St. Petersburg Family Lawyer
Family law matters are often contentious and emotionally charged. Our firm skillfully represents clients in all aspects of family law, including appellate proceedings, arbitrations, and collaborative law actions. Serving clients in communities throughout Pinellas County for more than 65 years, Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., is a name you can trust for your family law legal needs. Our comprehensive St. Petersburg family lawyers represent clients in the following areas:
Dissolution and Divorce
Divorce in Florida is “no-fault,” meaning it’s not necessary for one spouse to prove the other did something wrong in order to get a divorce. Specific rules and procedures must still be followed, however. Even more importantly, issues such as alimony (spousal support) and the division of marital property must be decided. If the couple are raising minor children, then they’ll have to address issues of child support, child custody and time-sharing as well. Getting these matters settled correctly during the divorce is crucial. Our firm excels in giving our clients thoughtful, practical advice while providing excellent representation in any forum, whether the divorce can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, collaborative divorce, or if litigation is required. With additional skills and experience in business law and real estate, our St. Petersburg divorce lawyers are equipped to handle complex family law litigation and high net worth divorce cases involving complex issues and substantial assets.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
These agreements protect both parties to a marriage by ensuring that neither one is taken advantage of or not taken care of in case of divorce or the death of a spouse. These agreements can be made before marriage or at any time during the marriage, which can become necessary if one spouse comes into an inheritance or goes into business with partners, for instance. With skills and experience in family law as well as commercial contracts, our team is well-positioned to provide practical advice and expert assistance in the negotiating, drafting or review of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Marital Settlement Agreements, Modifications, and Relocations
Our comprehensive Pinellas County divorce practice includes negotiating, drafting and reviewing marital settlement agreements that thoroughly cover all relevant matters, including parenting, time-sharing, child support, alimony and the division of property. With a well-crafted agreement in place, we’ll help you obtain an uncontested divorce with minimal time, expense and stress compared to a contested divorce.
Our attorneys practice extensively in post-divorce matters as well, including modifications of parenting plans and time-sharing, child support modifications, and modification or early termination of alimony due to a significant change in circumstances. Whether you or your ex are experiencing changes in income, needs or a parental relocation, our firm provides practical, strategic advice and effective advocacy in court to make sure court orders reflect your current needs.
A child’s father has the legal right to petition for custody, visitation, time-sharing and a role in parenting responsibilities, as well as the legal obligation to support his children financially throughout their childhood. If the parents are unmarried or the child’s parentage is questioned, specific steps must be taken to establish paternity and enforce custody rights or support obligations. Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., can advise you on paternity rights and how to establish paternity, as well as provide effective representation in any paternity proceeding as a mother or putative father.
Domestic Violence Injunctions
A victim or potential victim of domestic violence can petition the court for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence, commonly known as a restraining order. An injunction for protection can order an abuser out of the house and direct him or her to keep from having any contact with the petitioner. The judge can also put temporary orders in place regarding child custody, support, and exclusive use and possession of the home. To keep an injunction in place past the initial temporary period, a hearing must be held, at which the respondent can appear and challenge the injunction. Our firm represents petitioners and respondents in these hearings and can help you understand how a history of domestic violence can impact the outcome of a divorce, child custody dispute or other family law matter.
Mediation is required in any divorce, custody or child support case involving parental responsibility issues. Even when not required, parties can benefit from choosing to mediate their family law matter rather than litigate it. Mediation is typically faster and less expensive than litigation and quite often yields more practical, satisfactory and lasting results. Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., includes skilled and experienced mediators, including a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, ready to educate you on the mediation process and guide you through mediation to a positive result.
Litigation is an adversarial process, and judicial decisions often result in a perceived “winner” and “loser.” A consequence of this system is that appeals are an ever-present possibility after any court ruling. As experienced litigators, our trial team knows how to create and preserve the record at trial in case an appeal should be necessary. In the event of an appeal, Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., represents appellant/petitioners and appellee/respondents in all aspects of the appellate process, including reviewing the trial transcript for errors, preparing appellate briefs that are thorough, well-researched, and expertly written, and conducting compelling oral arguments in court when necessary.
Why You Should Choose Us for Your St. Petersburg Divorce or Family Law Matter
Peter N. Meros, partner, leads the family law practice area of Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A. Mr. Meros has been practicing family law since 1972. He has tried hundreds of family law cases and has represented clients in some of the largest, most complicated family law cases that have taken place in Florida. Mr. Meros is also a member of Canakaris Family Law Inns of Court and is a regular speaker at family law seminars for attorneys and other professionals. He has achieved successful results for his clients, including cases that have been documented as landmark decisions in The Supreme Court of Florida. Mr. Meros is a Florida State Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He was certified in 1983 with the first certification class.
Belinda B. Lazzara, partner, also represents clients in family law matters. Ms. Lazzara is an active member of the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court, as well. She also serves as a volunteer for the Community Law Program and received the newcomer award in 2001 and 2002 for her volunteer work.
Kevin D. Brennan, partner, represents clients in family law and commercial litigation matters. He has significant trial experience for a young lawyer. In 2010, he was awarded the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court “Young Lawyer of the Year” Award. Mr. Brennan also handles appeals.
Christin C. Brennan, partner, represents clients exclusively in marital and family law matters. She is an active member of the Canakaris Family Law Inn of Court and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Pinellas County Chapter. Ms. Brennan also handles appeals.
Our firm has established an excellent reputation within the legal community and has developed a relationship of mutual respect with members of the family law bar and bench in Florida.
Call Today for Family Law Services in and Around St. Petersburg
For help with divorce, child custody, or any other St. Petersburg family law matter, contact Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., by calling 727-822-4929 or filling out our quick online form. We look forward to helping you with your Florida family law needs.