Florida Family Law Articles

In Florida, there are two primary kinds of probate proceedings.

Understanding Probate

August 14, 2015

Probate cases involve the handling of a loved one’s assets after he or she passes away. In Florida, there are two primary kinds of probate proceedings. They include summary probates, which is a quicker process for smaller estates. And formal probates, which are more involved and require the use of a personal representative.Summary probates are … Read more

Should your child be a witness during litigation?

Should your child testify??

July 23, 2015

One of the harder parts of any custody case is deciding to have a child testify in a family law case. Sometimes, a child may be the best, if not only, witness to certain events. And the statute on parenting time includes, as one of its criteria, the reasonable preferences of the child, if the … Read more

Prenuptial Agreements -- A necessary evil??

Prenuptial Agreements — A necessary evil?

June 30, 2015

Before the wedding bells sound, many couples today come to our office to have a prenuptial agreement drafted. This is especially common in second marriages, where the husband or wife have children from a prior marriage. For many, it’s a necessary evil. Everyone wants to protect themselves. But who wants to talk about what happens … Read more

Father's Day -- a special day for many of us

Father’s Day — a special day for many of us

June 20, 2015

As we celebrate Father’s Day this June 21st, I’d like to remind all dads of the special role they play in their children’s lives. It took two people to conceive the child; and it takes two people to raise the child. Children thrive the most when both parents are involved, and our statutes reflect this … Read more

Summary Probates Offer a Much Faster Alternative

Wills versus Trusts — A Primer

May 31, 2015

Many people come to our office with questions about whether they should have a will versus a trust. It’s important to know the distinctions between them. The biggest difference is based on when they take effect: wills do not become effective until the person who wrote the will (commonly called the testator) has passed away. … Read more

Florida Alimony Reform Bill Dead For Now

May 5, 2015

Leave it to the Florida Legislature. The much anticipated bill to revise our alimony statute, which would have established a formula for determining alimony, and would have ended permanent alimony as we know it, is dead for now. The Florida Senate refused to take up the House of Representative’s version, due to a dispute over … Read more

Custody and Parenting Plans

April 21, 2015

“I WANT CUSTODY!” — I hear this phrase often. But Florida no longer uses that term. Nor do Florida courts use the term, “residential parent.” In 2008, the Legislature changed the language being used, and in a sense changed the way we look at custody. Today, courts develop “parenting plans,” and parents (in a divorce … Read more

Autism Awareness 2015

Autism Awareness 2015, Parenting for a Brighter Future

April 1, 2015

April is Autism Awareness month, and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. Many towns will be lighting up the sky — or buildings — in blue to raise awareness about Autism. For me, it’s very personal, as I have a son on the spectrum. And it’s been a challenge. For years now, we have … Read more

Appeals in a Nutshell

Appeals in a Nutshell

March 12, 2015

We finished oral argument in an appeal this week, and it occurred to me that many do not understand the appellate process. Appeals are a way of having a judge’s decision reviewed by a higher court. In most family law and civil cases, this involves filing an appeal with the District Court of Appeal.  Unlike … Read more

Alimony will now have a guidelines approach

Alimony reform — is it for real this time?

February 23, 2015

** UPDATE ** See “Alimony Reform Bill Passed in Florida, Now Before The Governor“ It’s only a matter of time before Florida’s alimony statute is finally revised. The last effort came in 2013, but was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott because it would have allowed anyone paying alimony to modify their support obligation retroactively. This … Read more

Probate & Estate Planning: Handling the Estate of a Loved One

February 3, 2015

One of the most difficult challenges many people face is handling the estate of a loved one. Losing someone is hard enough.  Having to handle his or her estate should not add to that loss. There are many things people can do in advance that will speed up the transfer of that person’s assets to … Read more

Temporary Child Custody By Grandparents

Grandparent Rights

January 20, 2015

We see many grandparents who are actively raising their grandchildren. Some are helping out the parents, others have fully taken the role of being the parent. Here in Florida, grandparents do not have visitation rights. (Update: See “Grandparent Visitation Gains New Life“) However, the Florida Statutes allow grandparents, as well as other close relatives, to … Read more