill make ends meet and get back on his or her feet.
Contact the Tampa Divorce Lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. for Assistance
The laws governing alimony are complicated. Beyond needing to show that you have a need for the alimony, you must also show that the other party has an ability to pay alimony (amongst other things). When a serious illness has led to an unexpected divorce, do not leave your financial future to chance. A Tampa divorce attorney can help ensure you receive the alimony you need to get your life back in order. Contact our offices in Tampa Bay at 813-321-3421 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

By: Lynette Silon-Laguna  Google

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What Amount Child Support Can I Expect to Receive?

Recently, divorcing couple Kenneth Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin of Illinois gained some measure of notoriety after Dias Griffin’s recent court filings were made public. Those filings include a request from Ms. Dias Griffin for over $1 million per month in alimony and child support to support herself, the couple’s three children, and four nannies. The request includes $300,000 for a private jet, $160,000 for vacation accommodations and hotels, $60,000 for office space and a professional staff, and $14,000 for groceries and meals. (Each of these amounts represents monthly amounts requested.) Lawyers for Mr. Griffin claim that Ms. Dias Griffin had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a similar amount as an alimony award and is now attempting to obtain the amount as a child support award.
Can I Get $1 Million in Child Support?
Most divorced parents who are the primary caregivers for their children do not expect $1 million per month in child support. But some such parents depend on the monthly child support check in order to make ends meet for themselves and their families. Budget-conscious and newly-divorced parents in particular may be unfamiliar with how a Florida court establishes a child support order.
Courts in Florida are required to follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines when calculating a child support order. These guidelines direct the court to consider the net income of the parents as well as the number of children and the healthcare and childcare costs of the child. Florida law sets out a formula that must be used by the court to calculate the child support amount based on this information. The resulting child support amount is a presumed amount, meaning that a court is obligated to order that specific amount unless special circumstances exist. If no such special circumstances exist, the amount is presumed to be enough to support the parties’ children.
What if the Presumed Amount is Not Enough to Cover My Child’s Expenses?
Sometimes the costs of raising a child are greater than the presumed amount of child support. For instance, a child with a medical condition may require routine and expensive procedures or medicines. In such cases, the parent providing care for the child can ask the court to award more support than the presumed amount. A court is able to do so only if it makes specific written findings that show why the court believes the presumed amount of child support is not enough to provide for the care of the child.
We Can Help You Make Sense of Florida Child Support
There is no such thing as a “typical” child support calculation, as each calculation needs to take into account the specific situation of the parties. The experienced divorce and family law attorneys at All Family Law Group can evaluate your particular facts and circumstances and help you understand what child support amount is presumed in your case. Where this presumed amount is inadequate, we will aggressively fight for the child support you need to provide for your children. Contact our offices in Tampa Bay at 813-321-3421 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

When a Parent Becomes a Kidnapper

Police in Massachusetts are searching for a Quincy-area mother for allegedly “kidnapping” her five children. Unfortunately, this mother is neither the first nor will she be the last parent to face accusations of “kidnapping” their own children. Although it may seem counterintuitive, Florida and other states allow a parent to be charged with kidnapping his or her own child. According to the U.S. Department of Justice and a 2002 study from its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, an estimated 203,900 children were the victims of parental kidnapping in 1999. Fifty-three percent of these children were abducted by their father, while 25 percent were abducted by their mother. Twenty-one percent were missing or gone for one month or longer.
What Constitutes Parental Kidnapping?
While some divorcing parents are able to put aside their differences and feelings for one another and cooperate for the benefit of their child or children, other parents use children as a means of controlling or punishing the other parent. In general and regardless of the reason, any attempt by one parent to deny the other parent reasonable parenting time with the childwithout either an emergency or court order can be considered “parental kidnapping.” Common parental kidnapping scenarios include:
  • Failing to follow a court-ordered parenting plan by failing to return the child at the conclusion of the parent’s parenting time;
  • Moving out of state (or to another country) with the child without the approval of the other parent and/or the court;
  • In the absence of a court-approved parenting plan, refusing to allow the other parent to exercise reasonable parenting time with the child.
Not all actions by a parent that deprive the other parent of parenting time will result in criminal sanctions. For instance, a parent charged with parental kidnapping can show that he or she deprived the other parent of parenting time because doing so was necessary to protect the welfare of the child.
What Should I Do if I Believe the Other Parent Will “Kidnap” Our Child?
If you believe that the other parent is likely to abduct or kidnap your child, you must be proactive. You do not necessarily need to wait for the other parent to actually kidnap the child in order to act; however, you may find a court is not able to help you if there is no evidence a kidnapping is about to take place. For instance, the fact that the other parent has relatives that live in another country may not be enough to convince a court to enter protective orders or award you sole custody. Conversely, relatives who live in another country coupled with texts, e-mails, or phone messages in which the other parent threatens to take the child away can influence a court to take protective measures.
As with any other custody-related issue, an experienced Tampa divorce attorney is useful in ensuring the proper motions are timely filed and decided in order to protect your child. At the All Family Law Group, P.A., we are here to help you. Contact our offices in Tampa Bay at 813-321-3421 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Divorce Does Not Have to be Difficult

