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Lynette Silon-Laguna
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Lynette Silon-Laguna’s Answers

114 total


  • Hello How can I get my Ex-wife to pay Child support, Daycare, Medical insurance, Medical cost going to the doctor and medicine.

    She quit her last job as a paralegal for a personal injury lawyer to get out of the Income Witholding order. The income withholding order was just done couple months ago with the employers name on it. Can I send that to the new employer even if t...

    Lynette’s Answer

    You will have to send a copy of the Income Deduction Order to her new employer and send it certified mail/return receipt requested so that you have proof that it was received. You also mentioned that she is to pay for health insurance, half of the medical expenses and half of the daycare expense. I assume this is in your marital settlement agreement and/or final judgment that she is to do so. If she is not doing this, your only option is to proceed with a motion to enforce the final judgment and schedule a hearing on it. A mediation may be required prior to a hearing. Also, if you attend a hearing you will need to provide proof as to the health insurance, medical and daycare expenses that you have paid and of which she should have paid all or half. I wish you the best! Lynette

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  • I bought my house 5 mos before I got married, now 18 years later I want to get a divorce, is my husband entitled to 1/2 of house

    the house is payed for, and I am divorcing him because he is an alcoholic and spends all his money on drinking - I always bought everything that was needed for the house.

    Lynette’s Answer

    In a divorce, one of the more difficult areas for divorce attorneys may be determining the distribution of the parties' assets. First it must be determined what assets are non-marital. Normally, if an asset is purchased prior to the marriage then it would be considered premarital property and the party who purchased it prior to the marriage will receive it, except as stated in Fla. Statute § 61.075 (6)(a)1.b.: "The enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both."

    In this case, the purchase of a house prior to marriage would make it non-marital, unless the value and appreciation of the house has resulted from either the contribution or expenditure of marital funds. For example, the payment of the mortgage from marital funds would mean that the increase in value due to the payments would be marital and subject to division in the divorce. Fla. Statute § 61.075(6)(a)1.a. defines marital assets and liabilities as those acquired or incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or the spouses jointly. So any income, assets that you acquired individually during the marriage are considered marital and likewise for your husband. Furthermore, if marital funds are used to enhance the value of the house, then the appreciated value would be subject to division. In addition, if the value of the property increases due to the efforts (i.e. physical) of either party during the marriage than that increase is subject to division. Note that it is only the appreciation of value which is subject to distribution. The remainder of the equity in the home would remain with the party who purchased the home prior to marriage.

    The court in determining distribution of marital assets and debts begins with the premise that they should be equally divided between the parties; however, the court also looks at the factors listed in Fla. Statute § 61.075(1) to determine if an unequal distribution is required. You say in your question that you have always bought everything that was needed for the house. Therefore, it is necessary to determine whether one of the factors in § 61.075(1) will apply under your circumstances, so that you may obtain a larger division of the marital assets. It would be beneficial to contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can help you get the best division of your assets considering all of the circumstances involved.

    Visit our website for more information on property and debt distribution in divorce. If you would like a free consultation to discuss your case, please call us at 813.672.1900. My best, Lynette

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  • The victim of a domestic violences

    does the the victim of a domestic violences win custody of a child?

    Lynette’s Answer

    The answer to the question is that it depends. First, you need to know that there is civil domestic violence and there is criminal domestic violence and these are treated differently, so the answer would depend on which it is in your case.

    If there is evidence of civil domestic violence or child abuse or there is an injunction for protection against domestic violence determined in a civil court, then this may be considered by the court as detrimental to the child. It is one of the factors listed in Fla. Statute §61.13(3), which the court looks at when determining what is in the best interest of the child when establishing a parenting plan, including the timesharing of the children. What is in the best interests of the child is the criteria the court uses in all decisions regarding children.

    If a parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher as defined in Fla. Statute §741.28 and §775, or meets the criteria of §39.806(1)(d), then under Fla. Statute §61.13(2)(c)2) this creates a rebuttable presumption of detriment to the child. The convicted parent may rebut this presumption; however, unless this presumption is rebutted the court may not give the convicted parent shared parental responsibility, which includes timesharing or any decisions made regarding the child. If this were to occur, then the other parent would have sole parental responsibility of the child and make all decisions regarding him or her. The convicted parent may get some timesharing as the court determines would best protect from further harm the child or abused spouse.

    In Florida, it is public policy that there is shared parental responsibility for the children by both of the parents. When there is separation or divorce each is encouraged to share in the rights and responsibilities of having children. There is no presumption for a certain timesharing plan or for or against the mother or father. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan then it will be up to the court to determine the best parenting plan based upon the child’s best interest using the factors of Fla. Statute §61.13(3).

    If you would like additional information, please call us at 813.672.1900 to schedule a free initial consultation. Or for more information, please go to our website below. My best! Lynette

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  • Does absentee parent have to be notified in a minors name change?

