terminate father's rights

Under Florida family law, when a child is born to a married couple the husband is presumed to be the child’s biological father. See Florida Statute §382.013. However, it is very common for the husband to not be the child’s father. This can occur due to separation without divorce, adultery, or other reasons. Regardless, there may be a legal way to disestablish paternity and terminate father’s rights in Florida. For assistance with how to terminate father’s rights in Florida contact a child custody lawyer in Tampa. The procedures and advise will vary based on the specifics of each case.

Terminate Father’s Rights in Florida With Rule 1.540

Generally, there are two ways to legally disestablish paternity and terminate father’s rights. The first is under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.  Rule 1.540 allows a father to obtain relief from a judgment, decree or order within 1 year of its entry. For instance, this Rule may be applicable to overturning a divorce decree requiring child support to be paid. The grounds for relief under Rule 1.540 include, mistake, fraud, misrepresentation, or newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been previously discovered. Satisfying the conditions for relief under Rule 1.540 can be difficult without legal experience or training. Therefore, anyone seeking relief under Rule 1.540 should consider retaining a child custody lawyer in Tampa.

Terminate Father’s Rights in Florida Under 742.18

Florida Statute 742.18 can also provide a means to terminate father’s rights and child support. Proceeding under this law can be difficult, it is strongly recommended to retain a Tampa child custody attorney to assist you.  In order to obtain relief under this statute, the father must include all of the following in the petition.

  1. An affidavit stating that newly discovered evidence relating to the paternity of the child has come to the petitioner’s knowledge since the initial paternity determination or establishment of a child support obligation.
  2. Scientific tests administered within 90 days of the petition showing the petitioner is not the father of the child. Alternatively, the petitioner can allege access to the test was not available.
  3. The petitioner is current or substantially complied with all child support obligations

It is important to note, including the above three elements in the petition is not enough to terminate father’s rights in Florida. The three elements above are necessary to file a valid petition, it does not guarantee success in the case. The petitioner must also prove 7 additional elements beyond a preponderance of the evidence in order to previal.  For a full list of the seven elements that must be proven click here or contact a Tampa child custody attorney.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

Regardless of whether you need to terminate father’s rights, are a mother seeking to obtain child support, or a father trying to gain visitation rights, Florida Law Advisers can help.  To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Tampa child custody attorney call us today at 800 990 7763. We are available to take your call 24/7.

stop collection calls

If you are being harassed by creditors bankruptcy can provide an immediate answer for how to stop collection calls. Under bankruptcy law, as soon as a bankruptcy case is filed an automatic stay will go into effect. The stay requires creditors to stop collection calls and all collection activity against you immediately. Creditors and collection agencies will not be able to contact you, garnish your wages, or repossess your property while the automatic stay is in effect.

If a creditor continues to attempt to collect a debt while the stay is in effect you may be able to sue that creditor. In most Chapter 7 cases, the automatic stay will remain in effect until your bankruptcy case is discharged. The automatic stay is available under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are unsure about which Chapter is right for you to stop collection calls contact a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa.

How to Stop a Foreclosure Auction

The automatic stay will not just stop collection calls, it will also force a foreclosure auction to be cancelled. If there is a bankruptcy stay in place your mortgage lender will not be able to file a foreclosure law suit. If the lender already initiated a foreclosure lawsuit, the foreclosure action must be put on pause until the stay is no longer effect. Further, the automatic stay will even stop a foreclosure sale that has already been scheduled.

The stay should remain in effect until either the bankruptcy is discharged or the lender obtains an order from bankruptcy court granting them relief from the stay. However, if the Trustee abandons the property it will no longer be considered property of the bankruptcy estate, and thus not subject to the stay. In most cases, a mortgage lender will file petitions for relief from the stay. Therefore, it is important you have a seasoned Tampa bankruptcy lawyer at your side to help prevent the lender from obtaining relief from the stay.

Stop Collection Calls

The automatic stay does not stop collection calls from all creditors. Bankruptcy law provides for many exceptions from the automatic stay. A list of some of these exceptions are below, for a more complete list of exceptions See 11 USC §362 or contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa.

