My spouse and I are thinking about getting divorced. Shouldn’t I revoke my Power of Attorney?

Florida law provides that a Power of Attorney naming the other spouse as agent: Florida Statute 709.2109 states that a person named as agent under his/her spouse’s Florida Durable Power of Attorney for Property loses legal authority to act on the spouse’s behalf in the event of divorce or annulment, or when an action is filed for divorce or legal separation. The only exception is if the Durable Power of Attorney specifically states otherwise (i.e., that the agent’s powers continue in these circumstances. The law became effective Oct. 1, 2011; however, it applies to every Florida Durable Power of Attorney regardless of the date the document was executed.

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on their knowledge of laws affecting our clients. Stay calm and call us.

38th Annual Institute for the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Marian P. McCulloch and Philip S. Wartenberg attended the 38th Annual Institute for the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers at The Vinoy Renaissance Hotel in beautiful St Petersburg. Speakers from across the state spoke on evidentiary and litigant preparation issues, parenting issues, equitable distribution double dipping problems, business valuations and rate of return on investment issues, in addition to law practice growth advice from Atticus. To see more about the AAML, and to stay updated on next year’s Institute and other events, visit the website for the Florida chapter at

Last day to vote for Attorney Michelle G Hutt for 2016-2017 HCBA Board of Directors

All eligible Hillsborough County Bar Association members please vote for Michelle Hutt in HCBA’s elections for the 2016-17 Board of Directors – the voting closes today at 5 p.m.
All eligible voters should have received an email from, a third-party polling service, with instructions for online voting.
If you have any problems or didn’t receive an email, please contact HCBA at or (813) 221-7777.

One week left to vote for Attorney Michelle G Hutt for 2016-2017 HCBA Board of Directors

There are just 6 more days left to vote for the 2016-2017 HCBA Board of Directors! Allen Dell Attorney Michelle G Hutt, would appreciate your support and vote. If you are an eligible voter and have not yet received your on-line balloting instructions, please contact HCBA at

Four Allen Dell Women Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers

Noted Tampa lawyer Cynthia A Mikos of Allen Dell has earned recognition in Best Lawyers Business Edition 2016 listing of the Lawyers of the Year Honorees. This is the 2nd time she has been recognized in the annual list based on her expertise in Health Care Law, and the 11th year she has been named in Best Lawyers in America.

Best Lawyers Business Edition Women in the Law also named Allen Dell lawyers Donna L Longhouse, Trusts and Estates; Marian P McCulloch, Family Law; and Tabatha A Liebert, Construction Law, as 2016 Women in the Law. Best Lawyers Business Edition features these peer-nominated Lawyers, naming them once again to this prestigious list. This is the 6th year Ms. Longhouse has been named, the 10th year for Ms. McCulloch, and the 2nd year for Ms. Liebert.

Ms. Mikos is Board Certified in Health Law and Ms. McCulloch is Board Certified in Marital & Family Law.

Best Lawyer’s Business Edition 2016 listing of the nation’s top attorneys was determined through peer nominations submitted by thousands of attorneys throughout the United States. An independent panel of distinguished lawyers helped the editors select the honorees.

Governor Scott Vetoes the alimony bill – Why? The reason may surprise many

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott today vetoed a bill which would have ushered in an overhaul of current alimony laws, but would also have created a new legal premise that both parents to a divorce have approximate equal timesharing of their children. “As a husband, father and grandfather, I understand the importance of family and the sensitivity and passion that comes with the subject of family law,” Scott said in a veto message. “Family law issues are very personal and nearly every family comes to the court with different circumstances and needs.”

He said: “Current law directs a judge to consider the needs and interests of the children first when determining a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule. This bill has the potential to up-end that policy in favor of putting the wants of a parent before the child’s best interest by creating a premise of equal time-sharing. Our judges must consider each family’s unique situation and abilities and put the best interests of the child above all else.”

Read more here:

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in laws affecting our clients. Stay calm and call us.

Governor Scott has one week to decide the fate of the Alimony and Timesharing bill

TALLAHASSEE – Emotions ran high at the state Capitol Tuesday as supporters and opponents of a proposed alimony law clashed outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office. Scott has one more week to decide the fate of SB 668, which has stirred more public reaction on both sides than any other bill from the 2016 legislative session.

