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Park Place Offices
10019 Park Place Ave.
Riverview, FL 33578
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Phone:
(813) 671-4300
Fax:
(813) 671-4305

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Family Law

Family Law including Divorce, Child Support, Custody, and Visitiation,  alimony, nuptial agreements, guardianship, and domestic partnership agreementsFamily law issues are usually difficult.  Often they involve significant emotional conflict and economic uncertainty. Our goal is to help you through this difficult time as quickly and effectively as possible.  Allen Law, P.A. can do this by anticipating issues and keeping up-to-date on trends that are important to you and your situation. 

Allen Law, P.A. will give you an accurate and honest assessment of your case and we believe strongly in keeping our clients apprised of the benefits to be gained in relation to the amount of attorney's fees you will incur in following a certain course of action.  We want to help you resolve the situation you are in with as little expense and emotional turmoil as possible.  We will advise you of your options, make a recommendation, but the choice is ultimately yours. 

Each of the members of our firm have families of their own and understand the importance of an approach that takes into consideration the issues, needs and concerns of each member of the family, especially when a family is in the process of separating.  Allen Law, P.A. can assist families with the following areas of family law:

Divorce

Divorce can be stressful and can have significant emotional and economic impacts on everyone involved in the family. Knowing what options are available to you can help reduce that stress by understanding what lies ahead of you.  If you are considering divorce and have questions with regards to your rights, the process, and the anticipated costs, contact Allen Law, P.A. for a free* initial consultation. 

Simplified Divorce

Florida provides a simplified divorce process for parties who have no children and where neither spouse is seeking alimony.  Certainly, this is the least costly of all the alternatives of divorce and often times can by handled without an attorney.  Even so, Allen Law, P.A. can help the parties with the drafting of the paperwork necessary to effect a simplified dissolution for a minimal fee.  Contact us today for your free* initial consultation.

Uncontested Divorce

If you do not qualify for simplified dissolution, but you and your spouse agree on everything, an uncontested divorce can help shorten the process and limit the cost to both parties. This will also have the least impact emotionally on you and your children if both parties are able to reach agreement before undertaking a marital dissolution action. The parties must agree on how property and liabilities will be divided, what, if any alimony will be paid, and custody and visitation arrangements.  Child support is determined by statute, and even though the court may take into consideration other various factors, often times it is the guidelines provided in the statute that sets the child support.  Contact Allen Law, P.A. today to discuss your uncontested divorce.  The initial consultation is free*.

Contested Divorce

In many divorce cases, differences manifest and prevent both parties from a smooth and cooperative divorce. If there are numerous issues to be resolved, the process can become lengthy and drawn-out making the contested divorce very costly. Unlike a simplified or uncontested divorce action, representation by an attorney becomes even more important so that your rights are protected.

In a contested divorce the parties will first enter mediation before any judicial intervention. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement during mediation or through a negotiated settlement agreement, the divorce matter will move to trial. Like other regular court trials, evidence will be presented and testimony will be taken in front of a judge who will determine the verdict for your divorce case. As part of the representation, Allen Law, P.A. helps you investigate and gather information through discovery prior to the trial.

Allen Law, P.A. understands how hard it is to get out from a marriage and we will fight hard for you and help you to move forward. Contact us today to set up your free* initial consultation.

Limited Representation

Allen Law, P.A. understands that divorce can be costly and that today more and more people are choosing to enter into a divorce proceeding on their own (in other words, pro se – you are choosing to represent yourself).  There may be times, however, during this process where you may need assistance with a specific aspect of the case, such as a motion for temporary child support or alimony, temporary relief, or with writing the settlement agreement or proposed final order.  Allen Law, P.A. is here to help with a limited representation aimed at providing you that specific assistance.  Contact us today to set up your free* initial consultation.

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Child Support, Custody and Visitation (including Modification)

Child Support

Child support is governed by Florida Statute and is based on a variety of factors.  Even though parents of a child may agree on the amount of child support that will be paid, often parents are surprised when the court sets a different amount in its order for child support.  It is the statutes, and not the parents, who eventually drive the determination of the appropriate amount of child support that one party will pay to the other party.

Child support is not necessarily just a part of a marital dissolution. Couples with children who are not married can also be parties to an action for child support. If you are a single parent who never married the parent of your child, contact Allen Law, P.A. for a free* initial consultation to determine if you want to seek child support to help with the cost of raising your child. If you are being sued for child support, you may want to seek legal advice to ensure that any child support that is ordered is the appropriate amount.

Modification of Child Support

Once child support is ordered, it can be modified.  The first step is determining whether Florida can assume jurisdiction to modify the child support.  If the initial child support order was issued by a Florida court, then Florida has continuing jurisdiction and can entertain a petition to modify support.  If another state issued the original child support order (that state had original jurisdiction), Florida can only entertain a petition if

  1. None of the parties to the original order reside in the state that issued the original support order, and
  2. The child resides in the state of Florida. 

If one of the parties continues to reside in the state that had original jurisdiction, then that state has continuing jurisdiction to consider modifications.  If all of the parties have left the state with original jurisdiction, the state where the child now resides will retain jurisdiction over the child and is the appropriate state to seek a child support modification.

