How do I modify my alimony?

October 20, 2009

At the time of divorce, the court considers the needs of the party to receive alimony and the ability to pay of the party which will pay alimony. There isn’t a formula to calculate alimony within Florida statutes like there is for child support.
To modify alimony, a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony must be filed.
The party filing the supplemental petition must show 1) a substantial change in circumstances; 2) the change in circumstances was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of divorce; and 3) the change in circumstances is sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent.
If you are having a hard time making your alimony payments in this tough economy, it is a good idea to contact an attorney to discuss a modification in alimony.

Postcards from Splitsville

October 12, 2009

I saw this website tonight of postcards made by children about divorce. Perhaps it can be a reminder for divorcing parents to think about the stress their kids are going through.

What happens at an initial consultation?

October 7, 2009

Taking the first step to set up an initial consultation with an attorney can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

The purpose of an initial consultation is for the attorney to advise you, the prospective client, what may be done for you, and what the fee will be.  The purpose is not to render a definitive legal opinion as it may be impossible to fully assess a matter within the time frame of a consultation or with the information that you provide at the consultation.

Generally, the attorney will ask you questions about the facts of your case.  The attorney will also want you to bring any documents you have relating to your case, including the Summons and Petition if one has been filed.  You will have the opportunity to ask the lawyer any questions that you have about your legal issue.  Everything you discuss with the lawyer at the consultation is confidential.

Following the consultation, you and the attorney may agree to terms of representation, you may decide not to use the services of the attorney, or the attorney may decline representation.

What is a Guardian ad Litem?

October 1, 2009

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a person appointed to represent the best interests of a child.   A GAL can be appointed in divorce cases, dependency cases, or other cases involving children.

A GAL’s job is to review and investigate the case, speak to the child, and submit a report and recommendations to the Court.  Judges usually give great weight to the GAL’s recommendations.

For more information on Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program, visit

What’s the difference between a will and a living will?

September 30, 2009

This is a fairly common question that I get in my practice.

A will is a document that controls the disposition of property at death.  In a will, you can also name a personal representative (executor), create a trust, make a gift to charity, and name a guardian for your minor children.

A living will is a document that provides instructions for life-prolonging procedures.  You can also designate a health care surrogate, which is someone who will make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.  Many people learned about living wills from the media attention of Terri Schiavo’s case in 2005.

If you have any questions about wills or living wills, contact an attorney!


September 29, 2009

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