General information on dissolution of marriage

Video: Professor Atwood Discusses Changes in Family Law Part 1

Barbara Atwood of the University of Arizona discusses how family law has changed in this video from Divorce TV:


Mediation FAQs

The Twelfth Judicial Circuit of Florida (DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties) provides the following FAQs for family mediation:

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is an informal meeting where the parties work out mutually agreeable settlements in Family Court cases.  Parties have the opportunity to explore options and negotiate voluntary agreements that may be submitted to the Court for approval.

Who participates?

Family Mediation provides an opportunity for parties involved in family litigation to engage in a facilitated discussion about the specific issues in their case.  Counsel for each party may attend the conference.  Other third parties may only participate if both sides agree.

What issues can be discussed?

Read more

Time-Sharing and the Super Bowl

A quirky article by Rob Hahn in the Huffington Post compares time-sharing to the Super Bowl.  Below is an excerpt:

Thousands of fans crowded into Cowboys Stadium, and millions more watched it on television. They’re the most important part of this entire equation. Without fans, the NFL would not be such a huge success. And I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that if one team played only one quarter of Sunday’s game, the fans would feel cheated. They want to see both teams equally involved. Children are no different. Studies indicate the large majority of children want to spend and benefit from time with both parents, not just 20- or 25-percent but an equal amount of participation.

Video: Psychological Stages of Divorce

The following video from eHow describes psychological stages of divorce:

Video: Reducing the Costs of Your Divorce

The following video from eHow describes how spouses may reduce the costs of their divorce:

Parties should utilize alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation to help them reach agreements and reduce time and expense.

Parental Responsibility

“Parental responsibility” is the authority to make decisions regarding your child’s healthcare, religion, education, and other issues unique to your family.  You may have heard parental responsibility referred to as “legal custody,” though this term is no longer used in Florida.

Courts will generally order one of three possibilities for parental responsibility:

Two New Additions to Hillsborough County’s Family Law Bench

Two judges have recently joined Hillsborough County’s Family Law/Domestic Relations Division.  Below you will find brief profiles:

The Honorable Cheryl K. Thomas

The Honorable Cheryl K. Thomas joined the Family Law Division in January 2011.  Judge Thomas was initially appointed to the bench in December of 2000 and then elected in September 2002.  Judge Thomas has also served in the county criminal and county civil courts.

Judge Thomas has been involved in the following organizations:

  • Progress Village Little League;
  • Coalition of 100 Black Women;
  • Greater Friendship M.B. Church; and
  • Women’s Army Corps.

The Honorable Thomas P. Barber

The Honorable Thomas P. Barber joined the Family Law Division in January 2011.  Judge Barber was initially appointed to the bench in 2004 and then elected in 2006.  Judge Barber has also served in the circuit criminal and county criminal courts, as well as the Election Canvassing Board.

Judge Barber has authored numerous articles and taught complex litigation and trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at Stetson Law School.  Further, Judge Thomas has been involved in the following organizations:

  • Meals on Wheels;
  • Tampa Crossroads;
  • Bay Area Legal Services; and
  • Cub Scouts.

Restrictions on Time-Sharing

Sometimes–such as when there is a history of domestic violence–courts order restrictions on time-sharing.  A video from GetLegal describes options that are available for restricted time-sharing.

Video: Preparing for a Child Custody Hearing

GetLegal offers a helpful video on preparing for an evidentiary hearing in a child custody matter:

Video: Another Warning About Facebook and Divorce

The following video from Fox 25 out of Boston warns family law litigants of the dangers of posting information on social networking sites such as Facebook: