If you were separated from your spouse and he or she died, your spouse’s assets would pass according to his or her Will. If your spouse died without a Will, the assets would pass according to Florida law, which means a portion of the assets would go to you, as the surviving spouse, and a portion may go to the children as well. Any assets you owned jointly with right of survivorship would pass automatically to you, as the survivor, no matter what the Will says.

Once the divorce is final in Pasco County, if your spouse passed away the next day, this would not affect the property division – the property is to be divided the way the divorce agreement states. However, you may no longer receive alimony and child support – those normally end when a person passes away. Your child or children may be entitled to a portion of the estate though.

You may be surprised how often people pass away after being separated for years, but never take the steps to divorce. Maybe they didn’t have the money for a divorce or did not want to get remarried so didn’t see the point of the divorce. In that situation, the deceased person may not have wanted his or her spouse to inherit, but did not take any steps to keep it from happening.

If you have been separated for a while and you want to ensure that your legal rights are protected, call Dale Bernstein, a Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney, at 727-478-3250. He works to protect the legal interests of his clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties. Call to find out how he can help you.

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I’m sorry to hear about your situation. In most situations, a divorce judge will not want to order supervised visitation, because that could interfere with the parent’s relationship with his children. A Florida divorce judge may, however, order supervised visitation if the judge believes that a child’s welfare could be endangered by unsupervised visitation.

Some situations in which a judge may order supervised visitation include if the parent has a history of physical, mental or sexual abuse, has been convicted of a serious crime, is at risk of kidnapping the child, or has threatened suicide. When deciding whether or not to order supervised visitation, the judge will consider what’s in the best interest of the child, and whether unsupervised visitation could endanger the child. Normally, if supervised visitation is ordered, it will apply to all of your children, unless there is an issue with only one child.

It’s not often easy to get supervised visitation. If you want to ensure that your children only see their father in a supervised situation, you will need to present a strong case in court about why your husband must be supervised and why he could present a danger to the children. This could include showing proof that he is a drug user, he has physically abused you, has threatened or attempted suicide, poses a strong danger of kidnapping, or anything else that could show that it would be unsafe to leave him alone with the children.

If you are in an abusive relationship, take steps to protect yourself right away. This may mean moving to a safe location and/or getting an order of protection or restraining order. Call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works in the divorce courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call to schedule your consultation.

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Normally, in Florida if a custodial parent wants to move a child more than 50 miles away, for a period of more than 60 days, he or she must notify the other parent before moving. If the noncustodial parent agrees, the parents will file an agreement to that effect with the court. If the noncustodial parent does not agree, the judge will hold a hearing and decide whether or not the move is allowed.

If you know in advance of the divorce that you want to move the children out of state at some point in the near future, it’s important to address this issue in your divorce, so that you do not have to go back to court. It may be possible for you to include a relocation clause that would allow you to move out of state, if the location and details are known at the time of the divorce.

In some cases, you may not wish to move, but you may be forced to for financial reasons. You may no longer be able to afford the home you’re living in, especially if your ex-spouse is not paying child support. In that case, if your former spouse will not consent, you will still have to petition the court for permission. A judge in Pasco County may feel sympathy towards you if you are being forced to move because your spouse is not paying the support he or she owes you.

If there’s a court hearing over the issue, there are several factors the judge will take into account in deciding whether or not to allow the move. The court will consider the child’s relationships with both parents, and how the move will impact the child. If the child is old enough, the court may consider the child’s preference. The court will consider the reasons for the location, and why the noncustodial parent objects.

If you want to move away with your children and your former spouse will not consent, it’s time to contact a divorce attorney. Call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties. Call to learn more about your options.

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There are very specific rules about how to get a passport for children under the age of 16 whose parents are divorced. The U.S. State Department’s rules require that both parents give their consent before any minor child under the age of 16 can get a passport.

If one parent cannot be found in order to get the consent for the passport, the applying parent can complete a Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances, which will detail the other parent’s unavailability and the efforts made to contact the other parent. It may also be required that you provide evidence of the special circumstances.

If you can locate the other parent but he or she refuses to consent to the passport application, you will probably have to take the other parent to court. A court can order the other parent to sign a passport application. The other parent can contest it and offer reasons that the passport should not be obtained.

