Thursday, February 9, 2023

Guardian ad Litems in Tampa Bay Custody Cases


Guardian ad Litems & Child Custody, Tampa Bay

A Guardian ad Litems or "GALS" purpose is to help to determine what will be in the best interest of the child, particularly in higher conflict child custody cases. A guardian ad litem shall have the powers, privileges, and responsibilities to the extent necessary to advance the best interest of the child. 

READ:  GAL's powers in Tampa Bay & Florida Child Custody Cases 

Does a Guardian ad Litem Advocate for Parents or Children?

The role of a Guardian Ad Litem’s is to advocate for the child’s best interests in family court. They should not show bias to either parent and they must adhere to Florida Law. No two child custody cases are alike, so a Guardian ad Litem should approach each case uniquely, and independently of any others. 

What Happens After a GAL's Evaluation?

Once the GAL has completed their investigation and evaluation, they will make their recommendations to a judge. Although not bound to the recommendation, the courts will heavily consider the GALs report. The courts should weigh all aspects of the case prior to making a ruling on child custody.

When can a GAL be Helpful?

There are times when asking the courts for a GAL may not be appropriate or necessary.  Where high conflict is present, a GAL can offer children the advocacy they deserve. Their reporting can help the courts decide how to rule in a variety of cases such as;

Parental Relocation with a Minor Child – If one parent requests to relocate with the minor children and the other objects, a GAL can be appointed as a helpful advocate for the best interests of the children. 

Parental Alienation – If a parent is being accused of parental alienation, the appointment of a GAL can be given powers to investigate the allegations. 

Allegations of Domestic Violence, Neglect, Abuse
When allegations of domestic violence are present, the first step is to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. Where domestic violence is suspected against the minor children, a judge may assign a GAL to investigate on their behalf. 

If a GAL is Appointed Should I Hire a Tampa Bay Child Custody Attorney?

Being represented by an experienced Tampa child custody litigation attorney when a GAL has been appointed is highly recommended. Your parental rights should be protected at all times in any child custody matter. Securing sound legal representation by hiring the best child custody attorney in Tampa Bay for you, can help to ensure that the GAL is following Florida Law and investigating without bias and in the best interest of the children. 

For information or to schedule a consultation call 813-879-4600

Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough County Family Law & Divorce Attorneys


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Losing Custody of Your Children in Tampa Bay

Losing Custody of Your Children in Florida

Losing custody of your children is a terrifying thought for most parents. There are several situations in which your parental rights can be challenged and as it applies here, by the other parent and the courts. Although outside agencies may intervene, we represent parents who are at risk of losing their children in a custody battle.  This can happen during contentious divorces or with unmarried parents. High conflict can suddenly arise and become persistent where co-parenting had been amicable. Left unaddressed this can become problematic. Under any of these circumstances, hiring the very best Tampa child custody attorney for you will be the first best step in protecting your parental rights.


Attorney Donald Gilbert on Emergency Motions & Child Custody Tampa

What Leads to Child Custody Challenges?

There are several things that can take place that can lead to having your parental rights taken from you. Some may be inflicted by the other parent or even family members, other things that may cause you to have child custody issues, may be "self inflicted." 

Parental Alienation - Parental alienation is real. It can lead to losing custody of a child because a mother or father tried and failed at defending themselves in court against false allegations by the other parent. If it is found that false allegations have been made in order to prevail in a custody battle, you may in fact end up losing custody or having your custody minimized. If you're experiencing this, it may be in your best interest to hire a Tampa Bay parental alienation lawyer to represent you. 

Best Interest of Children - No shows, neglect, instances of domestic violence, drugs or other behaviors not conducive to the best interest of the children can also lead to child custody problems and losing custody of your children. If you've been a victim of domestic violence and minor children are involved please consult with one of our Tampa Divorce & Family Law Attorneys about obtaining a domestic violence protective order in Tampa, FL.

Legal Paternity - Fathers who don't establish legal paternity, but who have established a relationship with their minor child may lose that enjoyment if the mother decides to move out of State. You can't lose custody of your child in Florida if it has not yet been legally established. You may however, lose the chance for a timesharing order if you miss the 6 month timeframe for filing to establish legal paternity in Florida if the mother relocates. (Florida Home State Rule) .  

Tampa child custody attorneys

If it is proven that shared custody and timesharing is simply not in the minor child’s best interest, it may be necessary to ask the courts for the appropriate relief. Relief may be in the form of one party losing physical custody, losing visitation or having their timesharing drastically reduced. Once this occurs, child support which is in part based on the number of overnight visits must be recalculated. Losing custody doesn't just have emotional consequences but almost always includes financial consequences. Family judges are permitted an enormous amount of discretion and they can order supervised timesharing if they deem it appropriate. 

