Dear Mom & Dad: Voice of the Child of Divorce

Transitioning out of a relationship can be difficult not only for the couple, but also for their children. Click on the link below to see a video providing insight from one child of his parents’ divorce and how it affected him. The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta pride themselves on providing personal service to assist clients and their children during all types of family transitions.

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Digital Spying and Divorce in the Smartphone Age

With the advances of technology, changes in how people use technology and, consequently, changes in evidence in court cases. Click on the links below to read an article about how technology is being used by divorcing or separated couples and an article about what to do if spyware comes up in your relationship. The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta provide high quality legal services by staying abreast of changes in the law and technology which may affect their clients or cases.

Digital Spying and Divorce in the Smartphone Age

What to do if Spyware Comes Up In Your Relationship

App Available to Assist pro se litigants in Florida Family Law Cases

Navigating Florida’s court system without the guidance of a qualified Florida Family Law Attorney can be daunting.  The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice has created a Florida Courts Help App for pro se litigants which, among other things, allows users to complete Florida Supreme Court-approved family law forms, provides links and contact information to help centers for pro se litigants throughout Florida, and has user-friendly instructions on family law procedures in Florida courts.  The App is available at the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon App store.  Click on the link below to read an article from The Florida Bar News about the App.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta pride themselves on providing superior, personal service to assist their clients in helping them reach their goals by providing high quality legal services.

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What makes families resilient?

It can be easier to thrive in good times, but how do families thrive when things are not going as planned?  Click on the link below to read about how some families not only bounce back from adversity but also grow from it.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta focus exclusively on marital and family law so they can help parents work towards resiliency during major family transitions.

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How to Co-Parent with a Narcissist

Raising children is a joy as well as a challenge.  Child-rearing challenges can be amplified when one or both of the parents face mental health issues; however, they are not insurmountable when adaptations and support mechanisms are in place. Click on the link below to read one psychologist’s suggestions on effective co-parenting with someone diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta are experienced in providing high quality legal services to clients facing all types of co-parenting challenges.

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At the End of Your Case: How to Save Time, Money, and Future Litigation

The entry of a final judgment in a case may give a sense of conclusion, but typically there is additional work to be done to wrap up loose ends.  Click on the link below to read an article with things you should consider as your divorce case comes to an end.  The Attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta are experienced in providing high quality legal assistance in post-judgment matters.

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Governor Rick Scott Signs Senate Bill 590 Into Law

On June 16, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed into law Senate Bill 590 which changes aspects of administrative child support proceedings effective January 1, 2018. The changes include the creation of a Title IV-D Standard Parenting Time Plan. Click on the link below to read the full text of the SB 590. As part of their dedication to legal excellence, the attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta remain informed about legislation which may affect their clients.

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Supreme Court Amends the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar to accommodate the Collaborative Law Process

On May 18, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion amending the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar effective July 1, 2017 to accommodate the collaborative law process.  Click on the link below to read the Florida Supreme Court opinion.  Collaborative law is an alternative dispute resolution process which normally costs less time, money, and stress and affords participants increased opportunities to creatively resolve their differences.  Click here to read more about collaborative law.  Although the attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta continue to practice and are experienced in traditional litigation, they recognize the benefits, both financial and emotional, of not going to court.

Read The Supreme Court Opinion

Read More about Collaborative Law

As they Dig Deeper into Parenting, Fathers Seek Community, Support

Part-time or full-time stay-at-home parents can be any gender.  Since 1965, fathers have more than doubled their family-involvement and, as such, there is a growing community of stay-at-home dads seeking resources to make the most of their fatherly-role.  Click on the link below to read an article about the phenomenon.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta are experienced in representing clients fulfilling all types of parenting roles.

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Parenthood for Working Parents

Becoming a parent is among the largest of life changes which can be further complicated when one or both of the parents work outside the home.  Click on the links below to read articles about family leave and other challenges new working-parents face.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA pride themselves on providing superior, personalized service to assist their clients’ unique family law needs.