    We would like to change my daughters (11 years old) last name to my husbands. We will eventually be going through the adoption process, but due to the fact that I have had no contact with her biological father since she was born (he did not sign t...

    Lynette’s Answer

    The father will have to be served with the petition for name change. If you don't know where he lives then you must do a diligent search based upon his last known residence or city, state and serve him by publication if he cannot be found. The procedure for service of a stepparent adoption petition is the same. You would have to do this twice if you file separately; however, it can be done. Also, if you do find him in a diligent search, then you will have to serve him by process server. Call us at 813-672-1900 if you would like a free consultation to discuss your options. My best, Lynette.

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  • Family Court/ Custody and Visitation Rights

    The father of my child and I were never married. I left him when I was about 3 months pregnant. He was very mentally and verbally abusive to me. During my pregnancy he started to call my unborn son at the time names such as mongrowl, abomination, ...

    Lynette’s Answer

    Fortunately, you had the courage to leave this man. I agree with Heather Morcraft that without a court order establishing that he is the father and a timesharing schedule, you presently have all rights to your son. The father would have to establish that he is the father through a petition to establish paternity. Or as Ms. Morcraft wrote, if you were to get state aid, the Department of Revenue would go after him for child support. If you feel that this man is a threat to your son, then my advice is to not get the DOR involved or otherwise go after him for child support. He does not sound like he wants to share in your son's life, so try to concentrate on enjoying your son and your life as you will not get these times back. If he does take action, contact us at 813-672-1900 for a free initial consultation. We will be happy to discuss your options with you. My best, Lynette

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  • Why would my wifes divorce lawyer ask me if i had any objections if they no longer represented her? I am without representation.

    We have a court date april 4, and I just got a call today from her attourney asking me if it was ok with me if they no longer represented her. This is a tampa fl case.

    Lynette’s Answer

    If a party stipulates to a withdrawal of his or her attorney, then a hearing on it may not be necessary if the other party in the action does not object to it. If you did object, then the attorney withdrawing would have to schedule a hearing before the judge on his or her motion to withdraw. If you objected you would have to attend the hearing and let the judge know why you object. It is correct that it is very difficult to prevent an attorney of an opposing party to withdraw. Furthermore, I can see no reason why any opposing party would want an opposing attorney to stay on the case.

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  • Can a mother in the state of Florida sign off her parental rights to avoid paying child support?

    The father is the one who has our boys, just because I didn't want to deal with having to go to court an he (their father) would not have given them to me without a fight. Now the father is asking the state for food stamps an the state wants to co...

    Lynette’s Answer

    I agree with Eric. You cannot just terminate your parental rights to avoid paying child support. If the father is married and his wife wants to adopt your child, in short you can consent and thereafter a Final Judgment will be entered. If you have an order to pay child support prior to the Final Judgment being entered and you have an arrearage on the child support payments, then you will still be responsible for that arrearage. After the Final Judgment is entered you will no longer be responsible for child support. Hope this helps! Lynette

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  • Can a father get a mod. of parenting plan in FL where visitation is switched for father to have majority time instead of mother

    husband has court order pays child support and has visitation he only has 40% of time mother has 60%. due to current changes of mother working nights and getting kicked out of her parents house he came to live with his father and i then mother too...

    Lynette’s Answer

    It appears from what you have said that their is a substantial change in circumstances and therefore you can file a Supplemental Petition to modify the timesharing and the child support. Nothing can be guaranteed; however, the living conditions and behavior you describe sound serious and detrimental to the best interests of your child. We do offer a free consultation, so please call us if you would like to discuss your case and your options. Lynette

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  • Got a letter from the department of revenue stating that my son mother is on state assistance trying to collect support.

    Do I need a lawyer or shall I proceed with the instruction of the letter. Son is 6 and his mom has not try to collect before. She lives in another city and I'm married with two more kids. I do not know my rights and I am looking for some guidance ...

    Lynette’s Answer

    My advice is you should definitely discuss your situation with a lawyer. You want to make sure that you are paying the proper amount of child support (and arrearage) as this is a lengthy financial obligation. We offer a free initial consultation and we are happy to discuss your case with you. My best to you! Lynette

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  • If I am living in the same household with spouse during dissolution of marriage should I pay any child support to spouse?

    I am living in the same household with my spouse and child, however, she has filed for divorce (uncontested) and would like to ask if I should pay her child support while we are in the pendancy of dissolution? I have been paying in good faith chil...

    Lynette’s Answer

    Hello! If you are living in the same household as your spouse and contributing to the household expenses, then there is no legal reason for you to pay child support to your wife until you move out. To determine your and your wife's share of child support you must complete a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet which will take into account the amount of timesharing you and your wife have with your child. This amount of timesharing will be agreed upon (hopefully) and included in your Parenting Plan. I strongly advise you to seek legal advice from an attorney. We offer a free initial consultation and we are happy to discuss your case with you. My best to you! Lynette

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