Skip to main content
Michael Costantino
Avvo
Pro

Michael Costantino’s Answers

211 total


  • Does A Man Have To Pay Child Support For A Baby He Hasn't Seen At All.

    My Boyfriend Just Got Papers In The Mail About Payments For Child Support. He Has Never Seen The Child Before And It Has Been Seven Years. The Woman That Filed The Child Support Papers Doesn't Even Have Custody Of The Child. Plus She's A Stalker.

    Michael’s Answer

    First and foremost, the Mother has all the rights to the child until your boyfriend goes to Court and asks for his rights. Florida Statute 744.301 states the mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise.

    The Mother of your child can pack her bag and move to Alaska, if she wants. The only way to stop the Mother of your child from moving or to have any other say so in the child’s life is to go to the Courthouse and file a Petition asking for those rights. I recommend that fathers establish their rights to their children as soon as possible.

    In addition, and here is the answer to your question, paternity can be established and child support awarded without the adjudication of rights to the Father. We see this all the time with Department of Revenue cases. The Department, on behalf of the mother, seeks child support from the father. This is usually done on the request of the mother or if the mother has sought some type of assistance which requires the state to go after the father for support. Without going into the child support calculation, most people know that the more time you spend with your child, the less your child support will be. However, this is not the case when dealing with the Department. Your boyfriend must have a valid time-sharing plan, ratified by the Court, to get credit for the time you spend with the child. So if the Department is coming after him for support, and he spends time with his child, or wants to spend time with his child, he must file a petition in the courthouse, and have it served on the mother, not the Department, requesting his right to time-sharing with the child.

    He needs to sit done and speak with an attorney. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Paternity and make some phone calls. Many of us are willing to give you a free consult, some of us work Saturdays and late evenings.

    See question 
  • Can I have alimony from my husband? we have 30 years married. And I want to divorce for I feeling scared.

    My husband have 30 years make me feel scared, he likes make me unhappy, and I shaking each time that he apear with his histories, I don't want to live like this because It affects my life, my work, my dignity as a person, my tranquility, my peace....

    Michael’s Answer

    Alimony is based on many factors. However, the first test is if you have a NEED and if he has the ABILITY. We determine these by taking the money you make and subtracting the reasonable expenses you have. If you don’t make enough money to cover your bills, then you have a need for more money. If you have money left over after paying your bills, you have an ability to pay alimony.

    So not only do you have to show the Court that you need money, he also has to have the ability to pay. The length of the marriage is important in the determination of what kind of alimony someone would be entitled to. You have a long term marriage, and if you can if you can show the Court that you have a need, and he has the ability, you may be entitled to alimony that is long in duration, possibly permanent.

    I advise that you to consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Divorce, and make some phone calls.

    Good Luck!

    See question 
  • How do I find an attorney who is well-versed in Parental Alienation Syndrome, South Florida?

    Toxic relationship between ex-husband (narcissist) and me (co-dependent). Minor children suffering, 9, 11, 15 yr old girls. Used as weapon by Father to hurt Mother, not caring about implications for girls. Girls have counselor, but we need to f...

    Michael’s Answer

    Not that I am saying that PAS is not involved in your case, but what you described is the what I like to call the “best friend” effect. When one parent becomes the child’s best friend and stops parenting. He is the Disney dad and buys the toys and gadgets, so he is liked by the children, and hated by the other parent.

    You should sit down with an attorney and explore your options, determine your goals and go from there. It may be too late for the 16-year-old. But the other two children need better guidance. If you believe this can happen in your home (which I am sure you do), you need to modify the existing Parenting Plan.

    By the way you need a therapist that knows of PAS, not an attorney. As attorneys, we elicit testimony, and bring the evidence to the Court. That testimony and evidence will have to come from an “expert,” in this case a therapist.

    I advise that you to consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Divorce, and make some phone calls.

    Good Luck!

    See question 
  • Can I hire a family law attorney for limited representation for petition to relocate?

    I am relocating in 31 days. My ex will not agree and is not willing to sign a relocation agreement. I have filed the petition, FA, UCCJEA, and mandatory disclosure. I have a psychologist who will submit a relocation report and he's ...

    Michael’s Answer

    You really need to speak with an attorney ASAP. Getting you a hearing before the Judge, even if it is for Temporary Relief, may be difficult. Make some calls today. Some attorneys like myself have office hours on weekends.

    See question 
  • What are my rights? What does he legally need to do? Do I allow this?

    My ex and I have an MSA with a current shared visitations for him with my son every other weekend. He is moving in a couple weeks, 4.5 hours away for work, and just broke the news this week to me. He hasn't even told my son yet. He has not provide...

    Michael’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Woodward. Talk is always the cheapest way to get these issues done. However, you should both develop a new Parenting Plan so that there is something in writing to guide, should there be a disagreement. If you can't develop a Parenting Plan, then seek out the advice of an attorney in your area that practices family law. You can find many qualified attorneys here on AVVO.

    Good Luck.

    See question 
  • Can the mother of my unborn child deny me the right to give my daughter my last name

    She has repeatedly throughout the pregnancy threatened me with abortions And to Hurt herself to force miscarriage but now she is beyond that stage an abortion is longer an option. she is now on and off telling me that she will not allow me to be ...

