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Tampa Family Law Blog

How relocation affects your parenting time agreement

It’s unlikely that you nor your co-parent will keep the same residence forever. They may receive a job opportunity or another reason that requires moving more than 50 miles from a current residence. Florida considers your co-parent moving more than 50 miles away from their current residence as a relocation.

Having a parenting agreement means that your co-parent cannot simply pack up their things and relocate. You have certain rights to time with your child and there are proper channels that they must follow with respect to the parenting time agreement.

What are grandparent’s visitation rights in Florida?

You’ve always wanted what’s best for your children. Then all of a sudden you’re a grandparent, and something changes. You were excited to be a part of your grandchild’s life, but your adult child has not been allowing you to spend time with them.

Florida may be home to millions of grandparents. However, Florida’s laws about grandparent visitation only allow it under certain circumstances.

Cyberstalking and Civil "Violence" Injunctions

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Civil injunctions regarding personal safety are addressed in Florida Statutes 741.30. Originally the scope only included domestic violence - situations where the alleged victim and aggressor are family or have shared a common household.

The law subsequently evolved to include the option of pursuit of civil injunctions for repeat violence - situations where the victim and aggressor have not ever shared the same household and where there have been at least two or more incidents (within 6 months of the date of filing of the petition) by the alleged aggressor against the petitioner/victim or the petitioner's immediate family member. See Florida Statutes 784.046.

Divorce Mediation v. Litigation

It is said that the three most stressful life events are death, divorce and moving (not in any particular order). Divorce can not only be stressful, but also can be an expensive undertaking. When you consider that you have an option during your divorce proceeding to either litigate the matter and let a judge decide how much time and when you will spend with your children and the division of your assets and liabilities, or going to mediation and trying to mutually work out some agreement between the two of you, the second option of mediation has some real benefits that outweigh the litigation route. Some of the benefits include:

Filing a Domestic Violence Petition Case / How to Get Help Filing Domestic Violence Lawsuit

Being a victim of domestic violence is a serious matter. If you have been the victim, you need to seek help to protect yourself. The laws for domestic violence and seeking an injunction for protection against domestic violence are found in Chapter 741 of the Florida Statutes.

Things You Need to Know About a Case Management Conference

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A case management conference, or CMC, is a meeting of the judge with the attorneys and parties to discuss the progress of the case, and is really just a tool to move a case along. In Hillsborough County, the trial court will schedule the first CMC automatically at about 90 days out and the judge will sign an order requiring the parties and attorneys to appear at the date and time specified. The order will also require certain actions to be taken by the attorneys and parties, i.e. file a financial affidavit, schedule mediation, etc. If your case is in Hillsborough County, then expect that when a case is filed, the CMC will be automatically set and know that the attorneys have no discretion in the matter. If the court chooses a date and time when a party absolutely cannot attend, then a motion to either excuse attendance or reschedule can be filed.

Contested v. Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

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A contested dissolution is one where the spouses do not agree on at least ONE issue - be it the parenting plan, the equitable distribution of your assets and liabilities, the issue of alimony or child support, or the issue of attorney fees/costs. Disagreement on any one of these matters will make your case "contested," thereby the parties must petition the court that they will need to resolve that dispute(s) with its assistance. Typically, attorney's fees are charged on an hourly basis and the total cost depends on how much the parties must fight to either later settle the disputed issues or submit the matter for trial.

What is Mandatory Disclosure?

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Mandatory Disclosure is a procedure whereby financial information is automatically disclosed by the parties upon the filing of a divorce or other family law case. The procedure is mandated by Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285. See http://phonl.com/fl_law/rules/famlawrules/famrul12285.htm. The purpose of Rule 12.285 is to ensure that each party will be fully informed about the financial circumstances of the other party prior to settlement of the case through mediation, negotiation or trial.

Alimony Reform Fails Again

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For the second time in three years, alimony reform has failed in Florida - and this time the Governor pointed to special interest add-ons as the reason for the failure.

In a letter explaining the reason for his veto of Senate Bill 668 (which had passed both the House and Senate of the Florida Congress), Florida Governor Rick Scott states that the express reason for his veto was the child custody element that was inserted into the bill midway through the drafting process. The language would have created a presumption (later modified to the no less troublesome word "premise") that all cases should start from an equal division of time-sharing of children. Any other construct would have to be argued by the parties in court.

How to Prepare for a Family Mediation Session

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At some point in a family law proceeding (divorce/paternity action), the Court will most likely order the parties to attend mediation. Mediation is a process for resolving disputes that allows parties, with the help of a mediator, to come to an agreement on contested issues. It is important to do your homework prior to the mediation session in order to increase the likelihood of reaching a full and complete agreement which resolves all pending issues in a family law case. This homework should include the following:

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