DUI Arrests Spike During the Holiday Season
It is definitely that time of year again; there is a chill in the air in many areas, and the time for eggnog, pumpkin pie, holiday feasts and visits with family and friends is just around the corner. Most of us are in a flurry of buying gifts for loved ones and decorating our homes in a festive manner. Along with all these holiday tasks, many of us are also drinking more than we might normally do. According to one body of research, 16 percent of adults admitted to drinking more than normal during the holiday season, and more than half of all high-risk impaired drivers reported drinking more between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, as compared to the remainder of the year.
Guide to Navigating the Holidays for the Newly Divorced
Since the beginning of the 20th century, divorce rates have steadily risen, making an even greater leap in the 1970’s when no-fault divorce was implemented. Some believe that making divorce an easier process actually strengthens marriages by ensuring it is a personal choice. Others argue few of us have the skills needed to work out the day-to-day difficulties which inevitably arise in most all marriages. While it is true that the actual dissolution of a marriage is a legal act, it is most often accompanied with some level of emotional trauma, and can be painful for all parties involved, including spouses, children, and even extended family members.
Just How Racist Is Our Criminal Justice System?
Years ago, during a debate, then-Senator Barack Obama claimed that blacks and whites are arrested and convicted at very different rates, and even receive very different sentences for the same crimes. Senator Hillary Clinton then discussed the “disgrace of a criminal justice system” that incarcerates a disproportionate number of African-Americans as compared to whites. These statements appear fairly plausible for the time, considering in 2006 37.5 percent of all state and federal prisoners were African-American.
New Child Time-Sharing Legislation
Child time-sharing in Florida could be a hot topic for attorneys and their clients in the coming months as one new law concerning the issue has already taken effect and another kicks off Jan. 1. Florida House Bill 329 became law in July and deals with visitation of children whose parent is in a drug or alcohol recovery residence.
Statute 61.13 now prohibits a time-sharing plan from requiring or being interpreted to require visitation at a recovery residence overnight, specifically between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., “unless the court makes a specific finding that such visitation is in the best interest of the child.”
14 Mistakes Men Make in Divorce
When a person is in the middle of an emotional time, it can be difficult to make good, long-term decisions. A divorce is the very definition of an emotional time, and plenty of divorced people have lived to regret decisions made in the heat of the moment, or hasty decisions made simply to put an end to contentiousness. While both men and women can make mistakes which come back to haunt them during a divorce, the following mistakes are those most commonly made by divorcing men:
Ayo and Iken Recap
It has been another impactful first half of the year for the Ayo & Iken law firm as our attorneys continue to fight for their clients facing difficult times, dealing with everything from freeing a client unfairly jailed to keeping a loving father connected with his child after her mother left to another state with their baby. It has also been year so far of growth for the firm as we prepare a new office in New Port Richey and welcome a new attorney. Our staff has been busy as well with our paralegals receiving kudos online from customers appreciative of their hard work, and taking part in charitable events to benefit the community. Please take some time to read about what our dedicated group of attorneys and staff has been up to:
Want a Bad Idea? Stay Together for the Kids
Dinnertime is increasingly strained and the kids are pretty sure mom and dad don’t like one another all that much. There’s no small talk going on, no laughing at private jokes, no acknowledgement of one another’s days, even the special ones. Conversations at dinner—and pretty much everywhere else—are mostly the children talking to the parents, and the parents talking to one another only about the children. The parents may live in the same house, but they might as well be living in different countries. Consider the following statistics about married parents—who wish they weren’t:
15 Signs Your Spouse Has Checked Out of the Marriage
All marriages go through ups and downs and highs and lows. After all, living with another person, meshing your lives together, is not always easy, no matter how much you love one another. Particularly when you have children, you can get so busy with their activities, your work, and keeping the household running, that you may miss the signs that tell you your spouse is not just in a lull, but has truly checked out of the marriage.