Mediating Family Law & Child Custody Matters

When custody issues arise, depending on the circumstances mediation will likely be ordered. Mediation can be a highly effective tool in timesharing and custody conflicts and disagreements. When and if mediation is either not appropriate or fails, you'll want a seasoned Tampa child custody litigation attorney to represent your best interests. 

Contact Us

For information or to schedule a consultation call our law firm or visit us online and leave us a secure message. 


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

What is a Supplemental Petition for Modification in Florida Family Law?


What is a Supplemental Petition for Modification in Florida Family Law?


In Florida, a person can seek relief by utilizing a Supplemental Petition for Modification. This petition seeks to obtain relief in the form of financial or other relief such as a change of custody or timesharing. It is highly recommended to consult with a Tampa Family Law Attorney before you file as a pro-se litigant. If you've been served with a supplemental petition for modification of child custody, support or other family law matter, please scroll down to learn more. 

When filing a petition for modification, you must be confident that you or your lawyer will be able to prove to the courts that a modification is warranted and substantiated. 

Although you're permitted to represent yourself in family court in Tampa Bay ((pro se litigants ) time is of the essence and the rules of procedures must be followed. Pro-se litigants who believe that they have all of the information necessary to prove their case may not get the results they expect because they weren't familiar with court proceedings or rules of procedure. Although a fair amount of leeway is given to pro-se litigants, modifying family law court orders in Tampa Bay is a serious action, and you must be able to prove your case. 

Hiring an Experienced Tampa Family Law Attorney is Highly Beneficial when Seeking a Family Law Modification. 

"Not all evidence can be considered by the judge. Evidence must conform to the Rules of Evidence in Chapter 90 of the Florida Statutes to be admissible in court. The duty of establishing the facts that you want to present to the court, or the burden of proof, is on YOU. You should provide the judge with admissible evidence to support the claims in your petition and your statements in court." Source: Preparing Your Case and Gathering Evidence"

The above is just one example of why hiring a Tampa Family Law Attorney to represent you in a family law modification case. You may believe you have all of the evidence you need to win a child custody modification in Florida or other family law modification. A litigant may have a mound of evidence against the defendant but if the evidence doesn't comply and is found inadmissible, it cannot be used to establish a warranted modification. It's true that you know your story better than anyone but, words alone may not be enough to win your case.  Nilo J Sanchez & Associates Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Tampa have represented clients for over 25 years in family law modifications such as;

If you believe there has been a substantial, permanent and unintended change in circumstances since your last court order, call Nilo J Sanchez & Associates to schedule an affordable family law consultation. Our Tampa Family Law Firm represents clients who want the best family law or divorce attorney in Tampa Bay for their unique circumstances. If you need experienced, aggressive family law attorneys in Pinellas, Pasco and in Hillsborough County, FL. We offer family law consultations in person, by phone or via Zoom for your convenience. 

Been Served with a Supplemental Petition for Modification ?

If you've been served with a Supplemental Petition for Modification in Tampa Bay, you have 20 days to file your response. Failing to do so can result in what's called a "default judgement." Not only is time of the essence, but your initial answers to the petition to modify should be presented in your best interest.

Please read : 

You’ve Received a Supplemental Petition for Modification,
Now What?

Need Help Now? 
Call (813) 879-4600 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

COVID19 Bringing the Importance of Establishing Legal Paternity to Light

Establish Legal Paternity in Florida in the Time of COVID19

If you're an unmarried parent in Florida and you have not considered establishing legal paternity, COVID has been a sad reminder of the importance of doing so. Many unmarried  parents, whether living together or not, successfully co-parent and share time with their children without the intervention of a Florida Family Court. But, what if something catastrophic happens to either parent and why does it matter? 

Benefits of Establishing Legal Paternity in Florida

As a Tampa Paternity Attorney with over 25 years of experience, establishing legal paternity is usually in the very best interest of a minor child. Without first establishing paternity, the child  simply may not be entitled to the benefits that would otherwise be afforded to them should a catastrophic incident occur. In Florida, by default, unmarried mothers have sole custody and parental responsibility of their minor children. So, should the mother to fall ill or pass away prior to the establishment of paternity, the child would not be automatically awarded to the biological father. This is true even if that child has established a relationship with him. If the father passes, the child would not automatically be entitled to the father's insurance benefits or social security benefits if they were applicable. Remember, unless ordered and signed by a Judge, any private agreements between unmarried parents are not legally recognized or enforceable. 

Tampa Parental Rights Attorneys on Establishing Paternity

Aside from catastrophic situations, there are many advantages to establishing paternity legally. Once legal paternity is established in Florida your Tampa child custody attorney can motion the courts to (set) order timesharing and child support. Child support will likely be ordered in most cases and in accordance with Florida child support laws. 

