If you have a question about divorce, child custody, alimony or other family law issue, we’ve answered hundreds of common questions we’ve been asked over the years right on this website.

To find an answer to your question, go to the right of this page and type your question in the box then hit enter. Every answer related to that topic will then be presented for your review.

{ 0 comments }

After a divorce, relocating out of town or out of state with your children is a custody issue and is often not an easy process. If the other parent does not agree, it can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive to get permission from the court before you can even begin the relocation process. As tough as the process is, there are steps you can take to make it easier.

First, if it is at all possible to come to an agreement with your children’s other parent, do so. You will both probably be happier with the outcome if you two can come to an agreement. You both know what your child or children need more than a judge, and if you two can work together, it will be better for all of you. This may mean you agree to a generous visitation schedule, such as extended time with your child during summer vacations or breaks from school.

If you absolutely cannot come to an agreement, mediation can help. Mediation can also help you reach a better arrangement than a court can. In many cases, mediators are attorneys who can help both parents work on an agreement with a little give-and-take. Mediation can be a much less contentious process than a court hearing and you are likely to be happier with the result.

If neither of those works for you, and the relocation is causing you a great deal of stress, you may consider counseling. A child’s relocation can be very stressful for both the relocating and the non-relocating parent. A counselor can also help you with some tools to make the move easier for children too.

You should also seek the services of an experienced family law attorney to help with the court hearing. Whether or not the relocation is approved will have an impact on the rest of your life, and it’s important that an attorney competently represent your interests in court.

If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough County in Florida and you are seeking the services of an experienced divorce and family law attorney, call New Port Richey divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

{ 0 comments }

Being dragged back to court numerous times by a former spouse is a stressful situation, to say the least. There are a lot of reasons an ex may claim that he or she is taking you back to court.

Usually, they deal with many different types of family law matters, such as child custody, child visitation, child support, alimony, or property division. Your former spouse may claim that you are not abiding by the terms of the divorce, or may be asking that the divorce decree be modified.

In some cases, the former spouse may have a legitimate reason to take you to court. You may not have followed the terms of the divorce decree. Hopefully, your spouse approached you about the issue before hauling you into court, but that doesn’t always happen. Your former spouse may have also had a change in circumstances, which may mean that some aspect of your divorce needs to be revised.

For example, your ex-spouse may have lost a job or become permanently disabled, and therefore may not be able to pay child support and/or alimony. Your former spouse may have a legitimate reason for asking for a modification.

However, in some cases, a former spouse may be taking you back to court frequently out of revenge. He or she may harbor some resentment about the divorce, and may be taking you to court to punish you. A court hearing will cost you money in attorney’s fees as well as taking your valuable time.

If you believe your ex is abusing the court system by continuously hauling you into court to punish you, stand up for your legal rights. When you are taken into court, have your aggressive attorney file a motion to the court that he or she pays your legal fees. The court can choose to respond in other ways as well.

If your ex is continually hauling you into court in Florida, call me, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. I work with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. I am happy to help you with your case. Call to learn more.

{ 0 comments }

Unfortunately, Florida is not a state that gives grandparents many rights to their grandchildren. Some states give grandparents a great deal of rights with respect to their grandchildren, such as the right to intervene in a divorce or custody case in order to obtain visitation.

Florida actually does have a statute that gives grandparents the right to visitation with their grandchildren, but it has been declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court on numerous occasions.

However, you may still have the opportunity to intervene to help prevent your grandchildren from leaving the state. If both of the parents of your grandchildren choose to move the children out of state, you are out of luck – that is their legal right as parents.

If one of the parents is moving the children more than 50 miles away, the other parent can attempt to prevent the move.

The court will then normally have a hearing about whether or not to allow the relocation of the child. The judge will consider the reason for the relocation, whether it will enhance the child’s quality of life, whether it’s in the best interests of the child, how the move will impact the child’s education, and whether the relationship can be preserved between the child and the other parent if the move is allowed.

During that hearing, you could testify to how the move would negatively impact your relationship with the child, and how your relationship with your grandchildren is in their best interests.

Therefore, it may be possible to show in court that it would not be in the best interests of your grandchildren to move away, and that evidence could sway the judge’s decision. However, you will be working in conjunction with the non-relocating parent, rather than bringing the case on your own.

It can be very tough to be separated from your grandchildren, especially if you have a very close relationship. You should be careful, though, to preserve your relationship with both parents of the children as much as possible. If you want to learn more about your legal rights as grandparents, call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. I work with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call me to schedule a consultation.

{ 0 comments }

If you can’t stand your attorney, you are well within your legal right to fire him or her and proceed with a new attorney, or on your own.

However, you should be aware that just because you can legally get a new attorney doesn’t mean you should. Your decision to fire your attorney could have a negative effect on your case.

There are a lot of reasons a client may choose to fire his or her attorney. Probably the most common is related to money – if the client doesn’t have money to pay the attorney’s fees, the client may choose to fire the attorney, or the attorney may withdraw from the case.