Second, Florida requires a substantial change in circumstances before it will entertain a new order. This generally means either a significant increase or decrease in one of the parent's income, or an increase or decrease in parenting time that could effect the calculation of child support. Allen Law, P.A. can help you determine whether seeking a child support modification is appropriate in your case. Contact us today for a free* initial consultation.

Child Custody and Visitation

If the parents of a child cannot agree on a time-sharing plan of the children, a court will decide the issue for them.  Sometimes this may require a court ordered third-party assessment of the child (or children) and the parents. The key words for child custody and visitation is “best interest of the child.”  Because the State of Florida wants to encourage equal parenting time, the courts will start off with a 50/50 split of time with the child and will adjust the parenting time share plan as it considers what is in the best interest of the child.

The majority of time, child custody and visitation is determined as part of a marital dissolution action. But, this may not be the case where the parents have never married and one party is seeking to obtain a court ordered arrangement. Allen Law, P.A. can help you seek your rights as a parent for access to your child. Contact us today for a free* initial consultation.

Modification of Child Custody and Visitation

The jurisdictional issues that apply to modification of child support discussed above similarly apply to modification of child custody and visitation.  If since the original time sharing or custody and visitation plan there has been a substantial change in circumstances between the parties, modification of the original order may be appropriate.  Allen Law, P.A. is  here to help you determine whether the changed circumstances are substantial enough to warrant a petition to the court for a modification.  Contact Allen Law, P.A. today for your free* initial consultation.

In a contested divorce the parties will first enter mediation before any judicial intervention. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement during mediation or through a negotiated settlement agreement, the divorce matter will move to trial. Like other regular court trials, evidence will be presented and testimony will be taken in front of a judge who will determine the verdict for your divorce case. As part of the representation, Allen Law, P.A. helps you investigate and gather information through discovery prior to the trial.

Allen Law, P.A. understands how hard it is to get out from a marriage and we will fight hard for you and help you to move forward. Contact us today to set up your free* initial consultation.

Limited Representation

Allen Law, P.A. understands that divorce can be costly and that today more and more people are choosing to enter into a divorce proceeding on their own (in other words, pro se – you are choosing to represent yourself).  There may be times, however, during this process where you may need assistance with a specific aspect of the case, such as a motion for temporary child support or alimony, temporary relief, or with writing the settlement agreement or proposed final order.  Allen Law, P.A. is here to help with a limited representation aimed at providing you that specific assistance.  Contact us today to set up your free* initial consultation.

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Guardianship

Guardianship over a person and/or the person's property sometimes becomes necessary due to a person's age, disability, or incapacity. Florida recognizes the least restrictive means method of Guardianship, which means that proper advanced planning by execution of a durable power of attorney, health care directive and/or living will may help avoid costly guardianship altogether. But not all situations lend themselves to advanced planning, and in those situations where none of these documents exist, a person will have to Petition for Incapacity and seek guardianship over the person and/or property. A person for whom a guardian has been appointed is called a "ward" and during the course of the appointment of the guardian over the ward, the court provides careful oversight of the guardian's acts on behalf of the ward by requiring court permission for certain acts, and filing of annual reports and accountings.

Seeking guardianship can be a very emotional, but necessary, undertaking. It is important to choose an attorney who not only understands guardianship laws and procedures to help ensure that all the court's requirements of the guardian are being met during the course of the appointment, but who can guide you through the process with compassion and understanding. Allen Law, P.A. understands and can help.

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Karla Carnes Allen of Allen Law, P.A.
10019 Park Place Ave.   |   Riverview, FL 33578   |   Phone: (813) 671-4300   |   Fax: (813) 671-4305
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Allen Law, P.A. proudly serves clients in the cities of Tampa, Apollo Beach, Bartow, Beach Park, Bloomingdale, Brandon, Brooksville, Carrollwood, Dade City, Gibsonton, Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulf Port, High Point, Hyde Park, Inverness, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Largo, Lealman, Lutz, Mango, New Port Richey, Northdale, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Plant City, Pinellas Park, Riverview, Ruskin, Seminole, St Petersburg, Seffner, Sun City Center, Tarpon Springs, Town 'n' Country, Thonotosassa, Valrico, Winter Haven, and Zephyrhills; in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Citrus County, Hernando County, Pasco County, and Polk County; and throughout Florida.

* Most initial consultations are free for the first thirty minutes; however, some consultations may require a nominal fee that may be credited toward your retainer if you decide to engage our services. Consultations which exceed thirty minutes also may require a nominal fee based on a reduced hourly rate. Initial consultations are extended to first time potential clients on a firm wide basis. Please contact this office in order to determine if your particular issue will require a consultation fee. In the event that you arrive at our office and the legal issue as presented by you does not fall into the practice area where a free consultation is provided, Allen Law reserves the right to charge a fee at that time prior to meeting with you. The purpose of an initial consultation is for the attorney to advise you, the prospective client what, if anything, may be done for you, and what the minimum fee therefore 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 allotted for a consultation or with the (information or documents) that you may be able to provide at the initial consultation; therefore, the information provided to you at your initial consultation will be general in nature. If you seek specific legal advice, Allen Law, P.A. will be happy to render a legal opinion with regard to your matter at our regular hourly rate.

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