There may be unique cases when child support is not be ordered, however, in most cases, the mother or father will be ordered to pay support. The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child's financial requirements are met and shared equally between both parents. Judges very rarely will deviate from the formula for calculating child support.  

Even though you may have been co-parenting amicably, should situations or attitudes change, legal paternity and court orders for timesharing and support will help to ensure that the rights of the mother and father are protected, but it also aids in keeping the child's best interests at the forefront. 

Read: Tampa Father's Parental Rights Attorney

           Tampa Mother's Parental Rights Attorney

Contact Tampa Paternity & Child Custody Attorneys 

Learn more about establishing legal paternity by visiting our website. Call 813-879-4600 to schedule a consultation with Tampa paternity lawyers Nilo J Sanchez & Associates, or you may leave a secure message on our website. 


Paternity lawyers Tampa Bay Florida

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Child Custody Attorneys Tampa, Parental Relocation Cases, Florida


Child Custody Attorneys, Tampa, FL

Representing Clients who need a Family Law Attorney in  Hillsborough, Pasco & Pinellas County

Relocating with a minor child can occur after a Final Judgment of Divorce has been entered or when a Final Judgment of Paternity has been signed by a family judge. When one party desires to relocate with the minor child or children in excess of 50 miles from their residence that was listed on the Final Divorce or Paternity Judgment in excess of the 50 mile radius, you must be granted permission by the courts before you relocate the child or children you share time with.  Doing so without permission can result in sanctions from the courts and it is highly recommended that you seek a Tampa child custody attorney to represent you in any parental relocation case or custody matter. 

How to File a Petition to Relocate with a Minor Child in Hillsborough County, FL

The parent seeking to relocate with the minor child in excess of 50 miles or outside the State of Florida, can do so by either obtaining the other parent’s written consent, which is put in the form of an agreement, or by obtaining prior court approval following a contested hearing. It is common for the other parent to object to the relocation as it can interfere with timesharing and the current parenting plan. If however, you are able to reach an agreement without going to court, it is still wise to seek the assistance of an experienced Child custody attorney in Tampa Bay. 

There are several things that should be addressed in any parental relocation agreement but here are examples of what should be included:

1. Include how the parties will consent to the relocation
2. Timesharing/Visitation and Custody schedule for the non relocating parent
3. Transportation details and arrangements related to access or time-sharing

When Parents Cannot Agree on the Relocation of their Minor Children out of Tampa Bay, FL

Under Florida law, unless there is an agreement between the parents allowing the relocation, the parent seeking to relocate must file a petition to relocate with a minor child and serve it upon the other parent .

Child relocation cases can be very challenging and hiring a parental relocation attorney is highly beneficial. Winning a parental relocation case if you are seeking to relocate for a job opportunity or for other reasons, must prove that it is in the very best interest of the children. It will be up to you and your attorney to show the courts why it is in the best interests of the children. The courts generally do not wish to interrupt timesharing with either parent. Having said this, there are several ways to reach your desired goals, based on the specifics of your situation. 

How to Stop the Relocation of a Minor Child out of Tampa Bay

If you have established a sound relationship with your child and the other parent wishes to relocate your child against your wishes, you should seek the legal counsel of a seasoned Tampa Bay Child Custody Lawyer. It is unwise to assume that a Judge will not permit a relocation, even if you have done all of the right things. Nilo J Sanchez & Associates specializes in parental relocation cases and understands how emotional they can be. In any child custody matter, it is highly beneficial to hire the best family law litigation attorney to represent you. Mr. Sanchez has the experience you need in high conflict or challenging family law matters. Highly respected by peers and top-rated by clients, Attorney Sanchez has extensive knowledge in Florida child custody cases. If you need to consult with a Tampa Bay child custody litigation attorney, we're currently representing clients in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough County, Florida. 

For more information or to schedule a consultation with a Tampa family law attorney, call 813-879-4600 or visit our website

Tampa child custody attorneys Nilo J Sanchez

Learn More About Child Custody & Relocation: Tampa Family Law News

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Enforcement of Timesharing and Parenting Plans Florida

Enforcement and Contempt of Timesharing Florida

In Florida, a petition for enforcement of timesharing and contempt should be filed with the courts if either parent is not complying with a timesharing or parenting plan order. 

Tampa divorce and child custody attorneys Nilo J Sanchez & Associates represents parents who need representation in enforcement, contempt or modification of parenting plans.  If you need a child custody attorney in Brandon, Tampa, Lutz, Dade City, Clearwater or St. Petersburg, look to the law firm of Nilo J Sanchez & Associates. 

