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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NY Court Redefines Who is a Parent

New York’s highest court recently redefined parenthood, holding that, going forward, a partner can seek visitation and custody if it is shown “by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together” and also recognized that in certain circumstances a person would be entitled to custody if he/she came into a child’s life after birth.  Click on the link below to read an article about the recent decision.  As part of their pursuit of legal excellence, the attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA remain abreast of trends in the law which would affect their clients.

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Attorney Alex Caballero speaker at 2016 College of Advanced Judicial Studies

On May 23,2016 Attorney Alex Caballero participated in the 2016 College of Advanced Judicial Studies as a faculty member, speaking on the issues of Parenting Plans to judges from across the state.

Alex Caballero

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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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

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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Announcement – January 2016 TBPA Luncheon

On January 14, 2016, Paralegals Carol Dunlap and Michele Tawzer as a part of their regular membership, attended the monthly meeting of the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association which included a legal education component titled “Court Procedures and Using the Hague Convention to Resolve International Parental Child Abduction”.  The Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc.’s mission includes establishing the standard of excellence in the paralegal profession through its work on issues of regulation, ethics, and education.

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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Announcement – Alex Caballero Presentation on Use of Expert Advice

On August 27, 2015, Attorney Alex Caballero and CPA Mike Lewis presented a seminar entitled “Using Your Expert’s Advice in Crafting Better Discovery.”  The webinar was sponsored by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Florida Chapter.  Both Alex and Mike advised on how to properly craft discovery requests, and how to sift through the abundance in responses to hone in on the necessary information needed to best present your case.  Congratulations, Alex!

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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Law may ease divorce proceedings

Bills are pending in Florida’s legislature which, if pass, would establish collaborative divorce throughout Florida.  Click on the link below to read an article about the pending legislation.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA has extensive experience in collaborative divorce

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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 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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Is a Presumption of Equal Time Sharing in the Best Interests of Children? A Child Centered Developmental Perspective

A bill was introduced during the 2013 legislative session that would changed Florida law to create a presumption in favor of equal timesharing between parents and children.  The law did not pass; nevertheless, a similar bill may be proposed in upcoming 2014 legislative session.  Is it in the best interest of a child for judges to presume that the child should spend equal time with his/her parents?  Click on the link to read an article in which three psychologists’ answer to that question based on a child-centered developmental perspective.  The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA take pride in staying abreast of changes and potential changes to marital and family laws.

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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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Russian law proposes removing gay parents’ children

A draft law was recently presented in Russia to remove children from homosexual parents. This potential custody measure is among several other measures addressing the rights of homosexual individuals in Russia. Click on the link below to read an article providing more details. The attorneys of Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA pride themselves on providing superior legal representation to clients with all types of family law issues.

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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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Japan Votes to Adopt Child Abduction Treaty

Japan recently voted to adopt the 1980 Hague Convention which is a treaty that sets out procedures for handling cross-border child custody disputes.  Click on the link below to read a news report which describes the treaty and the potential significance of Japan’s decision to adopt the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing superior legal representation to clients facing parenting plan, child custody, and visitation issues.

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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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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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Parental Responsibility

In 2008 Florida law changed replacing the term “custody” with “parental responsibility” and the term “visitation” with “timesharing.” Shared parental responsibility is favored under Florida law. When parents share parental responsibility, they jointly make major decisions affecting their children including education, religious upbringing, health care, and other matters not part of the child’s daily routine. Other types of parental responsibility include ultimate decision making and sole parental responsibility. Click on the link below to read a highlighted version of Section 61.13, Florida Statutes, which governs parental responsibility. Because each case is unique, Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing personalized legal representation to all of its clients.

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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.

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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Struggling Economy Complicates Divorce and Child Custody Cases says Survey

Dividing property including real estate, vehicles, financial accounts, stocks, and businesses during a divorce can be difficult.  While many couples can agree to a division, at times an amicable resolution may not be feasible.  To help avoid a financially and emotionally costly litigation, it is important to prioritize after carefully considering the big picture because not everything is worth a fight, particularly in an unfavorable economy.   Caroline Black is a member of the AAML, a highly regarded organization devoted to providing leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA believes in individualized representation to assist its clients in efficiently and prudently meeting their priorities during the division of their marital estates.

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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

Florida Supreme Court Approved Parenting Plan Forms

Parents living in separate households experience many challenging situations.  The Florida Supreme Court has approved three generic parenting plan forms (12.995 Forms (A)-(C)) to help separated parents think through the issues they face:  (A) A general Parenting Plan for when the parents live close to each other; (B) A Supervised/Safety-Focused Parenting Plan for when the child’s safety is a concern; and (C) A Relocation/Long Distance Parenting Plan for when the parents live a long distance from each other.  Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta, PA prides itself on providing parents facing the complexities of co-parenting with top-quality legal representation.

Florida Supreme Court Approved Parenting Plan Form

Florida Supreme Court Approved Safety-Focused Parenting Plan Form

Florida Supreme Court Approved Relocation/Long-Distance Parenting Plan Form

Florida Supreme Court Family Law Forms Website