cropped-orig_34453_080Attorney Mary A. Cosmo is now accepting appointments as a Guardian Ad Litem to your Dissolution/Paternity matter.  Children are often lost in the push-pull of a divorce or parenting plan creation/modification, especially when there is domestic violence or parental alienation.  It is hard to get the evidence of this type in when the Rules of Evidence get in the way.  However, pursuant to Fl. Stat. Sec. 61.401  In an action for dissolution of marriage or for the creation, approval, or modification of a parenting plan, if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to act as next friend of the child, investigator or evaluator, not as attorney or advocate

Giving your Party’s children a voice in a dissolution or paternity matter should not be limited by your Client’s Income.

  • Parties with total combined income under 50,000.00, fee will be a onetime $950.00; shall be due upon appointment. May be made in two separate payments of $475.00; the first is due upon appointment the second is due 30 days after the first payment.
  • Parties with a total combined income under 100,000.00, but more than 50,000.00, fee will be 2,298.00; and shall be due upon appointment. May be made in 3 payments of 766.00, with first payment due upon appointment, second payment is due 30 days after appointment; and the third payment is due 60 days after appointment.
  • Parties with a total combined income over 100,000.00, fee will be regularly hourly rate of $275.00; a retainer in the amount of 4,500.00, shall be due upon appointment and place in a trust account, which is drawn upon as incurred.

You may submit your Stipulation and Order to  Upon receipt of your Order, you will be contact by guardian to initiate appointment.

What are my rights as an unwed mother?

Being an unwed mother can be scary and you may have several questions; such as: What are my legal rights as a parent? What if I put the father’s name of the birth certificate? What can I do to protect my child? What can I do if the father does not return the child?

Under Florida Statute 744.301(1), 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.

This means the Mother has a superior right to “custody” of the child born out of wedlock until the an action is brought in Circuit Court to establish paternity (even if you already know who the Father is or if the Father is listed on the birth Certificate.

When the Father is listed on the birth certificate, it creates a presumption that the person listed is the biological Father. To establish or enforce a father’s natural rights, he MUST file an action for paternity in circuit court.

Mary A. Cosmo, Esq.
15050 Elderberry Lane, Suite 4-14
Ft. Myers, FL 33907

LaBelle Office
825 E. Cowboy Way, Suite 107
LaBelle, FL 33935

Attention Fellow Florida Attorneys: I am teaching another Property/Real Estate Class for Paralegals at Hodges University and would like to know your option.

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Family Law Attorney Mary A. Cosmo is committed to providing affordable, professional legal services with personal and respectful representation of your family law matter.
We offer limited or full representation so whether you only need assistance with document review, filling out forms, or full representation we are here to help.

Consultations: Our 15-minute phone consultations are always free. You should have the option to speak to your attorney before you commit to paying for their advice. Our Attorneys believe that no matter the type of representation your attorney should be available to you to answer your questions. You can always get a hold of our attorneys by phone or email (please do not text, it is not secure), if you have to leave a message we will return your call within 24-48 hours.