Court Ordered Timesharing Interference 

There are remedies when a parent is interfering with court ordered time-sharing.  A court ordered parenting plan  defines the terms of time-sharing and child custody. When parents do not abide by timesharing orders, it is beneficial to seek relief. Hiring a Tampa child custody attorney who can help you to assert your parental rights. 

Not Following Your Parenting Plan in Florida

When a parent disregards a court ordered parenting plan and willfully is not following a court order your attorney can motion the courts so it can be addressed and rectified. Attorney Sanchez has 25 years of experience in child custody matters and understands that when a parent does not follow the parenting plan, it can be stressful on the other parent and even financially inconvenient.

What are Timesharing Enforcement Orders?

When an enforcement order is filed with the court, the parent is looking for a recommendation and modifications of timesharing and custody as well as child support. If the judge finds a parent in contempt there are many remedies including fines that the court can order. Losing timesharing, parenting classes and other options are available to the courts including incarceration if found in civil contempt.
enforcement orders for timesharing parenting plans custody Hillsborough county fl
ruling on issues relating to time-sharing and custody. This can mean

Tampa Family Law & Child Custody Attorney

Resolve time-sharing or child support issues begins with a consultation with a Tampa Child Custody Attorney.  Speaking with a lawyer is the first step to learning if filing an order of enforcement of timeshare would be in your best interest. You may have been served with a notice of hearing for enforcement of time-sharing. If this is the case, than it will be beneficial to seek legal representation before you go to court. The burden of proof is on the party seeking enforcement, and you will need to show that you were compliant or that you were not willfully disregarding your order.

Call: 813-879-4600 for a consultation.

Tampa Child Custody Attorney on Rights of Unmarried Parents

Sole Parental Responsibility & Timesharing Unmarried Parents - Florida

Child custody attorney Brandon, Lutz, Dade City, Clearwater Tampa
Both mothers and fathers who are not married may ask the courts for sole parental responsibility once paternity is established. Sole parental responsibility differs from physical custody or "timesharing."  

In Florida, unmarried mothers are considered to have sole legal and physical custody of a child until paternity is legally established. If you are an unmarried mother, establishing legal paternity will help to secure child support. Doing so sooner rather than later, can help you to avoid financial difficulties. Alternatively, fathers who wish to establish a relationship with their child, should establish paternity either by agreement with the mother or other acceptable means by order of the courts especially if you wish to foster a relationship with your child.

50/50 Timesharing Florida

Florida does not have a
presumption rule for 50/50 custody or timesharing however, the courts  do lean towards equal timesharing when it is in the best interest of the children. Fostering a relationship with both the mother and father is considered in the best interest of the child. Thus, shared parental responsibility and 50/50 timesharing is frequently awarded unless there are specific reasons why timesharing should have limitations. 

Unmarried Fathers in Tampa Bay have rights and responsibilities to their children. Tampa Family Law Attorney, Nilo J Sanchez & Associates will fight for your parental rights.

"Hire a Tampa child custody andchild support attorney who has the experience and knowledge you need."

Attorney Sanchez has 25 years of experience and knowledge representing parents who have
high conflict child custody issues. Hiring the right Tampa child custody lawyer for your situation, whether you need a lawyer to protect your parental rights or to assist you with a child support issue, will be most beneficial

Why Tampa Bay Fathers Should Establish Paternity

If you have not yet established legal paternity, you have no legal rights to make decisions for your child. Without an order from the courts, you have no rights to "visitation" ( timesharing ) with your child. Frequently, unmarried parents may start out parenting amicably. When challenges or disagreements arise, fathers or mothers who have not yet established paternity may decide that they no longer wish to provide financial support or allow timesharing.

Additionally, fathers who are being denied timesharing and who have contributed financially, may abruptly stop doing so. When paternity is established and a timesharing and parenting plan is in place, Attorney Sanchez can file a motion for enforcement and contempt of timesharing should you be denied timesharing. 

When you stop financially supporting your child prior to establishing paternity, it may not be beneficial if and when the father decides to establish paternity or if the mother seeks to obtain an
order for child support. It is best to consult with a Tampa Father's rights attorney before making any abrupt decisions.

Disestablishing Paternity Tampa Bay

It is important to consider hiring a Tampa Bay child custody attorney to establish paternity if you have recently had a child or if you are expecting a child and you are unmarried. Understanding your parental rights and responsibilities is important even prior to the child's birth. Once a father's name is on a birth certificate, this is considered a legal means of establishing paternity in Florida. If for some reason, you suspect the child is not yours or if you are later told the child is not yours but you have signed the child's birth certificate, you will need to seek to disestablish paternity to avoid being financially responsible for the child, if you wish to challenge that you are the child’s father.