New Florida Bill on Custody
A bill has been filed Jan. 30 that could bring about a major change in how the state and courts handle the mission of enhancing parenting time-sharing opportunities. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed Senate Bill 590, which his office says “offers an optional default visitation schedule for non-custodial parents.”
SB 590 would add language to Florida law that governs the handling of child support by the Florida Department of Revenue. If passed, when people meet with the revenue department to set up their child support per his or her Title IV-D order, they would also be presented with an optional child visitation plan for unmarried parents.
15 Mistakes Many Women Make in a Divorce
Some have likened divorce to the psychological equivalent of a triple bypass—painful, complicated, and with a difficult recovery period. Because many of those who go through a divorce are in an intensely emotional state, mistakes can be made—in some cases, devastating, long-lasting, eternally regrettable mistakes. Overwhelmingly the mistakes made by women are primarily financial issues. Here are the top 15 mistakes many women tend to make when they divorce:
Ayo and Iken 2016 Year in Review
It has been a fascinating year for our exciting team of attorneys who have challenged themselves on many fronts for their clients. They have tackled it all from a groundbreaking same-sex marriage case to a heart-wrenching fight for the safety of a teenage boy. We even had two of our clients get married on the front porch of our Tampa office due to their affection for one of our star attorneys; the story is below. I hope you enjoy the highlights of an amazing year at our firm and make your way to the bottom of this recap for some key advice from our legal team:
Enjoying Families and Children During the Holiday Season
Once again, the holiday season is upon us. Perhaps you were one of those who navigated Thanksgiving with family so successfully that you are not in the least concerned about Christmas. Or, perhaps you either didn’t see family on Thanksgiving, or you did, but the family navigation was a bit less successful, therefore you are headed into the Christmas season filled with apprehension.
As a nation, 92 percent of us celebrate Christmas in some way. Only about half of us see Christmas as a religious holiday, while a third see it as a cultural holiday. While many things about Christmas have probably changed for you over the years, some things have not changed as much as you might think:
Guide to Telling Your Children About Divorce
One of the hardest things parents may have to do is to tell their children they are divorcing. While very young children may not really understand what is happening, the majority of children often feel as though the divorce is their fault. Teens, however, are more likely to hold their feelings inside, sometimes acting on the surface as though it doesn’t matter one way or the other to them. Whatever the age of your children, how and when you tell them about an impending divorce is crucial. The following tips can help you tell your children about your divorce in the best way possible, under the circumstances.
Wedding Bliss in the Air at Ayo & Iken
Wedding bliss was in the air at our Ayo & Iken Tampa office last week as Attorney Jeana Vogel for the first time in her career presided over nuptial vows for two of her clients. Vogel’s clients, Aleydis Silva Bautista and Kyle Seeger, had been planning to get married next year but the time on Friday turned out to be right.
Same Sex Parental Rights Extended
Our New Port Richey Attorney Allison Belcher has won a major victory in the cutting edge legal area of same-sex marriage in Florida by securing parental rights for our client Kristen Ruckey. In an Oct. 11 order, Pasco County Circuit Judge Alicia Polk ruled that Ruckey is the legal parent of her two children, who were born of a legal same-sex marriage in 2010, in Connecticut. The case is a first in Florida and breaks legal ground as follows:
Ayo and Iken Recap
In this recap of a busy September for Ayo & Iken, we will take you through the many facets of what our attorneys have been up to from New Port Richey to Tampa and Orlando. Our attorneys handled a groundbreaking same-sex marriage case, a heartbreaking case of a child runaway, fought to protect an abused child, and taken on a case that has international implications. Our attorneys will also discuss future cases, some legal trends they are spotting, and offer a little advice in dealing with domestic violence injunctions. Here’s a look at what our legal team has been up to:
What Happens Now? - Same Sex Marriage & Divorce
It is easy enough for congress to pass laws. More difficult, but still relatively easy is the process by which the courts interpret those laws. The process of interpretation is the way we have arrived in the current state of affairs for gay and lesbian couples. But then we have to deal with the pink elephant in the room: what is the exact meaning of everything that has transpired? A feature of our society is the process by which we test, refine, and challenge laws and court decisions for the ultimate end game of reaching a clear mutual understanding of societal rules. For gay and lesbian couples the process of reaching that clear mutual understanding has a decade or more to play out.
