My recap of recent events: Currently, we are preparing for an upcoming trial, which will conclude a case that has been ongoing for the past 2 years. This case is interesting due to a growing trend. The husband is seeking alimony from the wife; twenty years ago, that would have been extremely rare; however, today, it is becoming more commonplace. Cases like this contribute to the motivation behind the proposed new alimony law in Florida and allow us to utilize our experience coupled with our knowledge of upcoming developments in Florida family law to be fervent advocates for our clients and to place them in an advantageous position.
Recently, there has been some confusion regarding the proposed new alimony law that Governor Scott recently vetoed. Many Floridians have been experiencing apprehension concerning future alimony and custody laws. The proposed law would significantly alter alimony and custody judgments and although it was vetoed, it will be back on the table next year. We are optimistic that any new alimony and custody law passed will be fair and beneficial to all Floridians.
Recent interesting things:
We had an interesting case involving an individual with a hoarding affliction who was evicted from his home as part of a domestic violence injunction. This particular person was collecting items for approximately 20 years. As part of the eviction, the client had to leave his collected items behind, which resulted in tremendous mental strain. The hoarding affliction had no connection to the allegations of domestic violence; however, this matter complicated the court order restriction that was placed on the client as he was forced to remain far away from his collection of items, which he had gathered over the years. The isolation from these items was tantamount to torture for this client.
Surprising facts department:
We continue to be surprised at the reaction from male clients about their chances for significant parenting time. There is a sense that men do not stand a chance in custody cases; however, many judges in Florida appear to be moving toward a 50/50 scenario. The proposed custody law will be back on the table next year and it calls for a starting point of 50/50 in custody cases, which is positive for men seeking significant time-sharing with their children. Therefore I would like to convey a message of hope and optimism to men who are seeking significant time-sharing with their minor children.
My outlook for the next few weeks:
Within the next few weeks, we will be preparing for more Tampa custody trials. Custody trials are difficult for all concerned. After all, we are dealing with the future of children. The decisions made by the court will likely affect the children for the rest of their lives. It is a heavy burden for the courts, for the lawyers, but most of all for the families involved.
What I would want my clients to know:
Even though clients are enduring a moment of crisis as a result of litigation, they should always keep hope alive. Once the litigation passes, there will be better times to come and the difficult times will pass.