2014 Super Lawyers Magazine Rising Star

July 10, 2014

Mr. Troy was selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a 2014 rising star for his work in the field of Marital and Family law.  Super Lawyers Magazine only selects 2.5% of licensed attorney’s in Florida to receive this honor.  This is the fourth time Mr. Troy has received this recognition and the 6th time overall he has received this honor from similar Florida publications.

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Paralegal Association of Florida Inc-Boca Chapter-2014 Ethics Seminar Boca Raton

February 07, 2014

Mr. Troy will be speaking February 8, 2014 on the subject of ethics as it relates to to cyber spying in family law cases.  The seminar will take place at the Pavilion Grill located at 301 Yamato Road in Boca Raton. 

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November 8, 2013 CLE Presentation

November 01, 2013

Mr. Troy will be speaking in Palm Beach on November 8 on the subject of “Spying Spouses” in family law cases.  This seminar will address internet and digital issues in divorce cases including, spying spouses, knowing the line between lawful and unlawful activity (e.g. e-mail hacking and tracking, spy software, GPS devices, audio and video recordings, etc.), divorce discovery and the difference between social media discovery and e-discovery, ethical considerations and managing and overcoming evidentiary roadblocks.

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What is Shared Parental Responsibility?

August 18, 2013

As many people know, approximately five years ago, the Florida legislature changed the way divorce cases involving children were handled. The legislature recognized that “custody” battles were flooding the courts and hurting families going through a divorce.  No longer would the terms “custody” or “visitation” be used.  The courts are now required to utilize parenting plans Supreme Court of Florida Parenting Plan .  These parenting plans are used to establish timesharing as opposed to visitation.  In the parenting plans nowhere does it discuss “custody”.  The term “custody” has been removed from all of the Florida Statutes governing family law.  Now the courts designate “parental responsibility” to the parents.  The court or the parties may decide to use “shared parental responsibility”, “sole parental responsibility” or “ultimate decision making” over the children.

Shared parenting is far and away the most common designation of parental responsibility.  Under shared parental responsibility, the parents are required to discuss with each other all major decisions regarding the children such as, health care and education.  If the parties cannot agree with each other they are forced to go to court to have a judge decide.  Sole parental responsibility is very rare and it is utilized in extreme cases.  Under sole parental responsibility, one parent makes all the decisions regarding the child. The decision making parent is not required to consult with the other parent on any of the decisions regarding the child’s care.  Ultimate decision making is a variation of shared parental responsibility.  Under ultimate decision making, the parties are first required to consult with each other on all child related issues. If the parties cannot agree, one parent is designated the ultimate decision maker and their position on an issue will trump that of the other parent.  Ultimate decision making is commonly used in extremely high conflict cases where the court believes the parents simply cannot agree on anything.  By giving one parent ultimate decision making, the court hopes to avoid the parties frequently coming back into court.

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High Cost of Attorney’s Fees in Divorce

August 09, 2013

It is being reported that Dwyane Wade’s divorce may be costing him in excess of 10 million dollars http://goo.gl/Fzeiiq.  While this is of course very rare, it is an example of how attorney’s fees can get out of control when emotions run high in a divorce case.

When choosing an attorney, a client must first understand their own financial limitations.  Not everybody can afford the most expensive attorney in town and not everybody can afford to litigate their divorce case at the same level as a high profile celebrity.  Some individuals also may need to consider that the law requires the higher earning spouse to contribute to the non-earning spouses attorney’s fees.  In certain cases that means one party is paying for two attorneys. 

Do not be afraid to ask your lawyer how much it will cost to file a certain motion, or to go to court.  You will find that many issues are simply not worth it financially or worth the stress of appearing in front of a judge.  Most people going through a divorce are spending money they worked hard to accumulate over the course of several years.  Some people are simply paying for the divorce by increasing their debt.  Either way, the more you fight, the less there will be for the family.  So before you go looking for the “bulldog” attorney, or go rushing into court…  think about how much it will cost you and your family.

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Accessing Spouses Emails May Be Illegal

July 26, 2013

A police officer in Tallahassee has found himself in hot water for accessing his former wife’s email account and providing her emails to his divorce lawyer.  This was deemed to be a violation of police orders and will lead to discipline for the officer.  Read more at: http://goo.gl/RsAax7

I published an article on this issue where I go into greater detail about spying on the private communication of a spouse in a divorce setting. The courts have tried to crack down on these spying spouses particularly in a divorce setting.  Florida statute chapter 934 deals with this issue extensively.  If a spouse attempts to use as evidence any intercepted emails, phone calls or text messages they may find themselves in trouble with the family courts as well as being prosecuted for criminal activity.  Parties to a divorce need to be extremely careful when trying to utilize emails, correspondence and recorded conversations as evidence in their divorce case.  It is important to review the statutes and case law carefully with your lawyer before attempting to utilize these communications as evidence.