    Michael’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, she can refuse to allow you to sign the birth certificate, and give the child your name. If she does not want to acknowledge you as the father, she can keep your name off the birth certificate. Read Florida Statue 382.013. Look at paragraph 2(c): “If the mother is not married at the time of the birth, the name of the father may not be entered on the birth certificate without the execution of an affidavit signed by both the mother and the person to be named as the father.” Then go to paragraph 3(c): “If the mother is not married at the time of birth, the parent who will have custody of the child shall select the child’s given name and surname.” You have to understand that men have no rights to a child born out of wedlock. Florida Statue 744.301 states at the bottom of the first paragraph: “The mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise.”

    So I advise you go see an attorney right away. If she is playing games during the pregnancy, she will play games after the birth. Establish your rights right away. Do not wait if you are serious about being a father. In addition, you can always petition the court in your paternity proceeding to change the child’s name.

    I advise that you to consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Paternity, and make some phone calls.

    See question 
  • We have been married for 19 years. Do I have any right to my spouse's inheritance?

    Six years ago, my spouse's trust was broken upon the death of a parent. My spouse paid off our second mortgage and credit card bills and a truck and boat. I do not receive any benefit from the proceeds of the inheritance. In a divorce, will I loos...

    Michael’s Answer

    The funds of and inheritance, if kept separate from marital funds, are considered non-marital. However, paying off the credit cards, the boat, and the truck, may be to your benefit, as they may now be marital assets without liens upon them. However, when you asked the question, will I lose everything, we are not sure what "everything" is. It is unclear as to what you are asking. Are you asking, if you will lose the boat and truck, or are you asking if you will lose the remainder of the inheritance?

    If the inheritance is still in an account, that is not titled in your name, and does not have any other marital funds in it, then that inheritance most likely would still be considered his non-marital asset.

    I advise that you to consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Divorce, and make some phone calls.

    Good Luck!

    See question 
  • How can my husband adopt my 12 yr old son?

    My 12 yr old has not had any contact or received financial support from his biological father. My husband wants to adopt him and give him his last name. He has raised my son like a father and my son looks up to him and in his eyes my husband is hi...

    Michael’s Answer

    If he is on the Birth Certificate, he must consent. You really have to look at Florida Statue 63.062; I believe you will be required to get his consent. I would only point you directly to the Florida Statue 63.062, which states in paragraph (b) that the father must give consent, if:
    1. The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;
    2. The minor is his child by adoption;
    3. The minor has been adjudicated by the court to be his child before the date a petition for termination of parental rights is filed;
    4. He has filed an affidavit of paternity pursuant to s. 382.013(2)(c) or he is listed on the child’s birth certificate before the date a petition for termination of parental rights is filed; or
    5. In the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, has filed such acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within the required time-frames, and has complied with the requirements of subsection (2).

    However, if he has had no contact, and has paid no support, you can still attempt an adoption. I suggest you reach out to him and ask him to terminate his rights. If you have no idea where he is, then you should reach out to an attorney.

    I advise that you consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Adoption and make some phone calls.

    Good Luck.

    See question 
  • My16 year old daughter in Florida no longer wants to live with her promiscuous mother who has 3 children from3 fathers. Can she

    Live with me based on the decision on her own that her mother is causing her mental distress her mother and I are both 46 years old her mother just had another baby with a third father he left her and now my daughter has been the mother while she...

    Michael’s Answer

    She is 16 years old. The Courts tend to recognize that you really can't tell a 16 year old what to do. If your daughter wants to stay with you, what would her mother do, have you held in contempt? You are not keeping the child from her. At this point, the child has made a decision on her own.

    You need to petition the court for modification of the final judgment. That’s making the assumption that you have a final judgment, that you had previously resolved these issues in Court.

    I advise that you consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Paternity and make some phone calls.

    Good Luck

    See question 
  • Biological father not in birth certificate, my son not carries his last name, no child support. Can my fiancé adopt?

    I reside in Florida. The biological father of my son is not in the birth certificate only I am, and my son has my last name and not his biological fathers. He does not pay child support because I never needed it and because I did not want him to h...

    Michael’s Answer

    I disagree. You really have to look at Florida Statue 63.062; Just because he is the biological father does not give him instant rights. However, I don't know all the facts. I believe you will not be required to get his consent. I would only point you directly to the Florida Statue 63.062, which states in paragraph (b) that the father must give consent, if:
    1. The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;
    2. The minor is his child by adoption;
    3. The minor has been adjudicated by the court to be his child before the date a petition for termination of parental rights is filed;
    4. He has filed an affidavit of paternity pursuant to s. 382.013(2)(c) or he is listed on the child’s birth certificate before the date a petition for termination of parental rights is filed; or
    5. In the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, has filed such acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within the required timeframes, and has complied with the requirements of subsection (2).

    Also look at Florida Statue 63.053 and 63.054 – just google them, they are not complicated.

    I advise that you consult with a local attorney. Many of us give free consults. Some, like myself, offer weekend or evening hours. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Adoption and make some phone calls.

    Good Luck.

    See question