Mothers and Family Leave

Fathers and Family Leave

A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping

With all the advances in technology and transportation, international parental kidnapping can be a concern.  The U.S. Department of Justice recently published A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping which describes resources available to left-behind family members.  Click on the link to access the publication.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA provides individualized legal services and counseling to clients facing any number of family law-related issues.

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Apps that Aim to Give Parents ‘Superpowers’

Devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming commonplace in everyday activities.  This now includes helping parents improve their parenting skills.  Click on the link below to read an article about apps that are being developed to help families bond and children grow.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA pride themselves on providing superior legal representation and counseling to clients experiencing all types of co-parenting issues.

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Florida will list both names of same-sex couples on birth certificates

On May 5, 2016, Florida’s Department of Health began instructing hospitals, birth centers and midwives to recognize both parents, regardless of their gender, on birth certificates.  Currently birth certificates still offer only the option of “mother” and “father”, however state officials state they expect a revised birth certificate to become available sometime in July.  Click on the link to read more.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA practice exclusively in the area of marital and family law, representing clients in a wide range of family law matters.

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Fathers’ Reflections on Great Britain’s Paternity Allowance Rules

On April 5, 2015, Great Britain changed its laws to allow fathers an equal opportunity to take an extended leave of absence from employment following the birth of a child.  Click on the link below to read the reflections of two fathers who took advantage of the extended leave and one who did not.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA provide qualified and personalized representation to clients involved in all aspects of the establishment, enforcement, or modification of a parenting plan.

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Woman in her 70s may be oldest ever to give birth

On April 19, 2016, a woman in India believed to be at least 70 years old gave birth to a son after two years of IVF treatment.  Click on the link below to read more.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA provides experienced legal representation and advice to clients in all areas of marital and family law.

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Florida adopts new Collaborative Law

On March 24, 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 967 titled “Collaborative Law Process Act” into law, making Florida the 14th state to offer Collaborative Divorce as an alternative to traditional litigation.  Collaborative Divorce is a method of reaching a resolution through cooperative strategies rather than adversarial techniques and court proceedings.  Although the attorneys at Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA continue to practice and are experienced in the traditional litigation-based dissolution of marriage, they are also trained and experienced in handling matters through Collaborative Law. Florida’s new Collaborative Law Process Act and more about Collaborative Divorce are available by clicking the links below.

Collaborative Law Process Act (HB 967)

Collaborative Divorce

U.S. Supreme Court Reversed State Court Ruling which Refused to Recognize Same-Sex Adoption

On Monday, March 7, 2016, the United States Supreme Court struck down an Alabaman court ruling which did not recognize an adoption of a child to a same-sex couple.  Click on the link below to read the six page U.S. Supreme Court ruling.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA pride themselves on providing superior, personal service tailored to the unique family law needs of their clients.

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Is a presumption of equal timesharing in Florida’s future?

The Senate recently passed Senate Bill 250. If enacted in its current form, beginning October 1, 2016, it would create a presumption that “approximately equal time-sharing with a minor child by both parents” is in the child’s best interest. Click on the link below to read an article discussing additional details of the bill and its current status. The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA stay abreast of potential changes in the law which may affect their clients’ interests.

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Child Centered Residential Guidelines

It can be challenging for parents to craft parenting plans that meet the ever-changing developmental and psychological needs of their growing children.  The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers developed the Child Centered Residential Guidelines as a national model to assist parents, judges, lawyers, mediators, and parent educators in drafting child-centered residential guidelines which focus on the children’s unique best interests, in the hopes of helping to reduce parental conflict relating to timesharing of children.  Click on the link below to read the AAML’s Child Centered Residential Guidelines.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA are experienced in representing clients who are seeking to draft or modify parenting plans.