If you are in the process of divorce and you anticipate that your child will need a passport some time before he or she reaches the age of 16, it would be smart for you to address this issue in your divorce. You can have the passport issue put into your original court order, and if it is, you will not need the other parent’s permission in order to obtain your child’s passport.

There are also steps you can take if you fear that your ex-spouse may take your children out of the country without your permission. The State Department allows parents to have their children’s names entered into the U.S. passport name-check system. If they are accepted, the parent will be notified if someone else applies for a passport for the child.

If you need a passport for your minor child but your ex-spouse objects, or if you fear that your ex-spouse may take your children out of the country without your permission, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps clients in the divorce courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties. Call to learn more.

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If you have been the victim of domestic abuse in Pasco County, you may wonder what the system can offer that will protect you. For many victims, the first step to take is to get an injunction for protection against domestic violence.

An injunction for protection against domestic violence (sometimes called a restraining order) is a court document that orders the abuser to stop doing certain things, and also orders the abuser to do certain things. Some things it can make the abuser stop doing include: coming near your home or work, contacting you, and physically abusing you.

An injunction for protection against domestic violence can also order the abuser to leave your home, pay you temporary child support or spousal support, go to treatment, and limit the visitation he or she has with the children.

Even if you have never been physically battered, you can still qualify for an injunction. The judge must have a belief that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. In Florida, domestic violence means assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in the injury or death of a family member.

When determining whether or not a person is in danger of becoming a domestic violence victim, the judge will look at your history, any threats made by the other person against you or your child, any attempts by the other person to harm you or individuals close to you, any threats of using weapons, any violence to family pets, a criminal history, and any destruction of personal property.

If you believe that your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, a stalker, or another individual is a threat to you, call Florida domestic violence attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with domestic violence victims in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call to schedule your consultation.

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How Can I Get Child Custody Modified In Pasco County?

As children get older, a lot of things change. Their personalities, likes, interests and abilities all change, sometimes in significant ways. If you have a child and were involved in a divorce in Florida, or if you never married, the custody of your child was probably determined using the circumstances involved at that time.

However, things change over time, and sometimes what was the best custody arrangement at the time of the divorce is no longer a good situation.

Typically, child custody orders in Florida are not permanent. If you want to modify your parenting plan or custody order, the best situation is if you can work out a modification with your child’s other parent, and then file it with the court, and get it ratified and approved by the court.

If you two cannot agree, you will need to petition the court in order to make changes. However, to change a custody order in Florida, generally you will need to prove that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” since the original custody determination, and that the change could not have been foreseen at the time of the original custody order. You will also have to show that the change in the parenting plan is in the child’s best interests.

That petition will be filed in the circuit court in either the county in which either parent and the child reside, or the circuit court in which the original order was issued. It’s is not easy to change a custody order, especially if the other parent fights the change.

Simply a change of heart by one parent, or even a parent’s remarriage, is not enough to change custody. Some circumstances that might result in a change in custody include one parent’s sudden abuse or neglect, a mental health issue of one parent that was not present at the time of the original decision, a substance abuse problem, or something similar.

Changing child custody arrangements isn’t easy, but it’s important to take that step if something significant has changed in the lives of you, the other parent, or your child. Call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250 to discuss changing your child’s custody arrangements. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties. Call to learn more.

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Not necessarily. Past-due alimony and child support are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, so the bankruptcy will not wipe those out. However, because your former spouse is filing for bankruptcy, his financial circumstances have probably changed since you got your divorce. Because of the change in financial circumstances, your ex can choose to go back to court to ask that his child support and/or alimony be modified.

If he does choose to go back to court, he will have to disclose all of his financial information to the court. He will also have to show proof that he is unable to financially continue providing support. In some cases, the judge will temporarily halt alimony, in order for the payer to get back on his or her feet financially.

If your former spouse is going through a bankruptcy, that may mean that he is better able to pay your alimony and child support. Bankruptcy, depending on the type filed, will either wipe out a lot of unsecured debts, like credit cards or medical expenses, or will set up a payment plan so that your ex will be better able to pay off those old debts.