If the client has a personality conflict or a different strategy in mind for the case, the client may want a different attorney. If the client believes the attorney has a conflict of interest, the client may choose to fire him or her.

Before you hastily fire your attorney, consider how your case is proceeding. If your case is almost over and you believe it is going well, it may be worth sticking it out with the attorney to the conclusion. Even if your case is not going well, it may not be the fault of your attorney – it’s possible that the same result would occur with any attorney.

If, however, your case is not going well and you believe it’s the fault of your attorney, you may consider finding another attorney. Also, before firing your attorney, it may be worth opening up the lines of communication. Your attorney may have no idea that you have an issue with him or her or that you are considering finding another attorney. Once the attorney finds out, things may change.

If you do decide to find another Florida divorce attorney, you have certain legal rights. The attorney cannot share your private information with another party. The attorney should explain to you the consequences of terminating the relationship, and should return to you your legal papers. The attorney cannot use any information obtained during the representation to take advantage of you.

If you believe that you need another divorce attorney, and you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough County in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He can help advise you on how to switch attorneys, as well as the consequences of finding a new attorney.

{ 0 comments }

Deciding whether or not to divorce is almost never an easy decision. There are a myriad of issues to consider, including the effect on your kids, how your assets and debts will be divided, whether or not you can afford to live alone, your feelings for your spouse, child custody and child support, health insurance, and many more.

It’s not uncommon for people to start the divorce process and have a change of heart. Others worry about what will happen if they stop the process but later change their minds and decide they do want a divorce.

If you or your spouse has filed for divorce in Florida but have changed your mind, the divorce process can be stopped. In order to stop the divorce process, the person who filed for divorce must withdraw the divorce petition. This is the best step to take if you are both absolutely certain you want to get back together and do not want a divorce.

If you are uncertain about whether or not the divorce should proceed, you should speak with an attorney about whether your case can be postponed. Your attorney may be able to ask for a continuance, which will allow you some time to sort through your feelings. One benefit to doing that is that if things do not work out later, you will save some time and money by continuing with your original case rather than being forced to reopen the case later.

It’s important to speak with your attorney as well as your spouse if you are having second thoughts about whether or not to continue with a divorce. Your attorney can walk you through the legal consequences of choosing to postpone or withdraw your divorce petition.

If you do not have a divorce attorney in Pasco County, Florida, call divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. Call to schedule your consultation today.

{ 0 comments }

For many people new forms of technology, such as texting or social media, provide great ways to keep in touch or communicate quickly. However, for people in bad relationships, they open up new avenues for harassment. In those cases, the harasser either cannot understand that the victim does not want to be contacted, or reaches out in hopes of making the victim’s life miserable.

Fortunately, the legal system offers fairly simple solutions that can help stop things like texting, emailing, calling, visiting, contacting through social media sites, or other forms of harassment. In Florida, if you are being harassed by a former spouse, you can seek something called an injunction for protection against domestic violence, which is also called a restraining order or an injunction.

This is a court order that orders the abuser to stop taking certain actions, such as contacting you or coming near you. These injunctions are available to people who are the victims of domestic violence, or to people who believe that they are in immediate danger of becoming victims of domestic violence.

You may already have an injunction, but it may not cover the type of behavior your spouse is exhibiting. In that case, you can ask the court for a modification of the injunction to include a prohibition against texting or whatever behavior he or she is exhibiting. After you get the modified order, if he or she violates it, your former spouse has violated the law.

If your former spouse is not violent, has never displayed violent tendencies, and is not likely to abuse you, you may not qualify for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. However, there are other steps you can take. Constant texting could be considered as harassment and you may be able to press charges. You can also contact your cell provider to see if the messages can be blocked. A letter from an attorney may help stop the texting as well.

If your former spouse is texting you and will not stop, you may need a restraining order. Call New Port Richey, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. I help clients with restraining orders and other types of divorce-related cases in Pasco County, Hernando County, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. Call to learn more about your options.

{ 0 comments }

How Can I Get A Restraining Order Dropped In Pasco County?

Things can get heated during a divorce. Divorces involve a lot of highly contentious issues, such as child custody, child support, payment of alimony, and the division of property. Any one of these issues can be highly emotional for some couples. A couple that may have had a non-violent marriage may turn violent while working through these issues.

When domestic violence occurs, one or both spouses may go to court to get a restraining order against the other spouse. Restraining orders can also be called domestic violence injunctions or orders of protection. A restraining order is an order from the court telling the abuser to stop doing certain things, such as calling you or abusing you, or orders the abuser to take certain actions, like leaving your home.

A restraining order can be awarded in Florida if a judge believes that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, or if you are the victim of domestic violence. The restraining order may last for a certain period of time, or may not expire.

In some cases, after things cool down, one or both spouses may want the restraining order dropped. The spouse who took out the restraining order may have second thoughts. The spouse who had the restraining order filed against him or her may want it removed for a variety of reasons. In order to get a restraining order dropped in Florida, either spouse can file a petition in court to have the order modified or dissolved. The judge will then decide whether or not the restraining order should stay in place.