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17 Things to Say to your Kids after you Drop the Divorce Bomb

One of the most challenging things to transitioning a relationship can be talking to your children about it.  Click on the link below to reach one author’s suggestions on things you can say to your child to help him/her with the transition.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA are experienced in handling family law matters involving children of all ages.

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Helping your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way

Typically holidays are associated with happiness and fun, but children whose parents are newly separated or in the midst of litigation may be having a vastly different experience.  One book with suggestions on how parents can best support their children during what may be a stressful time is Helping your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way by M. Gary Neuman and Patricia Romanowski.  Click on the link below for more information.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA believes in individualized representation because we understand that each client has unique needs.

Click Here for Link to Book

Announcement – Attorney Caroline Black Sikorske Presentation on Children’s Issues

On October 30, 2015, Attorney Caroline Black Sikorske presented on Children’s Issues and Timesharing at The Florida Bar Basic Family Law seminar in Tampa.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA values giving back to the legal community, supporting legal excellence through providing high-quality continuing legal education.

Whose Time is it Anyway? Developing a Sensible Parenting Plan

One of the most challenging decisions for separating parents is how their children will share their time with each parent.  Click on the link below to read an article published in a recent ABA Family Law Section Family Advocate which includes a list of suggested considerations for developing a parenting plan that fits a family’s unique needs.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA are experienced in advocating for clients facing a variety of parenting issues.

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.  Click on the link below to read more.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in local, state-wide, and national laws which affect their clients.

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Co-Parenting through the Holidays

Holidays are exciting and busy times, and things can become even more complicated when a child’s parents are living in separate households.  Click on the link below to read some suggestions on how to help children enjoy the best holiday celebration possible when celebrating in two homes.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA offers top-quality legal assistance to clients experiencing all types of co-parenting challenges.

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Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order re Parenting Coordination

On November 14, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court issued an Administrative Order modifying procedural and registration requirements for Parenting Coordinators and court circuits throughout the State of Florida regarding the parenting coordination qualification process.  Click on the link below to read the administrative order.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA pride themselves on staying current on changes in law and procedures which may affect their clients.  For more on parenting coordination, click here.

Administrative Order SC14-64

Updated List of Approved Parenting Class Providers

Section 61.21, Florida Statutes, requires all parents of minor children involved in a divorce or paternity proceeding to attend a state-approved course to help them focus on what is in their children’s best interest before, during, and after resolution of their court case.  There is no restriction on who may attend these classes – so individuals contemplating marriage or divorce or simply interested in learning how to support their friends and loved ones involved in a court proceeding may attend as well.  Click on the link below to see a list of approved course providers (updated as of October 23, 2014).  As Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA’s focus is exclusively marital and family law, we pride ourselves on staying abreast of all types of resources available to assist our clients and their families before, during, and after resolution of their family law issues.

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How to maintain a satisfying marriage with children

The birth of a child is a life-changing event which can cause long-lasting unanticipated effects, particularly on the relationship between the child’s parents.  Many studies have shown marital satisfaction decreasing after the birth of the first child and not rebounding until the last child leaves home.  Click on the link below to read an article discussing ways to maintain a healthy marriage with children.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are experienced in representing clients whose marriages have become irretrievably broken despite their best efforts.

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How to Plan Your Divorce

While it is common to spend months – or longer – planning a wedding, it is generally uncommon to spend any time planning a divorce.  Nevertheless, a little planning can help ease the transition from married to unmarried life.  Click on the link below to read six suggestions on how to plan for a divorce.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing personalized legal advice and representation to clients anticipating or facing all types of family law issues.

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New Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed Parenting Coordinators

The Florida Supreme Court recently adopted “Rules for Qualified and Court-Appointed Parenting Coordinators.” You should speak with a qualified Florida family law attorney if you have questions about whether parent coordination may be beneficial to you or your case. The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA take pride in staying abreast of changes in rules, laws, and trends that may affect their clients.

