Author: expertz

Custody Issues with Relocation

We live in a world that changes very rapidly; it used to be that you were born, lived and died in the same home town.  Now we have become a migratory people. We are also more aware of other locales as we have become interconnected via the internet and smart phones, causing us to have knowledge that it is possible to move to a different area with relative ease.

In our nation, this ease of transportation has become a necessity particularly since the market crash of 2008 and the continuing reformation of our employment opportunities. We now have whole families moving rather frequently because they must leave in order to find work.

These days I am asked frequently how relocating works when you have a custody decree of some nature and now need to move. And how does this affect a divorced spouse who has timeshare with the children when they find the only job they can find is in another state?

The first move here in Florida is to notify the other spouse you want to relocate by filing a Petition for Relocation.  It does not matter if you are the majority timeshare parent or if you are the parent with the more limited timeshare schedule.  If you are going to relocate you must file the Petition for Relocation.  How do you know if your move is one that requires you to take action?

Florida Statutes Section 61.13001 defines relocation to mean a change in the location of your principal residence or of any parent€™s principal residence from where they lived at the time a custody order was entered.

Does the distance and time of my relocation matter? Yes.  You will fall under the statute if you move at least 50 miles away for at least 60 consecutive days not including on a temporary basis for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.

Once you have decided that you fall under the provisions of the relocation statute you must then file a Petition for Relocation with the court and serve it on your spouse.  This statute is one of the most technical statutes we have in family law matter. You may want to consider pulling statute Section 61.13001 off the internet and reviewing it and following it very carefully.  I know that may seem overwhelming to you therefore, it you need to you can visit my web site Carrolllawonline.com.  Once there you can select an option of obtaining my services through my secure portal and Carroll Law, P.A. can help you if you have some very specific questions but do not feel you need to hire an attorney to do the whole law suit for you.  By entering my secure portal you will have the ability to select how much help you can afford on an action by action basis.

In my secure portal, I can explain to you that once your Petition for Relocation is served on your spouse, you will need to wait 20 days to see if there is a verified objection filed by your spouse.  If the spouse does not contest or object to you relocating then you can take the matter straight to the Judge without an evidentiary hearing.  All that has to happen is the final order gets signed without the need for a hearing.

If the spouse does object then you have the right to have a temporary hearing within 30 days on whether or not you can move on a temporary basis.  You will eventually need a permanent hearing, but because employment opportunities do not sit around waiting on you to get a court ruling to let you move, the Florida Legislature put the speedy hearing date for a temporary relocation into the statue.

If you find yourself in a position where you must seek a full trial on whether or not you can relocate, then the best thing is to seek legal counsel.  As previously mentioned it is a tricky statute and a mere technically could throw your whole move out of the courthouse, back to square one.

Should you find yourself in a position where you need to relocate or just desire to relocate maybe to move closer to family or otherwise, please come and see me:

Carroll Law, P.A.
304 Harrison Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401

Call us @ 850-785-9005 or visit with us at Carrolllawonline.com.

I and my staff stand ready to help you prepare for this next great move in your life.

Respectfully Submitted

Susan V. Carroll, Esquire

Raise The Standard

Whose vision are we under in this nation?

When did we come to live in a nation where we kill babies and where we worship pornography, killing the essence of our self worth?

When did we start believing as a nation that there is nothing we can do as the death rate of suicide in our young people continues to rise?

When did we ruin the circle of life to the point where we seem to be heading toward euthanasia of our old people?

Where did the value of life go?

If we do not have this basic core of belief of the fundamental value of life in our nation, then it is no wonder all the other inalienable rights we thought we had are disappearing.  If the essence of life is not a value in our society, then certainly slavery of humanity to the will of a select group of individual must not be a problem!  Or is it?

