Serving Families Since 1996

Family Law Mediators | Collaborative Law
Over 25 Years Serving Southwest Florida
(239) 334-0075

Bergermann Law Firm Frequently Asked Questions


Have a family law-related question? We have an answer! Check out these FAQs to learn more about Bergermann Law Firm.

If I leave the home, is it considered "abandonment"?
No, it is not. Abandonment is not an appropriate term in connection with an expensive asset like a home. It is used in connection with child custody. For more clarification regarding “abandonment,” contact a family law attorney at Bergermann Law Firm.
If my name is not on a bank account, am I still entitled to a share of it in a divorce?

If the account was opened during the marriage with marital funds, then “YES” — you would be entitled to a share of it. Marital funds include earnings from a job. For more information, speak with an experienced divorce attorney at Bergermann Law Firm.

Do I have to share my inheritance with my spouse as part of the divorce action?

Not unless you have placed your inheritance money in an asset on which you have added your spouse’s name, such as a bank account. Call our divorce lawyers for more information about the role of an inheritance in a divorce action.

If I have my children half the time, do I still have to pay child support?

Maybe. As a child custody law firm, we can tell you that child support is determined according to a formula established by the Florida legislature. The number of overnights that child spends with each parent is one aspect of the formula. The remainder of the calculations in the formula involve the parents’ net incomes.


Yes. If you did not provide support for the child during the 24 months prior to the filing of the child support action, then you are responsible for paying support for UP TO 24 MONTHS prior to the filing date. If you have paid for some months, but not all, of that 24-month period, then those support payments will be taken into consideration when your child support obligation is established. If you lived with the child for some or all of the 24 months prior to the date of filing, then you are generally considered to have supported the child by providing child care, food, and housing. You will not be assessed with an additional child support obligation for those months where you lived with the child. Speak to our child custody law firm for answers to more specific questions about your case.

Our grandchild has lived with us for the last three months. We do not know where the father is, but our daughter is the mother and incarcerated. Can we get custody?

Most likely. As most family law lawyers will tell you, you fulfill the statutory obligation regarding the amount of time that the child has lived with you. Presumably, the mother will agree that you should have temporary legal custody. However, even if she doesn’t agree, you will prevail over her objections, since she is not able to care for the child while she is incarcerated. You will still need to make an effort to locate the father and serve him with your action to obtain temporary custody. If, after using your best efforts, you remain unable to locate the father, the action can still proceed. Contact the experienced professionals at Bergermann Law Firm for further questions.

I have just retired and cannot pay the same amount of alimony anymore. What can I do?

You can file a Supplemental Petition to Modify or Terminate Alimony if your income has decreased due to retirement at normal retirement age. There are no guarantees and many factors weigh in the judge’s determination of whether to modify or terminate your alimony obligation. To assist with this undertaking, contact the reliable family law lawyers at Bergermann Law Firm.

My ex won't cooperate in getting a passport for our child. What can I do?

First, see if the issue was addressed in your parenting plan. If it was not addressed or the other parent is being obstructive, then you can Motion the court to obtain a passport for your child. A child custody law firm like Bergermann Law Firm can assist you in this endeavor.

The mother of my child won't let me see my child. We were never married, so what can I do?

You will need to file a Petition to Determine Paternity and Parenting Responsibilities. Until the Court determines a parenting schedule for you OR adopts one that you and the mother create together–maybe with the help of a family law mediator–the mother has full control over the child. The authority for this control is found in Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. It is best to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney, like one from Bergermann Law Firm.

My child's other parent and I have a court-ordered parenting plan and a final judgment. Now, I want to move more than 50 miles from my current home due to a job opportunity. Can I do this without the other parent's permission?

No. Pursuant to Florida Statute, you must obtain the written permission of the other parent in a very particular manner, if you plan a move of this distance. In the alternative, you can obtain the permission of the Court to allow the relocation. This is a time-sensitive action that is best done by experienced family law lawyers, such as those at Bergermann Law Firm.