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.


If your spouse has any visitation with the children, and you wish to move more than 50 miles away in Florida, you must either get permission from the spouse to relocate, or you must get permission from the court. In this case, if your former spouse will not agree, you will need to present a strong case in court about why you should be allowed to relocate.

The judge will not care about your personal desires for relocation. At the hearing, the judge will want to see how the move will be in the best interests of the child, and what you will do to minimize the impact of the move on the relationship between your child or children and the other parent. The court is usually very concerned about preserving the relationships between the children and the parents, as well as doing what is in the best interests of the children – not your career.

It’s usually much easier to work something out with the other parent than going to court. You may offer more time with the children, although probably on a different schedule if you are leaving the country. Perhaps instead of every other weekend with the children, the other parent could have a month or two in the summer and over the holiday break in the winter. You may offer to pay for your children’s travel, as well as allowing numerous phone calls, Skype calls, and other forms of interaction that can be done at a long distance.

If your ex just simply won’t budge, either because he or she is genuinely worried about the move, or because he or she wants to make your life difficult, you will need to fight it out in court. You will need to make a strong showing about what you can do to minimize the impact on the children, as well as how beneficial the move will be to the kids. You may also argue that the move is only for a short period of time, after which you will be returning.

In your court case, you will need the help of an experienced New Port Richey, Florida divorce attorney. If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He can help you present a strong case about why you should be able to relocate in another country. Call to learn more.


Keeping The House In A Pasco County Divorce

The question of who gets the house in a divorce is not always an easy one, and it’s a regular argument heard at the Pasco County Courthouse. Especially if neither spouse is sure if he or she even wants to keep the house.

There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when deciding if you want to keep the house. Usually the biggest one is whether you can afford it.

If you keep it, you will most likely be solely responsible for making the mortgage payment, paying the utilities, etc. Your income will probably be decreasing as a result of the divorce, so you may not be able to keep it even if you wanted to.

You should also consider whether or not you will owe your spouse anything if you do decide to keep it. If there’s a significant amount of equity in the home, it will need to be split. You will have to buy out your spouse’s interest in your home, which may be difficult if the home is your biggest asset.

You will also need to consider whose name is on the mortgage. Many people who are divorcing mistakenly believe that if their spouse is the one getting the house, they are no longer responsible for the mortgage.

This is not true. If your name is on the mortgage, you are legally responsible for the payments until the mortgage is paid off or you are otherwise removed from the debt.

Being on the mortgage can unfortunately affect your ability to get another home loan in the future – it depends on a number of factors such as your other debts, your income, and more.

In some cases, it may be best for both spouses to sell the home and divide the equity. However, it may be best for the children to continue living in the home with one parent. There can be a number of different arrangements that can be made with the home in a divorce. Call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call to learn more.


I’m sorry to hear about your situation. The period of time immediately before or after a divorce action is filed can be extremely emotional, and in many cases one spouse will take rash actions. One common complaint is that a spouse removed a large amount of furniture and other personal assets from the home without the other spouse’s permission.

If you are fearful your spouse will take your things, there are a few steps you can take. First, if the items are purchased during marriage, they are marital property and he/she cannot take them without permission during a divorce. Any assets acquired prior to the marriage, or were purchased with non-marital funds, are the assets of that spouse and can be taken without permission. You should make an inventory of all of the contents of the home. Document your list with photos.

As part of the actual divorce action, you can ask for a court order prohibiting him/her from removing any marital assets. If something is taken, make notes about the day you saw him or her leaving with it, or when you noticed it was missing. You can also ask about these assets during the discovery phase of the divorce. You can also ask the judge to order them returned, or their value deducted from his or her share of the marital estate in the settlement.

Also, and this may be common sense, but if you anticipate your soon-to-be former spouse is eagerly anticipating stealing your personal belongings, limit your time away from the home. You will still need to go to work and any necessary errands and you should not be chained to the home, but now would not be the time to leave for a weekend away or very late nights out unless necessary.

If you are facing a divorce in Florida, and your spouse is taking personal assets from you, call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and can help advise you on the best way to protect those assets. Call to schedule a consultation.


After a divorce, this is something I’ve had to help clients with over the years.

There are a couple of issues at play here – whether or not you can move the children without his permission, and whether or not you can choose which school the children attend without his permission.

First, on the issue of moving, in Florida if a custodial parent wants to move with the children more than 50 miles away, for any period of longer than 60 days, he or she must notify the other parent of the move. If the noncustodial parent does not agree to the move, the judge will hold a hearing to decide whether or not to allow the move.