Our societal and individual rights, as set forth under the constitution, were founded on basic moral principals.  At the time, there where voices within the land that raised up the standard and made it plain to see and follow. These foundational principals started with a basic premise that we have rights that cannot be taken from us as individuals. We call these inalienable rights.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. (Declaration of Independence)

Sometimes our government enacts laws we do not even understand and it seem so far away from us.  It seems to have little bearing on how we live.  How is helping defeat laws that allow abortion or casinos or other such laws going to help the challenges you’re facing today?  Most of you would say it would not.  However, it’s the many parts of the puzzle that make up the finished product.

One bite at a time our right to live life under Godly, moral standards is being taken from us.  This is not new to this world.  Even a brief, look through “His-story” will show that one conquering ruler after another begins a battle plan, take-over plan, acquisition, one step at a time, one bite at a time.

Your voice matters. This day, I speak to you to rise up.

Submitted by Susan V. Carroll, Esq.

 

What do the Super Bowl & Family Law Have in Common?

The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs played Super Bowl LIV on February 2.  That game came after many arduous hours of training and studying, 4 preseason games, 16 regular season games, and at least 2 playoff games for each team.   It reflects a lot of preparation, a lot of work, a lot of managed stress.  Time has been spent preparing physically, mentally, and emotionally to get there.  Investments have been made to reap a return.  Each player’s body has been pushed strenuously, and some injuries have occurred.  Relationships may have been strained or lost.  Family and friends might have been put in the background.  Social life may have been ignored.

Going to the Super Bowl sounds like an exciting finality, but it means giving up some things to gain something really big.  And there is still a final decision to be made.

This process of getting to the Super Bowl parallels the process that a party works through in a child support, child custody or visitation, divorce, and any other family law case.  Each party is working to get to their “Super Bowl” to reach a final decision such as the support that’s needed for a child, the custody that’s in the best interest of the child, or the dissolution of a marriage that is irretrievably broken

In order to get to their “Super Bowl” there are some things that a party has to give.  There is preparation involved to begin and move forward in the process.  Time and money has to be invested by a party.  Personal time is used to prepare, review and compile documents. Parties must communicate with their attorney, and they may need to meet with a parenting evaluator or family counselor.  Costs of filing, of professionals, of transcripts, and of legal representation can be part of the investment in the process.  There can be physical, mental, and emotional strains on a party.  Hurt feelings and other injuries can occur.   Family and friends can be affected through this process and some relationships can be lost.  There may be rearranging of social and work schedules so that parenting courses can be taken, depositions and preliminary hearings can be attended, and mediation can be participated in.

Each party will need to give up some things to go for something that is really big.  The goal is to get to a hearing or an agreement.  A final decision will need to be made.

Not every team that makes it to the Super Bowl does this by winning every game along the way.  Just a look at this season for the New England Patriots and the New York Giants will attest to this.  Losses were made along the way, but those losses didn’t stop the teams from continuing to do what they needed to do when it mattered.  They continued on.

Parties in a family law matter must have the same resolve to get to their “Super Bowl”.  There may be a temporary loss.  There may be a compromise that is made along the way that a party sees as a loss.  Yet, they cannot lose sight of their goal to keep doing what is needed to move towards a final decision.  There’s a mentality that has to be maintained, a mentality of “We’re going to the Super Bowl!”.  Once there, you continue to do your best and strive for a “Super Bowl” decision in your favor.

The Pressure of Valentine

The heavy weight of loneliness can be suffocating, especially for those going through a divorce. Many don’t recognize that the death of a relationship elicits many of the same emotions as a physical death. However, instead of getting sympathy from friends and family, divorce often cuts a swath of destruction in many relationships for a multitude of reasons. Instead of comfort, many receive judgement and criticism. Loneliness compounded by rejection and strife on top of major change results in hurting people.

Holidays are often especially difficult for those who are hurting. It’s easy to assume that everyone else is happy and secure. Of course, this image is largely a function of the media and not necessarily based in reality. Valentine’s Day is accompanied by images of laughing couples and happy families, accentuating the loneliness a divorcee is feeling.

Here are three ways to combat feelings of isolation, on Valentine’s Day or any other day.