Are Doctors Doomed to Divorce?
Ask anyone about the divorce rate for doctors, and you are likely to hear that doctors do, in fact, get divorced far more often than other professionals—and far more often than the general population. If you happen to be speaking about female physicians in particular, then that information is, at least partially, correct. Clichés to the contrary, divorce is actually less common among male physicians than for other professions.
Women Initiate Divorces More than Men Studies Say
An oft-used joke among comedians goes something like this: “Do you know why more women file for divorce than men? Because women know murder is illegal.” While not all that funny, in fact women do initiate divorces more often than men, for a variety of reasons.In a study conducted in 1956, the wife initiated nearly 67 percent of those divorces. Since that time, despite changes in attitudes toward marriage, many changes in gender relations, and advancements in women’s rights, this conclusion has been repeated time after time after time.
Making Summer Timesharing Work
A few short decades ago, blended families were the exception rather than the rule. In today’s society, however, there are possibly more blended families than not. The “rules” for what constitutes a family have been rewritten, and today a family is made up of those who love and care for one another, regardless of the number of “step” and “half” siblings, which make up the family. In fact, there are so many different types of families, it has become almost impossible to quantify them.
There are ways to make the transitions less bumpy, and integrate families together, particularly when summer rolls around and there are vacations and visitations to deal with.
Ayo and Iken Recap
Our Ayo & Iken attorneys have been busy this month. In this recap, we will take you through the many facets of what our attorneys have been up to from New Port Richey to Tampa and Orlando. We have tried cases, handled a difficult criminal case that has garnered media attention, helped educate the community, spotted legal trends, and done some deep thinking about our legal philosophies. Here’s a look at what we have been up to:
US Military Fails to Financially Protect Spouses
Ayo & Iken Tampa Attorney Jeana Vogel has taken on a divorce case that offers a stark reminder of the sacrifice spouses of military personnel make and the risks they can take financially should their marriages dissolve overseas. Our client, Melissa Henry, is willing to tell her painful story of divorce and financial difficulty as she is seeking temporary alimony to pay her bills in a foreign country she went to in order to support her husband’s military career.
Florida's Historic Softening of 10 20 Life Law
Beginning July 1, a change will come to the “10-20-Life” mandatory minimum firearm law passed in 1999 during the first Gov. Jeb Bush administration in the wake of out-of-control violent crime statistics. The law currently mandates judges sentence defendants convicted 10 20 life law florida of committing certain specified crimes while possessing a firearm to 10 years in prison, possessing a semi-automatic/machine gun to 15 years, discharging a firearm of any type to 20 years, and discharging a gun where great bodily injury or death occurs to 25 years to life. A new bill, SB 228, passed unanimously in both the Florida House and Senate, and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, will strike aggravated assault from the list of crimes that fall under 10-20-life.
The Formula for a Successful Relationship
Most people still believe that this thing called “love” is a mysterious occurrence which happens, like a lightning bolt, out of the blue, with no rhyme or reason. Or, perhaps we want to believe in the mysterious nature of love and relationships because then we can avoid some responsibility when a relationship turns out badly.
Cohabitation No Longer a Crime in Florida
Breathe easy you Florida couples who until a week ago lived together illegally while unwed. You will not be facing up 60 days in the county clink and a $500 fine on a second-degree misdemeanor charge for co-habitation while not married. A Florida law that banned unmarried couples from living together dating back to post-Civil War Reconstruction is no more.
What is Life REALLY Like for Juveniles Behind Bars
The juvenile justice system was actually developed almost a century ago, in response to the atrocities juveniles were subjected to in adult jails. Unfortunately, as the system developed, and there was widespread overcrowding and lack of facilities, many juveniles were, once again, placed with adults, and subjected to assault and rape.