Click here to read the rules.

Click here to read more about parent coordination.

Co-parenting After Separation

Florida law presumes that, regardless of the timesharing or “visitation” schedule, parents are going to “co-parent” or, in other words, jointly make all non-emergency major decisions involving their children.  Click on the link below to read one author’s six suggestions for how to make co-parenting work.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are skilled at representing clients who have co-parenting issues.

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Planning for Parenting Time

Deciding how a child spends time with his/her parents who are no longer cohabiting can be difficult due to all the factors the parents should consider including the child’s age, personality, maturity level, special needs, and his/her relationship with siblings and friends.  The Supreme Court of Arizona has published a guide to help parents develop parenting plans specifically tailored to their children’s needs.  Click on the link below to download the guide.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are experienced in assisting clients with all types of co-parenting issues.

Planning for Parenting Time

Raising an Organized Child in a Blended Family

Daily life in households with members on differing schedules can be complicated.  Click on the link below to read one author’s suggestions on how to manage a blended family to promote harmony and organization amongst the members.  The attorneys at Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are skilled at representing clients with co-parenting issues of all kinds.

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Co-Parenting Guide

Families can experience many changes and stress when the parents’ relationship transitions.  Click on the link below to read a guide prepared by the Office of Attorney General of Texas which provides suggestions and information about ways parents living separately can continue to work together to raise their children.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing superior legal representation to clients with parenting plan concerns.

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Minnesota Judge’s Words of Advice to Divorcing Parents

Co-parenting can be challenging, particularly when the parents are experiencing numerous emotions due to changes in their relationship.  Click on the link below to read some co-parenting advice given to divorcing parents by one Minnesota judge.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA pride themselves on providing superior, personal legal service to their clients experiencing co-parenting issues.

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Co-Parenting Communication Guide

Raising children when the parents live in separate households can be a challenge.  Click on the link to read a guide containing helpful tools, tips, and suggestions to effective co-parenting communication authored by the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA pride themselves on providing superior legal representation to clients with parenting plan issues.   See attached PDF

 

Keeping Holidays Joyous In Divided Family

It is not unusual for parents living under separate roofs to experience difficulties when sharing their children’s time during the holiday season.  Click on the link below to read one author’s suggestions on how to promote comfort and joy while co-parenting during what is often the busiest time of the year.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing superior legal representation to parents facing all types of co-parenting challenges.

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How to Help Your Child Cope with Divorce

When parents separate, it is stressful on everyone – particularly their children.  Below is a link to an article that provides an author’s seven suggestions to how to help children navigate the transition from living in one household to two.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are skilled in assisting clients with parenting plan, parental responsibility, and timesharing issues.

 

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Virtual Timesharing to Supplement Contact with Parents

Sometimes parents do not live close to each other or one parent, such as a active-duty members of the armed forces, must travel for an extended period of time.  Florida law permits parents to establish electronic communication procedures such as video-conferencing, web-conferencing, and wireless technologies to supplement face-to-face contact with their children to help maintain relationships despite the distance.  Click on the link to read the law.  The attorneys at Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA take pride in providing top quality representation to clients who have unique parenting plan needs.

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Temporary Timesharing And Child Support Modifications Due To Military Service

Co-parenting a child is challenging when the child’s parents live separately, even more so when one parent is in the military and has been activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service and his/her orders materially affect his/her ability to comply with the established timesharing schedule.  Florida Statute Section 61.13002 was enacted to address such situations including, in some cases, permitting the military parent to designate a person or persons to exercise timesharing with the child on the parent’s behalf.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are experienced in assisting clients who face family law issues relating to military service.

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Cyberspace Grandparenting Eases Divorce

Changes in the parents’ relationship can affect other family members’ relationships, particularly those between grandparents and grandchildren. Attached is an article providing suggestions on how to use technology to help maintain meaningful relationships for children who share time in multiple households. Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA’s attorneys stay abreast of current technological trends to assist their clients in facilitating healthy relationships for their children.