Read more here:

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in laws affecting our clients. Stay calm and call us.

Governor Scott Signs Collaborative Process Act

TALLAHASSEE – The Collaborative Process Act has passed the Florida Legislature and became law after receiving Governor Rick Scott’s signature. The Act creates a uniform system of practice for the Collaborative Law Process as it relates to family law matters. It encourages the peaceful resolution of disputes and the early settlement of potential litigation through voluntary settlement procedures.

The Collaborative Process is an alternative to litigation. It utilizes trained legal, financial, and mental health professionals to guide the couple through the difficulties of divorce. According to recent studies, 84% of Collaborative cases are resolved successfully, 60% within six months, and half of the cases were completed for less than $40,000 in fees. It is believed that the Collaborative Process dramatically reduces the caseloads of our overburdened court system, saving taxpayer dollars.

After the Governor signs the Act, it becomes law thirty days after the Florida Supreme Court adopts rules of procedure and professional responsibility for attorneys.

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in laws affecting our clients. Our family law team, which includes experienced marital and family law trial lawyers, encourages the use of alternative dispute resolutions methods and are trained in both mediation and collaborative divorce to reduce costs and emotional stress in resolving divorce cases.

Alimony reform ending permanent alimony and creating a premise of 50/50 timesharing not yet in hands of Governor

TALLAHASSEE – Senate Bill 668 relating to alimony and “50/50” timesharing has not yet actually been presented to the Governor. However, it is anticipated it will occur in short order. Once the Governor receives the bill, he will have 15 days to act on the bill and decide whether to veto the bill or allow it to become law. The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar continues to provide letters supporting a veto of the bill. It is critical that if you want to be heard in opposition that you call and email the Governor urging him to oppose SB 668 and veto the bill and to inform others you know to do likewise.

Governor Scott’s contact information is as follows:

Telephone: 850-488-7146

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in laws affecting our clients. Divorce laws affect all couples whether the partners are of the same-sex or opposite sexes. This bill, creating a premise for equal timesharing, affects couples with children, whether they are married or not. Keep calm and call us.

Philip S. Wartenberg Joins The Firm as a Shareholder

It is with great pleasure that Allen Dell announces Philip S. Wartenberg has joined the firm as a shareholder. Wartenberg is a board certified marital and family lawyer who has practiced exclusively in the area of marital and family law throughout his legal career since 1994. Wartenberg has been selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers since 2010 and was honored in 2008 as the recipient of the Family Law Inn of Tampa’s Ted S. Millison Professionalism Award. Prior to joining Allen Dell, Wartenberg was owner and sole shareholder of Wartenberg Law Group, P.A., Tampa.

Alimony reform ending permanent alimony now in hands of Governor

TALLAHASSEE – Alimony reform is now in the hands of Florida Governor Rick Scott. If passed, the changes would include: ending permanent alimony; a formula for calculating amount and duration; and requiring judges to start with the “premise” that children should spend an “approximately equal” amount of time with each parent. Here are the details:

The current bill on Governor Rick Scott’s desk is one that would end permanent alimony in Florida.

  • It provides a mathematical formula to determine a range for the amount and duration of alimony.
  • It would determine an amount and duration of alimony payments.
  • If passed, the new bill will not apply retroactively. It applies to all initial determinations of alimony and modifications pending as of October 1, 2016, and those brought after.
  • The new bill would mandate judges to use alimony guidelines to follow.
  • Formula for amount:
    • Low End: 0.015 times the number of years married, multiplied by the difference in gross income of the divorcing couple.
    • High End:that multiplier number rises to 0.020; however the max multiple is 20 years.
  • In marriages of 20 years or more, for purposes of calculating the presumptive alimony amount range, 20 years of marriage shall be used.
  • If a judge deviates away from these guidelines he or she must explain why in writing.
  • Marriage of 2 years of less, there is a presumption no alimony shall be awarded, unless the judge makes written findings that there is a clear and convincing need for alimony, etc.
  • Longer marriages would mean an amount on the higher end or a longer duration of payments.
  • Governor Scott has 15 days to sign or veto this bill from the time it was sent to him.

Over objections from Florida’s Family Law Section, the bill would also require judges in setting up time-sharing schedules to start with the “premise” that children should spend an “approximately equal” amount of time with each parent.

Stay tuned here for updates.