Opponents and Supporters of Alimony Reform in Florida
It has been another controversial path to getting an alimony reform bill on the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. Opponents and supporters of SB 668 alike are waiting with great interest to see if Scott signs a bill that is similar to one he vetoed in 2013. Scott vetoed that previous alimony bill saying he could not support a clause that made it retroactive to all alimony cases.
Facebook - “Exhibit A” in Your Florida Divorce
The popularity of reality television and social media websites has transformed our society from one that places a high value on privacy into one where complete strangers observe every facet of an individual’s life. This trend also has spread to family courts where information and photos obtained from social media sites are increasingly turning up as evidence in divorce cases. Whether the damning information is evidence of an online affair or a negative comment about a spouse, social media sites are becoming a key source of evidence in divorce cases.
Rocket Scientist's Guide to Divorce Trials
Principles of Good Negotiating
By Attorney Howard Iken: Lets face it. People never walk in the door and hand us money just to reserve our “pleasant personalities.” After all, we are attorneys. No one really likes us outside of our own clients. But that is an essential part of being an attorney. We get things done, sometimes at the expense of other people. But part of our job is to negotiate settlements for
Not Getting Along with the Judge?
By Attorney Howard Iken: There are many people that just seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot with the judge. It would be the judge got out of the wrong side of the bed that morning and immediately hated your face. You may have been caught in a lie in court. Or a judge may have had a day of annoying cases that seemed exactly like your case. Whatever the reason, if
5 Steps to Take Towards an Amicable Divorce
A divorce has the potential to be horrible, high stress, and financially destructive. But a divorce also has the potential to be smooth, low stress, positive, and financially beneficial. It all depends on how the two of you approach things. The power is in your hand to change the entire outcome of your divorce. You can make it
68% or More - Spouses that Would Cheat
The percentages are startling! If there was no danger of being caught, over 68% of spouses would cheat on their significant other. The statistics indicate men and women are similar in their desire to cheat. Read our info graphic to see the statistics at a glance.
Common Law Marriage in Florida ?
By Attorney Jennifer Schulte: Is Common Law Marriage a myth in Florida? Yes and No. I have had a few consultations recently in which a couple were living together and holding themselves out to their friends and community as though they were a married couple for years (or even decades) but were only lawfully married
Do Your Own Paternity Testing
In the United States individuals may utilize the services of private companies to perform paternity testing. The reasons for self-referral testing involves a myriad of circumstances. With the exception of the State of New York, no court order or physician is necessary to utilize private sector paternity testing services. The costs vary, but generally a
Committing a Crime in the Great Outdoors
If like most other people you spend more time outdoors in the summer, it's relatively easy to run afoul of various laws related to outdoor recreational activities. Whether you're camping or fishing, venturing out on a hiking trip or picnicking at a local park, there are a number of regulations and laws you can
Immigration Scams Hit Hillsborough County
If you're residing in the U.S. as a non-citizen, you're at risk of being the victim of an immigration scam. Scam artists are hoping that non-citizens who have less familiarity with the English language and U.S. laws and customs will be more easy to victimize. They also prey on the hopes and dreams of
Summer Visitation Made Easy
Summer is approaching and along with the wistful daydreams of warmth and vibrance, there also comes the complication of daily routine shifting with the children out of school. For newly divorced parents, this change in routine can bring more than just an inconvenience, but potential chaos. Here are some general points to consider to make summer visitation a breeze:
Panhandling – nuisance or crime ?
It’s a sunny day in Central Florida (about 100 degrees outside) and I pull up to a major intersection. In the median walking toward me a full suited firefighter holding a boot and asking passerby’s to donate to his cause. I roll my window down and hand the
Courts Striking Gay Marriage Bans . . . But What about Gay Divorce?