1. Refuse to play the comparison game. Write down the things you are thankful for and focus on what you have, not what others have. Put your list in your pocket and look at it throughout the day. When your mind starts to go down the path of longing for what others seem to have, rein in that thinking by reading your list.

2. Make a plan to do three random acts of kindness today. Look for opportunities to put a smile on someone else’s face.

3. Be kind to yourself. Indulge yourself in a treat. It doesn’t need to involve a big expense. Buy a book, take a walk in the park with your dog, or call a friend you’ve missed and haven’t taken time to connect with. Intentionally choose to do something that brings you pleasure.

There is no easy way to work through the pain of divorce. It takes time for a damaged heart to heal. Day by day, you are getting stronger. May you experience comfort in the unfailing love of God, today and every day.

Going to Court

Bay County Civil Law Division

COURTROOM CONDUCT

The Judges and Hearing Officer(s) assigned to the Civil Division in Bay County expect that all litigants, whether or not they are represented by attorneys, will conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion so that all parties will be afforded a fair opportunity to present their case.

The following are meant to assist you in meeting appropriate standards of conduct when you appear in court.

1. Be Truthful in all statements that you make in court. False statements under oath constitute perjury which is a criminal offense.

2. Do not call or write the judge. As a general rule, documents and testimony can be read or heard by the Judge only when in the presence of both parties.

3. Be courteous. Do not interrupt anyone who is speaking. If we have an objection to something a witness says, your attorney will say, AObjection@, and the court will allow her to state the nature of the objection.

4. Treat all the court personnel with respect, including bailiffs, judicial assistants, clerks, court investigators, self-help personnel, judges and hearing officers.

5. Do not make faces or gestures at the opposing party, his or her attorney, witnesses or the Judge while in the courtroom or the Judge=s chambers. Speak directly to the Judge or your attorney, not to the opposing party or a witness. You will be given an opportunity to be heard in court.

6. Show your respect for the court by wearing appropriate attire. Do not come to court in shorts, tank tops, blue jeans, T-shirts, or sneakers.

7. Do not bring food or beverages into the courtroom and do not chew gum or eat candy in the courtroom.

8. Make arrangements for someone to care for your children prior to appearing in court. DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO COURT without prior order signed by the Judge.

9. Be aware that witnesses you bring to court are not usually permitted to remain in the courtroom while you, your spouse or former spouse or other witnesses will testify.

10. The courthouse is located in a congested area. Parking is limited and time consuming. You must also be prepared to pass through a metal detector at the front door. Please arrive for your hearing at least 15 minutes before the hearing is scheduled to begin.

Panama City – Florida’s Divorce Capital

Panama City, Florida boasts about being  home of the the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” with international recognition for the natural beauty of our spot on Florida’s Emerald Coast.

But the title “Florida’s Divorce Capital” is not one you’ll see advertised but Panama City has the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita divorce rate in the nation.

According to data crunched by the Wall Street Journal in 2010, Florida is in the top ten states with the highest rates of divorce. When results are evaluated by county, Bay County (Panama City) had the highest rate of divorce in Florida.

Furthermore, the nationwide publication, The Daily Beast, reveals that Florida also has 11 of the 50 cities in America with the highest divorce rates. Their research reveals that Panama City has the highest per capita divorce rate in the nation, with nearly 16 percent of the population being divorced.

This is not news to Panama City divorce attorneys, who have to ask, “why?”

Florida marital counselor Dr. Joel Prather has several theories as to why Panama City is home to so many divorcees. These include:

• Couples coming to the area for job opportunities that are then lost, causing financial strain
• Disproportionate amount of military personnel in the area, leading to divorces when troops are deployed or when front-line troop members come home injured
• High joblessness rate among long-time residents due to company layoffs and other economic issues
• Easy access to bars, nightclubs, alcohol, creating a “party” atmosphere that can disrupt quality time spent nurturing a relationship
• Temptations found in that “party” atmosphere that may lead to infidelity

One significant factor contributing to the high divorce rate in Florida is the flexibility and simplicity of the state’s divorce-related laws. It is somewhat easier to obtain a divorce in Florida than in several other states.