If your ex-husband either chooses to take you to court in order to get the alimony and/or child support reduced, or fails to pay alimony and child support, you should speak with an attorney. You will need someone to represent you in the alimony modification, or you may be able to file papers in court to compel your spouse to pay.

Call Florida alimony attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250 if your former spouse is either asking for an alimony reduction, or is failing to pay alimony and/or child support. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call him today to schedule your consultation.

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If you are going through a divorce in Pasco County, Florida, particularly if it is not a friendly divorce, you may be very tempted to choose an attorney based on his or her gender.

For example, you may be a woman who is furious at your husband and has sworn never to have any dealings with another man again, including a male divorce attorney. While that is definitely understandable, it’s usually better to choose an attorney based on other factors.

There are several stereotypes about men versus women divorce attorneys. One stereotype that many men believe is that if they hire a female attorney, the female attorney will “soften” the position of the man to make it look less harsh.

For example, a male client telling the court that he doesn’t believe he should have to pay $2,000 a month in alimony to his lazy ex-wife may look nicer coming from a female attorney. Another stereotype is that if a woman hires a male attorney, he will be better able to stand up to her husband and will better project an image of strength in the negotiations.

In reality, these stereotypes are just myths. Some better factors to consider in choosing a divorce attorney are his or her experience, strategy, skill, and your comfort level with the attorney. You may spend a lot of time with this attorney, and you may have to share some private details of your marriage with him or her.

You will want someone you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable. Your attorney’s strategy on the case will also be important – for example, if you definitely do not want to litigate the case, you will have to communicate that with the attorney to see if that is the approach the attorney would take.

The bottom line is this…. you want the best divorce attorney you can find.

If you are seeking an attorney in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients who are going through a divorce, and will be happy to speak with you about your case. Call to learn more.

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Each state has rules about what requirements must be met in order to get a divorce in that state. Most states have rules about residency – that is, how long you must have lived in the state prior to filing for divorce.

In Florida, to get a divorce, one of the spouses must reside in Florida for six months before filing a divorce petition. The divorce can then be filed in the county in which either or both spouses reside.

However, if you, your spouse, or both are in the military, you may be concerned about how to meet those residency requirements. After all, what if you are stationed in Florida for five months, and are then transferred to another base? Will it be possible for you to meet the residency requirements anywhere?

Fortunately, there are specific residency requirements for a military divorce in Florida. You must have either been a resident of Florida for at least six months before filing for divorce, or you must be stationed in Florida in order to meet those residency requirements. There are a lot of other issues specific to your military divorce that can arise, such as your retirement benefits, VA disability benefits, and military family support, that may be of particular concern to you.

If you are in the military and are considering a divorce in Florida, it’s important that you obtain legal representation. Call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He helps clients with divorces throughout Florida, including Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call to schedule a consultation.

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Alimony is financial support that is paid by one ex-spouse to another after a marriage has legally ended. It may be for a certain time period, or could be permanent, meaning that it ends when one of the spouses dies or if the recipient of the alimony remarries.

Alimony can also be modified or terminated by a change in circumstances, such as if the recipient lives with an unrelated person in a supportive relationship.

Separate maintenance is financial support paid from one spouse to another while they are still married to each other. Separate maintenance is ordered if a spouse refuses to financially support the other spouse, and the other spouse has a genuine need for the support.

Separate maintenance is usually awarded in cases where a divorce is not appropriate or available, such as if the parties don’t have a desire to get divorced. Separate maintenance is used to determine a spouse’s right for the use of property, to get spousal support or child support, or for other purposes without actually dissolving the marriage.

An action for separate maintenance can be filed in Florida as an action that is separate from a divorce. It can also be filed as a part of a divorce action, if the other spouse is likely to answer that the marriage is not irretrievably broken. Typically, a court will either award alimony after a divorce is final, and may award temporary alimony while it is ongoing, or will award separate maintenance instead of a divorce.

If you are not receiving the financial support you need from your spouse, but do not wish to file for divorce, you may consider filing for separate maintenance. Call Florida alimony attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He works in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida, and can help you with an action for divorce or separate maintenance. Call to set up a consultation.

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