  • Child support
  • suspension of a driver’s license
  • Property that is not part of the bankruptcy estate
  • an audit by a governmental unit to determine tax liability;
  • criminal court proceedings

Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa

At Florida Law Advisers, P.A., our Tampa bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience helping people just like you to solve their financial problems and stop collection calls. We understand that these are very difficult times and are here to help. We have many options available that can help you successfully manage your debt and regain your financial health. The right course of action will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. To see which options may be available to you, contact us to today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer at our firm.

Florida child support

Under Florida DUI law, a driver can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony offense for drunk driving. Misdemeanor DUI cases are heard in county court, on the other hand, felony DUI cases are heard in circuit court. The circumstances of the arrest will determine whether or not the driver will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI. Both felony and misdemeanor convictions can have serious repercussions for the driver. A driver facing DUI charges should always seek the aid of a DUI defense lawyer in Tampa, regardless if he is facing a misdemeanor or felony DUI charge.

The penalties for drunk driving under Florida DUI law will vary based on the circumstances of the arrest. For instance, if any of the circumstances below are present in your DUI case you may be subjected to an enhanced DUI charge.

• DUI resulting in serious bodily injury. Florida DUI law defines serious bodily injury as, “a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” See Florida Statute §316.1933
• DUI with property damage or non-serious bodily injury
• DUI resulting in death
• DUI with a minor in the vehicle
• Driving with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher

If the driver has prior convictions for drunk driving the charges will be enhanced and result in harsher penalties. Further, the previous DUI convictions do not need to occur in Florida, convictions in other states can be used to enhance a Florida DUI charge. As the number of prior convictions increases, the sentences and penalties will increase exponentially. For instance, if the defendant has three DUI convictions within 10 years, the defendant could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison. The previous offenses are considered convictions on the date the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by the court. Four or more DUI convictions will be charged as a felony, regardless of how long ago the convictions occurred.

In order to be convicted of an enhanced DUI based on prior convictions, the State will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant has prior DUI convictions. Defendants are constitutionally protected from being compelled to disclose prior DUI convictions. See Meehan v. State. Therefore, the prosecutor will need to rely on other evidence, such as certified copies of the prior DUI judgments. Driving records alone will not be sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant has prior DUI convictions. See State v. Pelicane. A DUI defense attorney can make an argument that some of the evidence used to prove prior a conviction is hearsay and inadmissible in a court of law under Florida Statute 322.201. If the State fails to meet its burden, the charges will not be enhanced based on prior convictions.

If you have been arrested for DUI, you should hire competent legal counsel, especially if you have prior DUI convictions. Florida DUI law takes a tough stance on drivers with multiple DUI’s. The penalties for drivers with prior DUI convictions will be more harsh than the penalties for first time offenders. Fortunately, a skilled Tampa DUI lawyer can raise defenses to the accusations and try to get the charges against you dropped. At Florida Law Advisers, P.A. our team of skilled DUI attorneys have years of experience representing clients with prior DUI convictions. We carefully scrutinize every detail of a case to identify any potential errors by police, violations of constitutional rights, mishandling of evidence, or sloppy police work we can use to help our clients. We know how much our clients have at stake in DUI cases, and we work diligently to aggressively defend our clients.

wipe out debt

If you are overwhelmed with bills and need to wipe out debt you should talk to an attorney about bankruptcy. Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can be an effective tool to wipe out debt in bankruptcy. If a debt is discharged in bankruptcy the borrower (debtor) will be released from personal liability on the debt. Further, the discharge prohibits a creditor from taking any collection action against the borrower. However, there are many nuances of bankruptcy law which can prevent a discharge of certain debts. Therefore, it is important to seek counsel from a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa before taking action. There may be potential pitfalls to bankruptcy you would not be aware of without competent legal counsel.

Wipe Out Debt with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy law provides for different rules of discharge in Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy to wipe out debt. This article will discuss using a  discharge of debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to wipe out debt. Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, which means a debtor may be required to sell certain assets as a condition of the bankruptcy. On the other hand, Chapter 13 is a restructuring bankruptcy, instead of selling assets to pay creditors you create a payment plan to pay back the amount owed. For more information on Chapter 13 bankruptcy click here or call us to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa.

