Susan M. Helms has practiced law in St. Petersburg since 1992. Her current practice focuses on the following areas:
In Florida, divorce is called "dissolution of marriage." Florida law requires our judges to effect an "equitable distribution" of marital assets and debts. If there are minor children, Florida law requires that a "parenting plan" be put in place to address time-sharing and responsibility for the children which is found to be in their best interest. The Law Office of Susan M. Helms handles difficult or complex divorces, as well as uncontested or low-asset divorces. Our approach is always to attempt a reasonable settlement for you, even pre-suit, through a thorough assessment of your issues and negotiation with the other party. If that is not possible, then we will pursue your rights in court. We keep a focus on affordability so that you will not outspend your family's resources fighting unimportant battles, but will nevertheless reach a just result.
Estate Planning, Wills & Probate
An effective estate plan is absolutely essential to the continued well-being of your family and loved ones. We have the skill and experience necessary to create an effective estate plan to ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes in the most efficient and problem-free manner possible. Where it is possible and practical, we can help you avoid probate. Where it is necessary, we will help you and your family navigate the probate process. We recommend some very basic estate planning documents be prepared for every adult, at a minimum, including a will, living will with health care surrogate designation, and durable power of attorney. We can discuss with you whether you have special needs that would make revocable trusts appropriate to avoid probate, irrevocable trusts to avoid creditors, medical benefits and long term care planning, etc.