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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.


I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is never easy to make the decision to end a marriage, but divorcing an abusive husband can be particularly dangerous and scary. In your case, it’s critical that you think ahead before you act.

Domestic Violence Injunction Before Divorce In Pasco County

You are probably aware that telling your husband about your decision to file for divorce may spark his rage. If you are being threatened, you may need to get a domestic violence injunction, which is sometimes called a restraining order. However, for many abused women the first 24 hours after a restraining order has been issued is a very dangerous period. You may consider asking the police to drive by your house or you may want to stay somewhere else, like a women’s shelter, until the situation has settled down.

If you plan on leaving, you must take the children. This is for their safety, as well as for practical purposes. If you leave the children with your husband, he could possibly keep you from seeing them, and will have the upper hand in divorce negotiations.

When you choose a divorce attorney, you will want someone who is not easily intimidated, and who can do an excellent job of explaining your situation to the court. Once the divorce is underway, it’s possible that the evidence of domestic abuse could impact the custody arrangements, as well as the property settlement. You may consider asking the court for supervised visitation.

Although divorce is never a pleasant process, it can be made much worse by an abusive spouse. During this time, try to find some support for yourself, such as a support group, counseling, or extra help from family and friends. You will also need experienced legal help. Call Pasco County, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250 for help with your divorce in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough County. Call today to schedule a consultation.


Divorcing can be very expensive for most people. Suddenly, the money that was used to pay for one household must pay for two. Many divorcing couples look for easy ways to lighten their financial load. Something that is appealing for many people is a refinance. Besides who actually gets the house in a divorce, this is one of the most frequent questions we’re asked.

If you refinance your home during a divorce, you may be able to reduce your payments or pull out some equity from the home that can be used to help with your immediate financial needs.

If you and your spouse have not divorced, and you are both in agreement about the home refinance, and the bank is willing to do the refinance, that may be a great option for you. However, in most cases couples are not in agreement about a refinance during a divorce, because the future of the home’s ownership and equity are probably uncertain.
Refinance During A Divorce
In many cases, issues of refinancing, whose names are on the mortgage and deed, and division of the equity are issues that are decided by the divorce court. However, a lot relies on the willingness of the bank to refinance as well.

Refinancing Issues During A Divorce In Pasco County

It’s very important that you get good legal and financial advice before you take any steps regarding the home ownership or the mortgage. You will probably need specific language in your divorce agreement that will cover your particular situation.

If you have been working on refinancing issues during a divorce in Pasco County, it’s highly recommended that you consult with an attorney. There may be a lot of legal issues that arise as part of the process, and it’s highly recommended you get good legal advice before anything is finalized.

If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein if you are thinking about refinancing due to divorce, at 727-478-3250. He can help you navigate your situation. Call to learn more.


It’s very common for spouses to want to make a fresh start after a divorce. For many people, that’s a great option. However, for those with minor children, if both parents aren’t in agreement about the move, it may not be allowed to happen. It’s best if both parents can agree in advance about the move. This may be possible with mediation.

If both spouses aren’t in agreement about one spouse’s move, there will be a hearing in a Pasco County or Hernando County court about the move. Generally, there are a couple of ways that a case may end up in court over a relocation. A parent who wants to move away may ask for a modification of the existing child custody order to request a new visitation plan, as well as permission for the move. Or the other parent who isn’t moving may ask the court to prevent the other parent from moving away with the children.

At the hearing, a judge will decide whether or not one spouse is allowed to move away with the children. The court’s main concern is not the happiness of the parents – it’s what’s in the best interests of the children. If you are asking the court to allow you to move away, you should put together evidence about why the move will be in the best interests of the children.

One reason you may wish to move is for financial reasons. You may have been offered a better job, or you may want to move so that you can move in with family members to save money. If that’s the case, you should present evidence about how the move will be a positive step for the children’s financial situation.

You may be moving to be closer to family. You may have extended family in another location that could offer you more support than you are currently receiving. You should present evidence about the family members available in the new location and the assistance they could offer you. You may also be moving to get married. Just presenting evidence of the marriage alone is usually not sufficient – instead, you should focus on why the marriage would be beneficial for the children.

If you wish to move away with your children after a divorce, and the other parent is not in agreement, be prepared to put forth a detailed case about why the move would be in the children’s best interests, as well as what you could do to allow the other parent to remain in the children’s lives. It’s important that you make a strong case in court so that your request is not denied.

If you are looking for an attorney to help you in your relocation hearing, call New Port Richey, Florida, divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works in the divorce courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and will be happy to speak with you about your case.


Who Gets The Cars In A Divorce In Pasco County?

For many people, who gets the cars is a big issue in a divorce. Depending on the type of cars involved, they can be some of the most valuable pieces of marital property that are at stake in the divorce.

In general, dividing a car is like dividing other marital assets in a divorce. If the vehicles were purchased during the marriage with marital assets, they will be distributed in the divorce. If you or your spouse owned a vehicle prior to marriage, generally it is not considered a marital asset and is the separate property of the spouse who owned it prior to the marriage.

Also, vehicles given as a gift to one spouse during the marriage are usually considered separate property, and are generally not divided in a divorce. Normally, it does not matter whose name the car is in – instead, what matters is when and under what circumstances they were acquired.

Possession of a vehicle during a divorce can be a hot button topic. Many battling spouses use vehicles as a way to get back at another spouse by refusing to allow the other spouse access to a vehicle.

While a divorce in Pasco County is pending, you may ask a court for a temporary order giving you possession of a car if you need the car and your spouse is refusing to let you use it. If possible, it’s best to work out something with your spouse regarding the use of the vehicles until a judge decides the issue.

The ownership of vehicles during and after a divorce can be a touchy issue for many divorcing couples. If you wish to talk to an attorney about your divorce situation and ownership of your vehicles, call New Port Richey, 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 about your legal options.


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.


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 New Port Richey, 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.


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 New Port Richey, 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.


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 New Port Richey, 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.