Requirements to Wipe Out Debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In order for a debt to be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy, the debt must have been originated prior to filing the bankruptcy petition. In addition, the debt must be listed on the bankruptcy petition. If the debt is not included it will not be eligible for a discharge, even if it was originated prior to the bankruptcy filing. Thus, debtors should meticulously review all accounts with their bankruptcy lawyer prior to filing the bankruptcy petition to ensure all the debts are included. Unfortunately, satisfying this condition alone is not enough to ensure you will wipe out debt in bankruptcy. There are numerous grounds for the court to deny a discharge in Chapter 7, these include but are not limited to:

  • Actions by the debtor to conceal, mutilate, falsify or destroy documentation evidencing the debtor’s financial condition or transactions. See §11 U.S. 727(a)(3)
  • Failing to preserve documentation evidencing the debtor’s financial condition or transactions. However, if the lack of preservation was justified under the circumstances the discharge will not be denied.
  • Knowingly and fraudulently making a false oath or presenting/ using a false claim.
  • Personal injury lawsuits stemming from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Transferring property or incurring debt within the 2 years preceding bankruptcy and the debtor:
    1. Intended to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor; or
    2. Received less than a reasonable equivalent of value in exchange for the transfer or a debt obligation incurred; and
      1. was insolvent on the date that the transfer was made, or became insolvent as a result of the transfer; or
      2. intended to incur, or believed that the debt incurred would be beyond the debtor’s ability to pay

Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa

If you are having a difficult time meeting your financial obligations Florida Law Advisers, P.A. may be able to help wipe out debt in bankruptcy. Our Tampa bankruptcy lawyers have years of experience helping people just like you solve their financial problems and obtain a fresh start. We will help ensure your rights are protected, keep you well-informed every step of the way, and help you receive the utmost protection bankruptcy can offer. To schedule a free consultation with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer at our firm call, email, or fill out an online inquiry on our website today

How Chapter 13 payments are calculated

In order to be convicted of a DUI in Florida, the prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant: (1) drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle; (2) was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, a chemical substance listed in Florida Statute 877.111, or a controlled substance listed in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes; and (3) was impaired or had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher. If the prosecutor fails to prove all three of the above elements the defendant must be found not guilty of a DUI. Typically, in Florida DUI cases the prosecutor will rely on chemical blood alcohol tests, field sobriety tests, police videotapes, and testimony of the arresting officer to prove their case. However, sometimes the State loses evidence or fails to disclose all the evidence they have. When this occurs, you may be legally entitled to have the DUI charges against you dropped. Therefore, if you were arrested for a DUI it is important to hire a DUI defense attorney right away. An experienced DUI attorney can review the details of your case and help identify if there are legal grounds to get the charges against you dismissed.

If the State destroys evidence or fails to disclose material exculpatory evidence in a DUI case the defendant may have legal grounds to get the charges dismissed. See Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.220. Material exculpatory evidence is evidence that is favorable to the defendant and has a reasonable probability of affecting the outcome of the case. For instance, if the State fails to disclose evidence that the Defendant passed the field sobriety test a DUI defense lawyer may have grounds for a motion to dismiss the DUI charges. Material evidence that only has the potential to be exculpatory requires a showing of bad faith by the police officers in order to justify a dismissal. On the other hand, material evidence that is exculpatory does not require bad faith for a dismissal of the charges.

In State v. Gomez, the court elaborated on the difference between potentially exculpatory and exculpatory evidence, it ruled that exculpatory evidence, “possess an exculpatory value that was apparent before the evidence was destroyed, and be of such a nature that the defendant would be unable to obtain comparable evidence by other reasonably available means.” For instance, in State v. Walker, the police failed to maintain the vehicle containing a crash data recorder. State v. Walker, 9 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 623 (Fla. 20th Cir. Ct. Aug. 2, 2002). The court declined to dismiss the charges, citing the fact that the recorder could have indicated the driver was actually speeding, which would have not been favorable evidence for the defendant.

In order to prove bad faith there must be evidence showing there was a willful and intentional destruction of evidence or lack of disclosure. Negligence by the police is not enough to support a showing of bad faith. Further, even grossly negligent destruction or failure to disclosure may not qualify as bad faith.

If you have been accused of a DUI in Florida call us to schedule a free case review with a Tampa DUI attorney. We carefully scrutinize every detail of each case to identify any potential errors by police, violations of constitutional rights, mishandling of evidence, or sloppy police work that we can use to help our clients. Every DUI case is unique, so we carefully develop a comprehensive legal strategy that is individualized for each client. To find out if we can help you beat the DUI charges or for answers to your legal questions, contact us today by phone, email, or website form to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa DUI lawyer at our firm.