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Social Investigations or Parenting Plan Evaluations

During a dissolution of marriage or paternity proceeding, the court may be called upon to decide on a parenting plan or timesharing schedule when parents are unable to agree.  Florida law and Family Law Rules of Procedure allow a court to appoint a neutral professional to conduct a social investigation or parenting plan evaluation to aid the judge in determining the parenting plan or timesharing schedule in the children’s best interest.  Click on the links below to read Section 61.20, Florida Statutes, which addresses social investigations and Rule 12.363, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, which addresses parenting plan evaluations.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are accomplished in representing clients whose cases involve all types of parenting plan and timesharing issues.

Section 61.20, Florida Statutes

Rule 12.363, Florida Fam. L. R. P.

Parenting Coordinators/Parenting Facilitators

Each parent has a unique perspective and parenting style.  There are times when the distinct approaches create discord and the parents require help to settle their differences.  Alternative dispute resolutions exist for these parents.   For example, parenting coordinators or parenting facilitators are professionals trained in family dynamics and child development who assist parents in developing the skills necessary to successfully resolve short-term and long-term parenting disputes so children can enjoy a conflict-free environment in both households.  Below are links to more information on parent coordinators, parent facilitators, or available programs in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta prides itself on providing individualized legal representation to clients who experience co-parenting issues.

6th Judicial Circuit 2008 Parenting Coordinators

6th Judicial Circuit Parenting Coordinators Flier

Separated Parents and Breastfeeding Baby

Parents sharing time with a child can be challenging and even more when the child is breastfed.  This article provides some suggestions on how to ensure both parents can enjoy time with a breastfed child.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing excellent legal representation to clients who have children of all ages.

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Parenting and Divorce

Children are a precious resource.  To help preserve that irreplaceable resource, the Florida Bar published a pamphlet titled “Parenting and Divorce” which informs Florida’s citizens on Florida laws relating to parents’ duties to children and the development of parenting plans during dissolution of marriage proceedings.  Click on the link below for a copy of the pamphlet.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA are skilled at representing clients with parental responsibility and parenting plan issues in paternity and dissolution of marriage actions.

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The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents

Times of change can be taxing for all people – regardless of age.  This article provides insight into the perspectives of young children and adolescents during a dissolution of their parents’ marriage and suggests how parents may ease their children’s transition into a new family structure.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on skillfully assisting its clients in developing parenting plans unique to their families’ circumstances.

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Divorced? Avoid Holiday Children Tug-of-War

Co-parenting when the parents live under separate roofs can be tricky, especially during an emotional time like the holidays.  Below is an article that provides four suggestions to promote harmonious holiday timesharing.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on helping its clients coordinate timesharing during the holidays so everyone can enjoy a season full of comfort and joy.

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Talking to Children about Divorce

Times of transition can be stressful for the entire family, particularly for children.  Although it may be difficult to know what and how much to say, it is important to speak to children about family transformations and how it affects them.  Below are links to professional organizations who offer advice on how families can engage in age-appropriate discussions about their changing circumstances.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA strives to provide superior legal assistance to its clients facing all forms of family transitions.

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Pediatrics

Supervised Visitation Locations in Florida

At times it is necessary for a third party to serve as a supervisor during timesharing to ensure that children have safe, conflict-free access to a parent with whom they do not reside.  Supervised Visitation Network (SVN) is a non-profit membership organization which, among other things, provides a list of qualified supervisory agencies and individuals so vulnerable families have access to safe and quality timesharing.  Mary Lee’s House is a child protection and advocacy center established to meet the needs of victims of child abuse and neglect in Hillsborough County, Florida.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA strives to ensure that its clients’ families are safe through the implementation of parenting plans tailored to the unique needs of their families.

Supervised Visitation Network Worldwide

Mary Lee’s House