Earlier this year, a “selfie” of a smiling Florida couple’s photo went viral after it was posted on Instagram. At first glance, the photo seems rather ordinary, though its popularity likely came from the caption, which explained that the couple’s divorce had just been finalized. You would generally not expect two people whose marriage was just dissolved to be posing together with excited looks on their faces. However, Keith Hinson–the former husband in the photo–explained that theirs was the “most friendly, respectful, and loving split imaginable.”
This photo demonstrated that divorce does not have to be a painful battle and that it is possible for two people to dissolve their marriage in relative peace. This kind of amicable split is rare, however, often because of the number of issues that need to be settled before a court will grant a divorce. Such issues commonly include debt and property division, alimony, child support, child time-sharing, parenting plans, and more. Too often, by the time one spouse files for divorce, there is substantial discord between the couple. This can cause bitter disagreements over many issues, which can lead to lengthy and acrimonious battles in court.
How an Attorney Can Help Keep the Peace
If you wish to have a peaceful and respectful divorce, the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer is imperative. An attorney can help you explore numerous options that can assist you in solving problems and settling issues outside of a courtroom. These can include:
Often, such solutions can involve a team of professionals, including attorneys for each spouse, financial advisors, business advisors if applicable, psychologists, child specialists, and more. An experienced lawyer will have access to these and other resources that can assist in coming to a peaceful and swift resolution. If successful, such dispute resolution options can not only save you peace of mind but may also be significantly more efficient in both time and money.
Having a Tampa divorce attorney who understands your goals is extremely important. Too many lawyers head straight to the courtroom without considering alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options. For this reason, you should always question a potential attorney about their philosophies and approaches to divorce and ADR. If you are capable of resolving your divorce issues in a civil and efficient manner, everyone–you, your former spouse, and your children–will surely benefit. Preserving a friendly relationship will also help you co-parent in the future.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Divorce Attorney Today
While divorce can be a difficult process, the assistance of an attorney can make it much easier. A family law attorney will understand the issues that you are going through and has an ethical duty to represent your best interests in all matters related to your divorce. The Tampa lawyers of All Family Law Group are dedicated to helping people with a variety of legal issues resolve them as favorably as possible while keeping legal costs low. Anyone seeking a divorce or need help with any other family law issue should  not hesitate to call All Family Law Group in Tampa Bay at 813-756-4857 for a consultation at no charge.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

The End of Permanent Alimony in Florida

Legislators are considering whether it is time to end the availability of permanent alimony in Florida divorces. House Bill 943 was filed in late February; if passed, the bill would eliminate permanent alimony as well as allow alimony obligations to end upon the retirement of the obligor. Presently Florida is only one of a few states that allows permanent lifetime alimony awards that end only upon the death or remarriage of the recipient.
What is Alimony?
Alimony (sometimes referred to as spousal support) is a payment made by one spouse – the obligor – to the other spouse – the obligee – for the purposes of enabling the obligee to maintain a certain standard of living following a divorce. Usually an alimony award is only in effect for a limited time and is meant to give the obligee a “helping hand” while he or she reestablishes him- or herself. Permanent alimony – that is, a lifetime alimony award that only ends when the obligee remarries or dies – is currently available in certain limited circumstances.
In order for a Florida court to order alimony, there must be both a need for the alimony from the obligee as well as an ability to pay from the obligor. If both of these are present, the court may award alimony. Other than permanent alimony, a court can order:
  • Temporary alimony, which lasts while the divorce is pending and ends automatically when the divorce is finalized.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony, which begins after the divorce is finalized but lasts only a maximum of two years. This type of alimony is meant to provide for the obligee’s living expenses while he or she completes a job retraining program or while the obligee sells the marital home (for instance).
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which provides for the expenses of the obligee while he or she undergoes a retraining or education program so he or she can secure appropriate employment. When rehabilitative alimony is requested, the obligee must submit a plan outlining the money and time necessary to complete the plan.
  • Durational alimony, is alimony that is awarded for a specific length of time and when other forms of alimony are not adequate. Durational alimony is not able to be awarded for a time period greater than the length of the marriage.
Have alimony questions?  The Tampa divorce lawyers at All Family Law Group are here to help!
Regardless of whether you are the obligor or obligee, an alimony award (or no alimony award) can have serious ramifications on your family’s budget. It pays to have a knowledgeable Tampa divorce attorney review the facts of your case to determine if you are entitled to alimony and, if so, in what amount. If you are an obligor or are threatened with a demand for alimony, we can argue the facts of your case and help demonstrate to a court that no alimony award is appropriate. Contact our offices in Tampa Bay at 813-321-3421 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

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...