In United States vs. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013), the United States Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a relationship between “one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Since the DOMA decision, courts in many states have struck down laws banning same sex marriage. Despite this progress in obtaining legal rights for same-sex
Bankruptcy's Impact on IRS Tax Obligations
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the most brutal of all collection agencies with powerful tools and the ability to impose staggering financial penalties unavailable to other creditors. Many parties facing tax deficiencies along with penalties and interest attempt to negotiate an offer in compromise or other resolution of their outstanding tax obligation with no success. These strategies often fail with the debtor exposed to wage garnishments, bank levies, liens on real property andother harsh collection tactics by the federal taxing agency.
Privacy & Law Enforcement Technology in Florida Drug Cases
Although advances in communications technology have made our lives easier in many ways, government use of technology can have a darker side as evidenced by the recent scandals involving the NSA snooping on telephone calls made by American citizens and FBI use of national security letters to demand secret information from private businesses. Intrusions on privacy interests embodied in the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizures have been methodically undermined in recent decades, but these spying techniques have been criticized by the Obama administration’s own internal review panel. A Supreme Court decision last year demonstrates how courts are struggling to balance the technological innovations that provide more effective law
The Angry Mob of Creditors at the Door
An impatient creditor is easy to handle when there is just one or two. You tend to know exactly which debt was not paid, and when it was not paid. Perhaps the creditor is a local business, a medical office, or service provider. You may have felt guilty because there was a personal relationship. Besides, the original purchase may be staring you in the face almost every day. The mattress, furniture, or blender may be staring you in the face. You may remember buying the product or service from someone you liked and trusted. Your impatient creditor may have a name and they may be reasonably polite when they call.
Channel 10 Action News Interviews Howard Iken
Attorney Howard Iken discusses peak in divorce filings at Valentine's Day each year. Each year many different effects come together to form a perfect storm of divorce filings. The holidays always bring high expectations and hard feelings. The winter break is a time of turmoil in custody and choice of school conflicts. And federal tax refunds provide the fuel to fund new divorce filings.
Ayo & Iken Retained in George Zimmerman Divorce Case
TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 11, 2014 / PRNewswire / -- The law firm of Ayo & Iken PLC has been selected by George Zimmerman to represent him in his pending divorce case. The firm has designated a three-person legal team to review the case and address preliminary issues.
Setting Aside a Default in Florida
By Attorney Howard Iken: If a lawsuit is filed and served by process server on an individual or entity, the Defendant or Respondent must file an answer within 20 days. This is a universal rule in Florida and it applies to divorce, paternity, personal injury, or
Ayo and Iken Establishes a Scholarship
The Law Firm of Ayo and Iken PLC establish a scholarship to recognize separated households still focused on meeting their children’s needs. We are proud to announce a cash scholarship essay contest to benefit college bound children from separated Florida households. Two $1,000 cash prizes will be offered by the attorneys at Ayo and Iken PLC to help focus attention on examples of lifelong commitment by couples who—despite being divorced—succeed in providing the support and guidance necessary for children’s academic success. With law offices across Florida, the law firm has opened the contest to students in all Florida counties who have compelling stories to tell
The Myth of the Heavy Hitter
By Attorney Howard Iken: There is no doubt about it. Everyone wants the best attorney in town. They want the mythical heavy hitter that will out maneuver, out think, and out intimidate the competition. No one comes to an attorney looking to win second place. When you are talking about money, children, compensation for injuries, or property, second place does not
Football Season and Underage Drinking
By Attorney Jennifer Schulte: We are right in the middle of college football season. After today’s game I have sore legs from climbing the stairs and walking from our tailgate to the game. I have a sunburn on my knees, arms, face and neck. I’m basically beat but our team won and that makes it all worth it. Football is fun to watch and the noise and smells and sounds are just part of
Strategies to save money when filing bankruptcy
Individuals these days don’t really file bankruptcy only when they’re unable to keep up with their monthly bills and neither have any savings intact and hence forced to consider the option of bankruptcy. The worst bit supposedly remains the fact that filing for bankruptcy requires