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Unfortunately, for some spouses, just because the divorce is finalized doesn’t mean they are in any hurry to leave the marital home. If your divorce is not final yet, normally your spouse has the legal right to stay in the home unless the judge has ordered otherwise. This is true even if only your name is on the deed to the home or the mortgage.

Normally, the ownership of the house is decided as part of the divorce process. If the house has been awarded to you, the judge will normally give your ex a set period of time in which to leave the home and get all of his possessions out of the home. If your ex is still there after that period of time has expired, it’s time to take action. First, tell your ex that the divorce decree states that he has to be out of the home by the date in the decree. If he refuses, you can call the police to have him removed.

If the divorce decree does not state that your ex has to be out by a certain date, or if the divorce decree does not clearly state that you have exclusive residency of the home, and your ex won’t leave, you need to go back to court. You could mention to your ex that you will ask the court to award you court costs and attorney’s fees. That threat may serve as a motivation to your ex to get out.

Unfortunately, some ex-spouses do everything they can to make the divorce process as difficult as possible, even after it’s over.

If your ex-spouse is violating your divorce decree, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works in the courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and will provide you with a consultation on your case. Call to learn more.


Types Of Restraining Orders In Pasco County

There are generally four types of restraining orders (also known as orders of protection against violence or domestic violence injunctions injunctions) in Florida. The four types issued depend on the relationship between the two people involved.

The types are domestic violence restraining orders, dating violence restraining orders, sexual violence restraining orders, and repeat violence restraining orders.

Domestic violence restraining orders can be issued when the Petitioner and the Respondent have either lived together or have a child together.

Dating violence restraining orders can be issued when the parties never lived together, were involved in a romantic relationship in the previous six months, and have no children together.

Sexual violence restraining orders are issued for victims of sexual violence.

Repeat violence restraining orders are issued for any other relationships, like friends, neighbors, or random stalkers.

However, in order to get a repeat violence restraining order, there must be at least two incidents of violence, like stalking, and at least one of them must have occurred in the previous six months.

If you believe you need a restraining order against a former romantic partner or a stalker, you can seek a restraining order in court. You can get a temporary restraining order almost immediately, as long as your Petition is valid under Florida law. The temporary restraining order will order your harasser to stay away from you and not contact you, and it will last for 15 days.

Before the temporary restraining order expires, there will be a court hearing on the permanent restraining order. The judge will listen to both sides and issue a ruling on the restraining order. It could be issued for life, or only for a period of time, depending on the testimony.

Call New Port Richey, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250 if you believe you need a restraining order. He works in courts throughout Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and can help you with your restraining order.


How Does The Pasco County Court Handle Pets In A Divorce?

Who gets the pets in a divorce can be a very emotional and contested issue. Pets are considered property and are divided like other property in a Pasco County divorce.

Therefore, if you have a pet you had before the marriage, the pet is considered your separate property, and you would be entitled to keep the pet. Also, if you received a pet as a gift during the marriage, that pet would also be your separate property, and you can keep it after the divorce.

If the pet was acquired during the marriage and was not a gift, it will be divided like other assets. If you two can work out an agreement about the pets that is generally best. If there are multiple pets, you could split them between the two of you.

You could also agree to some type of sharing arrangement similar to child custody arrangements. The biggest problem with sharing the pets, however, is that it will mean your ex-spouse will be involved in your life for some period in the future, which may not be what either of you wants.

If you two cannot agree on who gets the pets in your Florida divorce, the judge will decide. Even though they are property, the judge will usually consider who is able to best care for the pets, as well as who has the greatest bond with the pets.

You may want to introduce evidence that would be in your favor, such as showing who normally cares for the pets on a daily basis.

Hopefully, you two can figure out an arrangement on what will work best for both you and the pets. If not, you need to make a strong case in front of the judge about why the pets should be awarded to you.

If you need help in your Florida divorce, call 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.


That sounds like a bad situation.

Your ex refuses to pay alimony or child support, which has caused you to lose your home. It sounds like the only place you can go is to move in with family members who do not live in your area.

Unfortunately, Florida law says that if a custodial parent wants to move the children more than 50 miles away for any period of more than 60 days, the other parent must agree. If the other parent agrees, the parents will file an agreement with the court.

If the parents don’t agree, the court will hold a hearing. The judge will decide whether or not to allow the move. If the judge feels that the move is not in the best interests of the children, the judge may not approve the move.

In your situation, it’s highly likely that a judge would be sympathetic to your situation. You should file an emergency petition asking that the court modify your custody order right away, since you will soon be without a home.

At the same time, you should seek enforcement of the child support and alimony. The judge can take certain actions in order to enforce the child support, such as garnishing wages, seizing personal property, and more.

I am a divorce attorney and I help clients with situations involving relocation with children after a divorce. I work with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida.

Call me, Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. I can help you hold your ex liable for his failure to pay child support and alimony, as well as helping you receive permission to move from the court.


A fairly new law in Florida helps to address that situation. The law provides several protections for military parents.

First, under the law, the court cannot use the military parent’s deployment as the sole reason to make a permanent change in the existing custody arrangement. For example, a court cannot rule that a military dad who is deployed can only see his children once a month going forward, solely because of his deployment.