However, in this situation it sounds like you are probably just moving a few miles away to a better school district and are not relocating more than 50 miles away with the children.

In that case you would not need permission for the move. You may need permission from the other parent, though, to change your children’s school district.

In most cases, educational decisions for children are to be mutually agreed upon if the parents share joint legal custody. If one parent has sole legal custody, he or she can make decisions about issues related to school and education without consulting with the other parent.

If you must mutually agree on educational decisions, try to come to an agreement with your former spouse. If you cannot agree, mediation may be an option. If mediation will not work, you may need to go back to court.

At the court hearing, the court will consider what would be in the best interest of the children – not the best interest of you or your former spouse.

If you are having issues about which school your children will attend, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps parents fight for what is in the best interest of their children.

He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call today to learn more.


Unfortunately, fixing your child’s problems with his father is not as easy as moving out of state.

In fact, if you move out of state to get away from your ex in the hopes that the move will help, you will probably be sorely disappointed. By taking your child away from his father, even if their relationship is rocky, you are actually violating your husband’s legal rights to his child, and you could be in trouble with the court as a result.

If your son is having problems with his father, speak to both of them about it if possible. If the problems are relatively minor, such as “my father is way too strict and I don’t have any fun at his house” or “my father just plays on the computer and ignores me while I’m at his house”, then if it is possible and would help, have a friendly conversation with your ex about the issue.

If the problems are major, such as “my father hits me when I’m at his house” or “my father does drugs while I am at his house”, then there are a couple of steps you should take. First, you should petition the court to get custody severely restricted. You could ask for supervised custody only or no custody. You should also seek professional counseling for your son. These problems will only worsen over time if not dealt with.

If you want to move out of state and your ex has some type of custody, he must agree to the move. Otherwise, you must petition the court for permission to move.

In court, you will have to show that the move would be in your child’s best interests. You could do that by showing how damaging the visits between your ex and your son are to him, and how much better your son’s life would be in a new state.

Although this may sound complicated, legally there are hoops that you have to jump through in order to move your minor child out of state.

If you are in Pasco County, Hernando County, Pinellas or Hillsborough County, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He can help you petition the court to legally allow the move, as well as to ask the court to change your custody arrangement. Call today to schedule a consultation.


In a divorce, any property that is owned by one spouse prior to the marriage is not considered marital property and will not be divided in a divorce. Therefore, if you own a business and you get married, that business itself should not be subject to the claims of a spouse.

However, it’s not always that easy.

Businesses often go up in value during a marriage, especially a long marriage. The increase in value in the business that occurs during a marriage is likely a marital asset, and could be divided in a business. There are a number of ways the business could be valued, depending on the type of business it is.

In addition, if one spouse worked a significant amount in the business and that’s what made the business increase in value, the court would take that effort into consideration when dividing the business.

Also, if one spouse’s efforts at home allowed the other spouse to put a huge effort into the business, resulting in an increase in its value, the court would also take that into consideration. You will need as much documentation as possible to explain the value of the business before the marriage and its current value.

In some cases, one spouse will buy out the other’s interest with other assets. In other cases you may be willing to give up a portion of the business in exchange for larger alimony payments. In rare cases, former spouses continue working in a business together. The way you choose to divide your business in Florida in the event of a divorce depends on a number of factors.

If you are divorcing in Pasco County, Florida and you are concerned about how your business will be divided in court, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties to help them fight for their legal interests in the family business after a divorce. Call today to learn more.


As you may have heard, same-sex couples can now marry in Florida. Until recently, the status of gay couples who had married elsewhere being able to divorce in Florida was uncertain.

Late last month, a Florida court of appeals denied a same-sex couple a divorce, but did say the marriage could be annulled. A week before that ruling, a different Florida judge granted a gay couple a divorce.

Now that gay couples can legally get married in Florida, they can also divorce in Florida. If you are in a gay marriage in Florida and you wish to divorce, you should speak with a Florida family law attorney.

Issues involved in a divorce between a same-sex couple are not be that much different than issues most straight couples face in a divorce. Issues of child custody, child support, alimony, division of property, and division of debts must be resolved in divorces, whether the couple is straight or gay.

For instance, some judges in Pasco County may have a preference for children to live with parents of a certain gender, which obviously would not be an issue with a same-sex couple. Because divorce laws were written assuming the marriage was between a man and a woman, some changes may have to be made over time.

If you are a member of a same-sex couple in Florida and you wish to divorce in Pasco County or Hernando County, call attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in the divorce courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Call to schedule a consultation on your case.


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.


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.


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.