Maria C. Gonzalez Bio

Maria C. Gonzalez, PA

Maria has been Board Certified in Marital and Family Law by the Florida Bar since 1997.  She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Florida Chapter), an organization comprised of the top family lawyers in the country.   Maria served as Chair of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar in 2015-2016.  She is an experienced and highly regarded trial attorney and is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and is routinely chosen by her colleagues to mediate issues in their cases. She has been featured as one of Florida Magazine’s “Super Lawyers” since 2006 and named Top Lawyers in Florida by the South Florida Legal Guide.

 

 

Maria has limited her practice to marital and family law and guardianship matters since her admission to the bar 30 years ago. She has extensive experience in all phases of the matrimonial practice, including divorce, parental responsibility (or child custody), timesharing, parenting plans, mediation, child support, paternity, equitable distribution, relocation, enforcement, modifications, disestablishment of paternity, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, domestic violence (restraining orders), annulment, guardian ad litem, and step-parent adoption.  Maria has been recognized by judges and colleagues as one of the top matrimonial lawyers in Florida and enjoys a top “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell and listed in its Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.

 

 

Maria approaches each case with the goal of reaching the best resolution and outcome for that client by carefully managing each aspect of the case along the way. Together with the client, she formulates a strategy and goals at the beginning of each case and directs her efforts at realizing that goal by following through on the plan.  Maria is a strong advocate whether it is in or out of the courtroom. She is committed to working with and fighting for her clients. 

Over 30 years of experience in marital and family law.

Maria has lectured extensively on matrimonial and family law topics and mediation through organizations such as, the Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Florida College for Advanced Judicial Studies, local voluntary bar organizations throughout the state and numerous bench and bar events.  In 2007, she co-authored the Electronic Communication Statute, Section 61.13003, Florida Statute which ultimately became part of all Parenting Plans in the state.

 

Maria’s recognitions include The Honorable Raymond T. McNeal Professionalism Award in 2018, the Honorable Hugh E. Stearns Community Service Award in 2016, appointment to the Board of Directors of the Florida Bar Foundation in 2018 and to the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and Civility in 2014. She is also past Chair of the Marital and Family Law Certification Committee for the Florida Bar and is past President of The First Family Law American Inn of Court. In 2018, she was appointed to serve on the committee tasked with updating the Bounds of Advocacy which sets goals and guidelines for family lawyers in Florida.  The Bounds represent a significant contribution to promote legal professionalism and civility for family law practitioners.

Author

  • “Diversity and Inclusion - Helping Children with Special Needs in a Distance-Learning World” - The Family Law Section-FAMSEG, 2020
  • “Bounds of Advocacy” – Ad Hoc committee member, The Family Law Section, 2018
  • “Hot Tip: Effective Case Management Conferences”, The Family Law Section, Commentator, November, 2010
  • “Final Judgment Checklist”, The Family Law Section, Commentator, December, 2009
  • “Frozen Embryos, Divorce, and Needed Legislation: On the Horizon or Has it Arrived?”,  Vol. 83, No. 4,  2009, The Florida Bar Journal
  • “Representing a Party with Tax Issues,” Vol.22. No.4, The Family Law Section, Commentator, 2007
  • Co-authored the Electronic Communication Statute, Section 61.13003, Florida Statutes, which took effect in Oct. 2007
  • “Divorce – Guiding You Through The Process” DVD; Revodition, LLC in 2007