If a court does temporarily change a custody order based on a parent’s deployment, the court must provide for contact between the military parent and the children, including contact through phone, webcam, or other means. The court also must provide that once the deployment is over, the prior child custody arrangement is in effect.

During periods of leave from deployment, the military parent must be allowed generous time with the children. The goal of these rules is to protect the bond between the parent and the children during the military service.

Another protection for military parents is that if the parent is deployed for longer than 90 days, and the deployment affects the parent’s ability to comply with the child custody order in place, the parent can designate a person or persons to comply with the arrangement on the parent’s behalf.

The designation can only be a family member, a stepparent, or a relative of the child by marriage. The other parent must have 10 days of notice before the new custody arrangement begins. The other parent can object to the appointment of the other person if it’s not in the best interests of the child.

This type of arrangement could help the deployed parent maintain some type of bond with the child even while he or she is deployed, by exposing the child to the other side of the family.

Child custody issues are tough as it is, but when military deployment is involved, custody is even trickier. If you are a parent in the military and you have questions about your legal issues, call call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works in the courts in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.


It’s not uncommon for one spouse to allege violent behavior in order to hurt the other spouse or to get the upper hand in divorce proceedings.

Temporary restraining orders, which are also called injunctions for protection against domestic violence, are in many cases issued when there is not a need for them. This is because the courts tend to err on the side of caution, and may believe that it’s better to provide more protection than is necessary than to give no protection at all to someone who is in need.

In order to get a temporary restraining order in Pasco County, Florida, your spouse or partner would have had to have filed a petition in court, and the judge can issue the order based on the petition. The judge does not have to hear you or your husband testify. Therefore, if they put a lot of lies into the petition, it’s likely the order would be granted without hearing your side of the story. However, the temporary restraining order is only in effect for a certain number of days, and will not last longer than 15 days.

Your time to speak up will be at the hearing on the final injunction for protection against domestic violence. At that hearing, you can speak up and explain your side of the story. You can mention that you believe they are trying to hurt you, and that you are not violent.

In this situation, you should speak with an attorney. If things progress and they are able to get a final injunction against you, this could affect your custody rights to your children. It’s better to fight these issues at the outset, rather than trying to overturn them later.

Having an experienced divorce attorney working on your behalf is invaluable. If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough County in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps clients with all issues related to divorce. Call to schedule an appointment.


This issue of what an ex-spouse receives from life insurance, 401k’s, and other assets with beneficiary designations can be a touchy subject in a divorce.

There are many, many instances throughout Florida and the U.S. in which a couple got divorced, one spouse did not change his or her life insurance or retirement plan beneficiary, and passed away, and the ex-spouse received a chunk of money that the deceased almost certainly did not want him or her to have.

What should happen in a divorce is that the spouses come to some type of agreement about property division, either by mutual consent or through a decision of the court. The court may order one spouse to maintain a life insurance policy on his or her life for the benefit of the other spouse.

The court may also order the retirement plans divided. Once that occurs, ideally the spouses will change the beneficiaries on their other assets to whomever they want to get the money, which is probably not the ex.

Fortunately, there has recently been a change in Florida law on this issue. Now, if an ex-spouse is named the beneficiary on certain types of covered assets, those assets will pass as if the former spouse passed away first, meaning that the asset would either pass to the contingent beneficiaries or the deceased’s estate.

Covered assets include life insurance policies, annuities, employee benefit plans, IRAs, payable-on-death accounts, and securities registered in a transfer-on-death form. Before this law change, those assets would have passed to the former spouse if the beneficiary form was not changed.

An experienced divorce attorney can help advise you on the steps to take before, during, and after a divorce to ensure that a situation like the ones described here does not occur. If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough County and you need help with a divorce, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps his clients with all aspects of divorce. Call to learn more about your legal options.


That can be a complex issue. Generally, how visitation with your children is handled depends on what the court orders issued in your case say. For example, your domestic violence injunction may order your ex to stay away from you and your children. In that case, obviously, he would not be entitled to visitation with your kids.

However, simply because there’s a domestic violence injunction against your ex does not necessarily mean he cannot visit the kids. It may be that the order only covers you and does not order him to stay away from the kids.

In that case, whether or not you have to let him visit the kids depends on what type of visitation the court has allowed him to have under court order. He may have been awarded regular visitation or supervised visitation.

If he has not been awarded any type of visitation, you do not have to let him visit the kids until a visitation order from the court is in place.

If he has been awarded regular visitation, and there’s a domestic violence injunction against him that orders him to stay away from you, you will need to make arrangements for him to pick up your children at some location other than your home.

Maybe you have a friend or relative who would be willing to handle the transfer, or you can put some other type of arrangement in place.

Typically, if you have a domestic violence injunction against your ex, it’s because he (or she in some cases) has displayed some type of tendency towards violence. It’s highly likely that you will not want to put your children into that type of environment.

If that’s the case, you can ask the court to modify any type of visitation or child custody arrangement, based on the violence.

If you are seeking help with issues involving child custody and domestic violence injunctions near New Port Richey, Florida, call divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He helps clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and can help you navigate your legal options as well. Call today to schedule a meeting.


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.