Domestic violence is never something that should be taken lightly. However, the emotional issues involved in a divorce can cause a spouse to act in a way which is completely out of character. If you have filed for a restraining order and are having second thoughts, or if you would like a restraining order against you to be dropped, call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He is a divorce attorney who works in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call to see how he can help your case.

{ 0 comments }

As you can imagine, there are a number of mistakes that people make during the divorce process. Some of the mistakes can be corrected later, but some either cannot be corrected, or can only be corrected with a huge, costly effort.

One of the biggest mistakes people sometimes make when they are getting divorced in Florida is settling their cases too quickly, with a result they are not happy with. This includes property division, alimony, and child custody matters. In some cases, people are so anxious to get out of the marriage that they will agree to almost anything.

They may agree to pay more alimony than their spouse would be entitled to normally. They may agree to have less custodial time with their kids, or to take a smaller property settlement than that to which they are legally entitled. This may be done so that they can start a new life more quickly, or because they are too emotionally or financially drained to fight. Often, they think that they can change these decisions later. However, it’s much, much easier to fight for what you are entitled to initially in a divorce, rather than reopening the case later.

Divorces are often heated, emotional, messy affairs. In the midst of a divorce, you may be tempted to send nasty voice messages, texts, or emails. This may be very satisfying in the short-term, but they can become evidence against you later on. The messages, texts, or emails will be embarrassing and will make you look bad, and could even damage your case.

Failing to financially plan for your divorce can also be a huge mistake. In most cases, divorces can be very financially damaging. After all, you must now pay for two households instead of one. If you are in the process of a divorce, save whatever money you can. You may want to sell some things or cut back on your expenses. It can also be dumb to quit your job and leave the area while a divorce is ongoing. If you need to leave town, speak to your attorney about whether or not that is allowed.

Divorce is not easy for anyone, but you can make it easier on yourself by not making the mistakes that so many others do. If you have any questions about the divorce process, call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. Call to learn more.

{ 0 comments }

Under specific circumstances, yes, they can. For example, if your name is not on the birth certificate as the father, and you were not married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth, and you have not commenced any type of paternity action, you are legally not considered the father of the child.

The mother can move the child out of the state or even out of the country, and you will have no legal right to object to the relocation.

If this is the case, and you are interested in establishing your legal rights to the child, you may consider bringing a paternity action. Any man who believes that he is the father of a child can file a paternity action in Florida for child custody rights. Women can also file paternity cases, too, which are usually done so that they can receive child support.

In some cases, the State of Florida Department of Revenue may file a paternity action if the child’s mother or guardian requests government assistance for the child.

In order to establish paternity in Florida, you can file a Petition to Establish Paternity. If you are filing in Florida, you must be a resident of Florida for at least six months prior to filing. As part of the case, you may be required to take a DNA test, unless you and the child’s mother both agree on the paternity of the child. If there’s a dispute, a DNA test will typically be ordered.

Once you are established as the father of the child, you will have legal rights over the child. This includes the right to object to the child’s mother moving the child out of the area. You will also most likely have a right to some custody and/or visitation with the child. However, you should be aware that you will most likely have the obligation to pay child support once it has been established that you are the father.

If you are concerned about your child’s mother relocating to another area with the child without your permission, call Pasco County, Florida divorce Lawyer Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works in the courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties on a regular basis in order to fight for his clients’ legal rights. Call to learn more.

{ 0 comments }

You are definitely not alone. In fact, so many fathers spoil their children during their custodial time or parenting time, that there is a name for the phenomenon – Disneyland Dads. The term “Disneyland dads” refers to dads who give into every desire of their children during their custodial time – including giving them expensive gifts, taking them anywhere they desire to go, not enforcing rules or routines, and basically constantly spoiling them.

The excuse of many fathers who do this is that they rarely get to see their children since the divorce, and they don’t want to spend their time with the kids disciplining them, which is understandable. Other fathers may still be bitter about the divorce and may use the extra gifts as a way to buy the children’s affection, as well as to anger the mother. Mothers may then be put in a difficult situation and may feel like the bad guy in front of the kids.

Unfortunately, no, that is not a situation a Florida divorce court would normally consider. Although many issues that will affect a child’s well-being can be decided in court if the parents cannot agree, it’s highly likely that if a parent came to court to complain about the other parent spoiling the children, the court would toss the case out.

The court may also order the parent filing the case to pay the attorney’s fees of the other party. Court actions are not something to be taken lightly, and a parent cannot dictate what the other parent does with his children during his custodial time, as long as it’s not physically or emotionally damaging.

If you are concerned about your children being spoiled by the other parent, the better approach to take would be to try to voice your concerns in a reasonable manner to your children’s father about being a Disneyworld Dad. Also know that you do not have to justify your parenting decisions or how you spend your money to your children – in the long run, they will be better off by your decision to enforce rules and boundaries. It’s also a good idea to let go of your anger at the other parent, which will not help the situation.

If you believe that your former spouse is doing something that could be damaging to your children, call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in divorce courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties.

{ 0 comments }