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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What Things You Must Do Before You File for Divorce?

Filing for divorce is much more than simply filing a complaint with the court. Before filing for divorce, it is important that the spouse filing takes certain steps before the courts are even made aware of the divorce. The six steps below will ensure that a divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible, and that the terms you receive are most favorable to you.

Decide if You Want to Get Divorced
Although this may sound obvious, some people think that they want to file for divorce when really they are just angry at their spouse. Eventually cooler heads prevail and the spouse that filed may not want to proceed. However, in Florida only one spouse needs to want a divorce and by that time, that spouse may determine that they do want to get a divorce. To save yourself headache and heartache, make sure you and your spouse really will not reconcile before filing for divorce.

Collect All Financial Documents
After deciding that you want to go ahead with the divorce, you should gather all of the financial documents that pertain to your marriage. These can include your banking records, phone records, mortgages, and lease agreements for vehicles. Once you file for divorce these documents are sometimes more difficult to obtain, so it is best to gather these before filing.

Consider Your Custody Goals
Child custody is one of the most contentious issues in divorce because each parent wants to continue having a fair amount of time with their child. Still, it is important to determine what your goals are. Except for in extreme circumstances, a judge will likely award each parent time with the child. When considering what your own goals are, remain realistic to avoid disappointment, and to present a fair case to the judge.

Make Necessary Sales or Purchases
As soon as your divorce proceedings start, a judge will issue an order barring you and your spouse from purchasing or selling any of your assets. This is so that property can be fairly divided. If you have wanted to upgrade your vehicle for a while, or you want to sell a rental property, it is best to do it before you even file for divorce so a judge does not view the purchase or sale negatively.

Determine Where You Will Live
You may not want to remain in the marital home with your spouse after you have filed for divorce. However, moving out may also mean you risk losing the home as part of the divorce proceedings. Determine where you want to live after the divorce, and remain living there during the divorce process.

Speak to a Florida Divorce Lawyer
Even in the most amicable of situations, you should never try to go through the process without the help of a Tampa divorce lawyer. At All Family Law Group, we can advise you on your legal options during your divorce, and help you throughout the entire process. We will handle all the paperwork, and work hard to get you the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 to schedule your free consultation to meet with one of our attorneys. Financing available. Se habla espanol.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How Do I Establish Paternity in Florida?

Paternity in Florida is becoming a bigger issue, as more and more couples decide to start a relationship, perhaps even live together, and have a child. Although this situation works for many, from a legal standpoint it can bring some complications. This is particularly true if the two people ever break up. In this instance, paternity may have to be established in order for the father to have access to his child, or so the mother can hold the father liable for paying child support. When either of these are the case, how can a parent establish paternity in Florida?

Voluntary Acknowledgement
In the best of circumstances, there is no disagreement regarding the paternity of a child. When this is the case, the mother and father can agree to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. After both parties have signed this document, it becomes legally binding 60 days later, providing the father with all the rights and obligations of parenthood. It is important that both parties understand, before signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity, that it is typically permanent and cannot be revoked.

Marriage or Legitimization
When a woman is married at the time of a child’s birth, her husband is considered to be the legal father of the child. Although this may sound traditional, it is not always. This type of legal paternity is still binding even if the man and woman were not married at the time of conception, and even if her husband is not the biological father of the child.
Paternity can also be established through marriage if a man and woman become married after a child is born. This is known as the process of legitimization. In order for a man to be considered the legal father though, he will have to go through a process known as legitimization.

Genetic Testing
If there is a dispute over paternity, the mother and the alleged father can undergo genetic testing through the Florida Department of Revenue. The Department will collect a swab from the mother, the alleged father, and the child. These swabs will contain each party’s DNA, which the Department will test to determine if there is a match between the child and the alleged father.  When a match is made, the Department of Revenue will send an Administrative Order of Paternity to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics to have the father’s name added to the birth certificate.

Although an administrative order gives the mother the right to collect child support, it does not guarantee the father any legal rights. To do that, the mother and father will have to go to court.

Paternity Actions in Court
Paternity actions are lawsuits filed with the court mainly when an alleged father wishes to have at least partial custody of a child, but the mother disputes his claims of paternity. These actions can be brought to court prior to the child’s birth, but a judge will not make a final decision until after the birth and after they can view evidence, such as genetic testing.
In some instances, a woman may file a paternity action with the court in order to claim child support. In this case, the man may receive a summons asking him to appear in court. If the man does not appear, the judge will likely enter a default judgment against him and find that the man is the legal father of the child and therefore, has all the rights and responsibilities of a parent.

Our Florida Lawyers can Help with Your Paternity Case
Establishing paternity in Florida can become quite complicated, particularly if two people are in a dispute over the issue. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa family law attorneys can help with your paternity dispute whether your are seeking an administrative order or a court order. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 to schedule your free consultation and financing available.


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