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Update on Dwyane Wade Law Suit

July 17, 2013

According to the Chicago Tribune, Dwyane Wade’s former wife has unexpectedly dropped her law suit against the Heat guard and several corporations. The law suit was initially brought because Wade’s former wife believed she was not being paid a portion of Wade’s endorsement dollars as required under the parties divorce agreement.  The law suit claimed she was entitled to recover one million dollars.  The reason for the voluntary dismissal is unknown at this time. 

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Reconciliation Not a Reason to Unilaterally Modify Alimony

July 17, 2013

Former NBA super star, Allen Iverson found out the hard way that reconciliation is not a free pass to modify your alimony obligation.  Recently Iverson was ordered to jail by a family court judge if he did not pay his former wife $40,000 in unpaid alimony within 72 hours.  Iverson quickly came up with the money to avoid jail.  According to various media outlets, Iverson claimed the reason he did not pay was because he believed the couple had reconciled and thus he was no longer under a support obligation.

The courts will not allow a party to unilaterally modify or terminate their child support or alimony payments.  Even if a couple reconciles, the payor spouse is still under an obligation to make his alimony and child support payments until the parties enter into a subsequent SIGNED agreement or the court enters an order modifying the payments.  Any party that changes their support obligation with out doing it properly may find themselves in contempt of court or behind bars.

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Dwyane Wade Being Sued By Former Spouse for Conspiracy to Avoid Payments

July 11, 2013

Dwyane Wade’s former wife is pursuing a claim against the Miami Heat star for conspiracy to avoid payments to her. Preliminary reports are that the parties entered into an Agreed Preliminary Injunction (API) which required Wade’s income from endorsements to be placed with a mutually selected financial institution. The complaint against Wade alleges that he conspired with the various companies he endorses along with agents to avoid placing the earnings in a joint account as required by the API. The suit was brought against Wade and companies such as T-Mobile, Gatorade and Staples to name a few.

If this is a case of Wade avoiding a property distribution payment, the penalty may be less harsh such as financial sanctions, attorney’s fees, interest penalties and a judgment against him. If in fact the endorsement earnings were part of a support payment, the court may hold Wade in contempt, order financial fines and possibly incarceration. Although it is unlikely Wade would see the inside of a jail cell, a ruling such as this could hurt Wade’s image and may impact his future sponsorship opportunities. Companies will think twice before entering into deals with the superstar if they involve the ex-spouse.

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Family Courts Concerned with the New Health Care Laws

July 03, 2013

The Family Courts in Florida are gearing up for the change in health care laws (commonly referred to as Obama-Care or the Affordable Health Care Act).  Because it is not exactly known how these new laws will impact families, the courts are paying special attention to ensure each agreement complies with Florida Statute 61.13(1)(b).  This statute requires divorcing couples to designate one or both parties to be responsible to pay for the children’s health insurance and uncovered medical expenses. Just as the court will not allow a divorce to be finalized without properly addressing child support, the courts are now turning people away if their agreement does not include a designation for the payment of health care costs.  In Harris v. Harris, a recent decision out of the 2nd DCA, the court was reversed when it failed to address how the children’s medical expenses and insurance would be paid after the divorce.

The court are clamping down on this issue to ensure that no matter how the change in the health care laws impact the parents, the children will be properly protected.  Discuss this matter with your lawyer, and pay special attention to the health care provisions in your agreement.  Although most agreements should have this clause, it is now mandatory and you cannot get divorced without it. 

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News

July 10, 2014
Mr. Troy was once again selected by his peers as one of the top young lawyers in Florida for his work in Martial and Family Law.

February 07, 2014
Mr. Troy will be speaking at the Paralegal Association of Florida Inc-Boca Chapter-2014 Ethics Seminar . Mr. Troy will be speaking about the subject of cyber spying and ethics in family law.

November 01, 2013
Sam Troy will be speaking at the Palm Beach County Bar CLE presentation. The subject matter will be: "Spying Spouses in the Computer Age".

June 23, 2013
Mr. Troy was once again selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star for 2013. Mr. Troy was one of only 2% of lawyer under 40 in the state of Florida selected for this honor.

July 19, 2012
Mr. Troy was recently quoted in a national website, modernman.com, "7 Rules For Getting Divorced". Take a look: http://tiny.cc/l8hphw

July 22, 2011
Samuel R.Troy was one of only 132 lawyers under the age of 40 selected as an Up and Comer by Florida Trend's Legal Elite Magazine for 2011