Preparing for a Deposition

A “deposition” is witness’s sworn out-of-court testimony. The testimony is taken down by a court reporter who will then prepare a transcript that is used in trial preparation. A deposition is used to gather information as part of the “discovery” process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial. The witness being deposed is called the “deponent.”

Many clients get quite nervous in anticipation of a deposition and understandably so. Susan V. Carroll, of Carroll Law, P.A., educates her clients regarding what to expect.

Knowledge is power.

You are now able to glean the wisdom of Ms. Carroll’s years of legal experience in preparing clients for a deposition through this valuable recorded session.

See related post on “What Is a Deposition”

Going To Court

Bay County Civil Law Division

COURTROOM CONDUCT

The Judges and Hearing Officer(s) assigned to the Civil Division in Bay County expect that all litigants, whether or not they are represented by attorneys, will conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion so that all parties will be afforded a fair opportunity to present their case.

The following are meant to assist you in meeting appropriate standards of conduct when you appear in court.

1. Be Truthful in all statements that you make in court. False statements under oath constitute perjury which is a criminal offense.

2. Do not call or write the judge. As a general rule, documents and testimony can be read or heard by the Judge only when in the presence of both parties.

3. Be courteous. Do not interrupt anyone who is speaking. If we have an objection to something a witness says, your attorney will say, AObjection@, and the court will allow her to state the nature of the objection.

4. Treat all the court personnel with respect, including bailiffs, judicial assistants, clerks, court investigators, self-help personnel, judges and hearing officers.

5. Do not make faces or gestures at the opposing party, his or her attorney, witnesses or the Judge while in the courtroom or the Judge=s chambers. Speak directly to the Judge or your attorney, not to the opposing party or a witness. You will be given an opportunity to be heard in court.

6. Show your respect for the court by wearing appropriate attire. Do not come to court in shorts, tank tops, blue jeans, T-shirts, or sneakers.

7. Do not bring food or beverages into the courtroom and do not chew gum or eat candy in the courtroom.

8. Make arrangements for someone to care for your children prior to appearing in court. DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO COURT without prior order signed by the Judge.

9. Be aware that witnesses you bring to court are not usually permitted to remain in the courtroom while you, your spouse or former spouse or other witnesses will testify.

10. The courthouse is located in a congested area. Parking is limited and time consuming. You must also be prepared to pass through a metal detector at the front door. Please arrive for your hearing at least 15 minutes before the hearing is scheduled to begin.

Virtual Law Office

Online Legal Counsel for Carroll Law, P.A.

This site is powered by Virtual Law Office Technology which provides the same protections that you get when you bank online. This is different from other attorney websites using “contact us” forms which operate using email. Email is not encrypted and any messages sent to an attorney through email will not be secure.

Primary communications are done through this website over Secure HTTP, which provides you with the highest industry standard protection available on the web.

In order to use our online virtual law office, you must first agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use Policy, register a username and password, and provide additional personal information. This information will be used during your interaction and any following transactions with Carroll Law, P.A. to provide transactional legal services. Your information may be provided to a third party in order to provide the service you requested and/or as is required by law. All other use of your personal information will be limited to your attorney/client relationship, if one is established, with Carroll Law, P.A. By registering on our Web site as a potential client, you are representing that you are at least 18 years of age and able to enter into a binding contract with an Attorney. Furthermore, by registering, you represent that the information provided is correct, accurate, and current.

Our online virtual law office uses cookies to store a session ID. Therefore, in order to register on the website, cookies must be enabled so that we can provide you with a secure transaction.

To register securely now click on the link below:

http://www.totalattorneys.com/CarrollLaw

If you are already registered, click HERE.

Carroll Law, P.A.

Family Law and Divorce Attorney Serving Panama City, FL

The process of working out the details of divorce, child support, child custody, visitation or any other issue in a family law case involves careful planning and preparation.

