In Florida, there are two legal grounds to obtain a dissolution of marriage: 1) a party has been declared legally incompetent for a period in excess of three years, or 2) the marriage is irretrievably broken meaning that there is nothing the court can do to save this marriage.

Divorce is often a very emotional time for all parties involved. It is often a process involving child support, alimony, distribution of assets, property, and a complete change in life. In addition, these proceedings may cross over into other areas of the law including domestic violence proceedings and dependency proceedings.

The Law Office of Maha A. ELKolalli, P.L. is well equipped to handle all matters relating to divorce and post dissolution of marriage. In addition, the attorneys at our law office have extensive experience in the other related areas including dependency, domestic violence, therapeutic and social needs, and property law. Therefore, one law office has the experience, dedication, and empathy to help you cope through one of the most challenging experiences you may have to deal with. Call today to schedule a consultation.


The Law Office of Maha A. ELKolalli, P.L. is well equipped to handle all matters involving alimony. We remain up to date on the constant changes in the Florida alimony laws.

As of July 1, 2011, Florida Alimony laws have significantly changed. These changes will apply to all initial awards of alimony as of that date and all modifications to alimony made after that date. These changes however may not be the basis to modify awards of alimony entered before July 1, 2011, or as a basis to change amounts or duration of awards existing before that date.

For purposes of alimony, marriages are defined as follows:
  • Long Duration Marriage = 17 years or greater
  • Moderate Duration Marriage = 7-17 years
  • Short Duration Marriage = Less than 7 years


May be awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony shall not be modifiable in amount or duration.

May be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either

May be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis. The length of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.

May be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration if such an award is appropriate based upon clear and convincing evidence after consideration of certain factors as outlined in the statute, or following a marriage of short duration if there are written findings of exceptional circumstances. In awarding permanent alimony, the court shall include a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties. An award… may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship.


In Florida, child support is determined by a set formula, which includes a child support guidelines chart based upon a combined monthly available income. Therefore, most child support disputes are over what income is being used to make the calculation.

It should be noted that child support is the right of the child and a parent may not waive that right on behalf of that child. A determination of child support must also address the child’s health insurance and childcare when applicable. Both parents are responsible for the support of the child.

When both parents spend a significant amount of time with the child, the court will use the gross up method to calculate child support. This calculation significantly decreases the amount of child support paid.


Domestic violence is a matter which must always be taken seriously. These are life circumstances that are sensitive to all those who are involved. Children are severely impacted by being victims of domestic violence or even by witnessing domestic violence. Failure to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and the ones you love may result in ultimate life changing injuries or even death.

Domestic violence” is defined by statute to mean any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death on one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit. (See Fla. Stat. 741.28) “Family or household member” is defined as spouses, former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.

An injunction is often the first step to protection; however, these proceedings may be complicated and include many steps to obtain the final permanent injunction. The rules of evidence will apply and certain critical facts may be excluded from the court.

Whether you are the victim or the aggressor, or even the alleged aggressor, these proceedings should not be taken lightly. These proceedings will include decisions regarding the safety of children, visitation with children, support, and who will have access to the home. If you are the alleged aggressor, important issues must also be taken into consideration including the potential for future criminal charges and how testimony in these proceedings may impact a criminal case.

The Law Office of Maha A. ELKolalli, P.L. is can provide you with the adequate representation you need to protect yourself in these proceedings. In addition, our law firm has a relationship with the organizations in the community designed to assist victims of domestic violence. Call us today to schedule a consultation.