Speaker

  • “2020 Professionalism Program Panel Discussion,” - panel speaker, Nova Southeastern University, August 2020.
  • “Relocation,” Presenter, 2020 Marital and Family Law Review Course, The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar/AAML, February 2020.
  • “2019 Legislative Update” at The 34th Annual View From the Bench, 11th Judicial Circuit, May 2019.
  • “2019 Tax Update” – moderator.  The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, February 2019.
  • “Legislative Update – 2018,” The First American Family Law Inns of Court
  • “Legislative Update – 2018, ” 33rd Annual View From the Family Bench, Miami-Dade County.
  • “Direct & Cross Examination,” at the Matrimonial Trial Advocacy workshop, The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, July 2017
  • “2017 and 2018 Legislative Update,”  Broward County Matrimonial Lawyers Group
  • “Rainmaking & Practice Development,” panelist, Dade County Bar Association 6th Annual Florida’s Grand Bench and Bar Conference, 2017
  • “All Roads Lead to Tallahassee – Winning For Florida’s Families,” 2016 Leadership Retreat, The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, St. Augustine, August 2016
  • “How to Be A More Effective Facilitator in the Mediation Process,” 2016 Dispute Resolution Center 24th Annual Conference, Dimensions of Diversity. Co-presenter, Orlando, August 2016
  • “Alimony,” Presenter, 2016 College for Advanced Judicial Studies (AJS), Orlando, May 2016
  • “How to Market Your Practice,” ABA Family Law Litigation Committee, December 2015
  • “Attorney’s Fees,” Presenter, 2015 Marital and Family Law Review Course, The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar/AAML, February 2015
  • “So You Think You Know About The Florida Bar?” Presenter, 2014 Leadership Retreat, The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, St. Petersburg, September 2014
  • “Making Mediation Meaningful,” AAML, Moderator, April 2014.
  • “Litigating a Family Law Case,” Presenter, Dade County Bar Association Family Law Committee, December 2013
  • “Testifying as the GAL,” The Florida Bar Family Law Guardian Ad Litem Pilot Training Program, October 2013
  • “Opening Statements,” at the Matrimonial Trial Advocacy Workshop, The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, August 2013
  • “Preservation of Issues for Appellate Review and Establishing a Proper Record and Final Judgment Checklist,” The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, June 2012
  • “The Effect of the Changing Color of Our Nation on the Practice of Family Law – Practical Application to Family Mediation, ” The American Bar Association – Family Law Section’s Spring CLE Conference, Miami Beach, April 2012
  • “Alimony” at the 20th “Nuts & Bolts” of Family Law, DCBA Family Courts Committee, January, 2012
  • “Mechanics of the Marital & Family Law Certification Exam,” The Florida Bar, November, 2011 and 2013
  • “Mediation & Collaboration ADR in Marital & Family Law Cases,” The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, Fall Retreat, Boston, October, 2011
  • “Preserving Error on Appeal” and “Final Judgments” at the “Matrimonial Trial Advocacy Workshop”, The Family Law Section to the Florida Bar, August, 2011
  • “2011 Legislative Update” at The 26th Annual View From the Bench, 11th Judicial Circuit, May, 2011 
  •  “Final Judgments” at the “Matrimonial Trial Advocacy Seminar Workshop”, The Family Law Section of  the Florida Bar, August, 2009
  • “2009 Legislative Update” at the Collier County and Lee County Annual Family Law Forum, October, 2009
  • “Stock Options: It’s Opt to You!” at The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, September, 2009

Recognitions

  • Selected as a “Top Lawyer” (top 1%)in South Florida in 2020, South Florida Legal Guide for Marital and Family Law
  • The Honorable Raymond T. McNeal Professionalism Award, The Family Law Section (2018)
  • Appointed to the Board of Directors of The Florida Bar Foundation (2018-2021)
  • The “Honorable Hugh E. Stearns Community Service Award.” (FLAFCC) Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2016
  • Appointed to the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and Civility (2014-2018)
  • Featured in Florida Super Lawyers and selected as one of the top 5% Marital and Family Lawyers in Florida from 2006 through 2020
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell 
  • Listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers by Martindale- Hubbell
  • Recognized for excellence in the family law field by the American Registry as “Top Attorney” in Florida
  • Distinguished through peer review as having attained the highest level of legal ability and professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability and diligence

Memberships

  • Board of Directors, Florida Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (FLAFCC) (2017-2020)
  • Dade County Bar Association (Member, Family Law, Probate & Guardianship)
  • Broward County Bar Association (Member, Family Law)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Family Law)
  • Broward County Matrimonial Lawyers Group (Member)
  • The Florida Bar Family Law Section since 1994
    • Trustee
    • Past-Chair, 2015-2016
    • Ad Hoc Committee Member – Bounds of Advocacy - 2018
    • Executive Council Member, 2007-Present
    • Legislation Committee
      • Member
      • Liaison to Executive Committee, 2017-2018
      • Co-Chair, 2010-2012
    • Children’s Issues Committee
      • Co-Chair, 2008-2010
  • First Family Law American Inn of Court (Member 1993-; Barrister and Secretary, 2003; Treasurer, 2004; President-Elect, 2005; President, 2006, Emeritus, 2007-present (CLE Liaison 2007-2014)
  • The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, 2011-present

Education

  • University of Miami, B.S., Paralegal
  • Nova University, J.D

Bar Admissions

  • Florida Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Certifications/Specialties

  • Board Certified in Marital & Family Law, The Florida Bar
  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
  • Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) as Family Law Advocate
  • Certified Matrimonial Law Arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Areas of Practice

Languages

  • Maria C. Gonzalez is fluent in English and Spanish.

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