Carroll Law, P.A., is committed to helping clients successfully navigate the legal system while minimizing the stress and anxiety of the process. Marital and family law can require extra care and consideration because of the emotional aspects involved. The consideration and ultimate decision to seek divorce may seem to create a heavy burden. We know that divorce can be very difficult and the uncertainty that accompanies major change can be rather overwhelming.

Susan Carroll has wisdom and experience in all types of marital law and family law. Her mission is to be your advocate and defender by supporting you in all legal issues related to family law. She is highly skilled and able to work with you to give you the options you need during this chapter of your life.

Our office has a solid philosophy about how we approach all types of family law cases based on truth, justice and protection. We understand that this time is likely to be one of the most difficult and traumatic times in your family’s lives. You will receive support, attention and the consideration that you deserve. Our dedicated legal team has worked with hundreds upon hundreds of family law cases. The experience that we have to offer is invaluable, and our devotion to your satisfaction is second to none.

We have dedicated our practice to supporting families. If you have a case involving any area of family law, we can offer you experienced legal advice, support, and representation. We represent clients in both contested and uncontested divorce, understanding the importance of a collaborative approach such as mediation when necessary to save time, money, and stress. We also offer flat fee divorce services if this aligns with your particular case and goals. For those who want minimal assistance, unbundled legal services can be accessed through the Virtual Law Office.

Carroll Law has the experience to effectively address the many issues that may arise during your divorce, such as child custody, child support, visitation, grandparents rights, dependency, property rights, property division, alimony, and the recovery of attorney’s fees.

Child Custody

When children are involved, divorce can obviously become more complicated and emotional. Concerns about whether the children should receive the care of a licensed counselor, where they should live, what type of visitation should be in place, and what is truly in the best interest of the children must be considered. It is through the tangle of these emotional concerns that the law must still be followed.

We approach child custody disputes, enforcement and modification with the utmost care, taking the time to fully understand our clients’ needs and concerns so we can develop a plan of action that will help them reach their goals. Although the Florida courts typically award shared custody, there are some circumstances where sole custody may be awarded to one parent because the other has a history of domestic violence or a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. No matter the circumstances of your case, you can count on Carroll Law to protect your parental rights.

Post-Divorce

There are a number of post-divorce related matters we can also address for our clients, such as the modification of child support, modification of child custody, or modification of alimony and the relocation of children. If you are having trouble receiving the support you are entitled to or your ex-spouse is not complying with custody or visitation orders, we can help with the enforcement of settlement agreements, enforcement of court orders, and contempt of court proceedings.

Our experience enables us to protect the rights of both civilian and military clients, mothers, fathers, step-parents and grandparents in all family law related matters. Our military clients from area installations such as Tyndall Air Force Base, Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and Naval Support Activity Base in Panama City are particularly well served by the instant access to the status of their legal case through our Virtual Law Office.

Unbundled Legal Services

“Unbundled” legal services is the deconstruction of specific legal documents or services from the totality of the legal representation. It allows you to choose “a la cart” either the legal documents you want to review with an attorney or even just how much of the attorney’s time you believe you need or can afford.

For example, if you were seeking a divorce and you choose to be a self-represented person you might purchase services to assist you in filling out the Petition for Dissolution, but you would not seek the attorney’s services regarding the other documents or services offered to clients seeking a divorce.

The unbundled services may include court coaching for a set price where the attorney walks you through the process and gives general legal advice to your particular situation. Being unbundled may result in a limited session or on a question by question basis. Sometimes, it may include some type of legal analysis regarding a particular document or course of action. In some instances you may purchase the services of the attorney at a fixed price for very specific services.

Carroll Law is prepared to serve you in the way that best meets your needs. Though full representation is ideal we understand that is not the choice of all clients. Our online Virtual Law Office expedites the availability of unbundled legal services where you may pick and choose which documents or which specific service you need representation in.

Call us at 850-785-9005 or send us a request through our secure Virtual Law Portal if we may assist you.