Tampa, Florida

Why Hire Givens Sparks


Givens Givens Sparks - Family Law

If you are facing a family law conflict, you are undoubtedly acutely aware of the stress and complications that can arise. What you may not realize is whom you choose to hire as your Tampa divorce lawyer can make a profound impact on the overall outcome of your case. All too often, people assume that an attorney is just an attorney – one is just as good as the next.

While most lawyers have received similar schooling, not all are equal. When you and your family's future is on the line, can you afford to work with second best? At Givens Givens Sparks, we have more than 100 years of collective attorney experience. We also have board certified attorneys working in conjunction with us to share their expertise and knowledge from years of experience. Throughout this time in practice, we have been involved in countless cases, worked with numerous individuals and have shown to clients and to our peers, that we truly can be counted on in tough situations.

Still wondering how our firm can help?
Read below to see why we may be the best choice for you.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms"

Givens Givens Sparks - Best Law Firms US News

To even be eligible for ranking within the prestigious list of U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms," firms must have one attorney who has been listed in Best Lawyers®. At Givens Givens Sparks, we are honored to state that our very own attorney, Stann W. Givens, has been listed in Best Lawyers® for his work in family law throughout Tampa. By having this honor, our firm became one of 11,000 eligible for ranking.

Following determination of eligibility, rankings are created based on several different evaluation processes that include everything from the gathering of evaluations from clients and fellow attorneys, peer reviews from other attorneys in their field, as well as the formal submission of additional information regarding the firm. Clients who are asked to evaluate the firm are required to give them a score on a scale from one to five based on everything from expertise to responsiveness. All of this information is gathered, compared to other firms within a similar area, and then each firm is given a quantifiable score and placed into separate tiers.

Givens Givens Sparks was honored to be ranked in their first tier for family law firms in Tampa.

Board Certified by the Florida Bar

Givens Givens Sparks - Board Certified Florida Bar

The Florida Bar prides itself on "celebrating 30 years of dedication to professionalism." Through their board certification program, The Florida Bar is able to recognize those lawyers who truly possess not only a special knowledge in their field, but also the skills and general proficiency to set themselves apart from their peers. Only attorneys who have earned board certification are permitted to call themselves "specialists" and "experts" in their field – titles which are rigorously earned and deeply deserved.

Earning board certification by The Florida Bar is more than a popularity contest; in fact, it is the only designation that an attorney can earn that is not rooted in peer recommendation. To earn this certification—and the ability to call themselves an expert—an attorney must be thoroughly tested, actively involved in area-specific continuing legal education and must also receive confidential peer reviews.

The following are required to become a board certified specialist:

  • Be an active member in good standing with The Florida Bar
  • Have been a practicing attorney for at least five years
  • Have completed all approved legal education
  • Demonstrated thorough experience in their area of practice
  • Have favorable evaluations from judges and peers
  • Pass a comprehensive written exam

In the state of Florida, roughly only 4,500 attorneys are board certified in more than 24 different practice areas. This averages out to a mere 7 percent of all practicing lawyers. Not only is it difficult to achieve this certification, it is not something that can simply be claimed for the rest of an attorney's life; in fact, there is a vigorous re-certification process which must be completed by certified lawyers every five years.

Attorneys Stann W. Givens and Ellen Ostman are both board certified in marital & family law.

AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Givens Givens Sparks - AV Rated

The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are industry recognized as one of the most thorough and objective ways by which lawyers can be rated. This is achieved through a comprehensive rating process that carefully evaluates an attorney on all levels – not only taking into consideration their professional ability, but also rating them based on their ethical standards. Most attorneys do not even receive their first review before they have been admitted to the bar for at least three years.

Ratings are based on several factors and are gathered by surveying lawyers who are in similar areas of practice of the attorney being rated. These lawyers are asked to answer several questions about their peer – evaluating everything from their legal knowledge to their analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and even their legal experience. These are then calculated to determine their final score which ranges from 1.0 to 5.0. Lawyers ranked 1.0 to 2.9 are considered Rated, those ranked 3.0 to 4.4 earn the rating of BV Distinguished® and lawyers who earn top marks between 4.5 to 5.0 earn an AV Preeminent® rating.

Attorneys Stann W. Givens and Ellen Ostman have both been ranked AV Preeminent®.

Selected for Inclusion in Super Lawyers®

Givens Givens Sparks - Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers® works to recognize attorneys who have earned peer recognition as well as significant accomplishment in more than 70 different practice areas. With a multi-phased approach, Super Lawyers®evaluates attorneys nationwide, conducting not only independent research by their own teams, but accepting peer nominations and gathering thorough peer evaluations across the country. A Special Master assigned by the New Jersey Supreme Court validated the Super Lawyers®selection process, stating that it is a "comprehensive, good-faith and detailed attempt to produce a list of lawyers that have attained high peer recognition, meet ethical standards, and have demonstrated some degree of achievement in their field."

The selection process starts by creating a candidate pool by combining attorneys nominated by peers, lawyers who were nominated through the Managing Partner Survey, as well as individuals who have been identified by the Super Lawyers® own research team. These lawyers are then evaluated on twelve different indicators including past verdicts & settlements, experience, other honors, special licenses and more. From there, candidates with the highest points are pulled onto a Blue Ribbon Panel and used to evaluate other candidates in similar areas of practice. The fourth step is the final selection. The end result? No more than five percent of all practicing attorneys are selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers® list.

Attorneys Stann W. Givens, Chris Givens, Ellen Ostman, and Victoria Cruz-Garcia have selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers®.

Givens Givens Sparks: Our Core Philosophy

At Givens Givens Sparks, we operate on a simple philosophy: the client comes first. We therefore have made it our ultimate goal to always work toward helping protect the rights of each client. We know that family law is one that is burdened with emotional difficulties, social problems and extreme uncertainty. This is not an impersonal area of the law – it's your life! With such an empathetic understanding of what our clients are experiencing, we've made it our ultimate goal to help ease our client's mind through all stages of the case. We encourage cooperation with the other side and always work toward creating an environment that fosters collaboration to help ease anxiety and soothe otherwise turbulent emotions.

We, however, also recognize that this level of cooperation is not always possible. In these cases, we readily take up the mantle as protector of our clients and will work tirelessly to ensure that their rights are defended. We know that family law has the ability to create severe stress and heartache; don't let your rights go unprotected. As caring advocates, the Tampa family attorneys at our firm are here to provide not only kind and compassionate guidance, but also stand by your side with aggressive, effective protection. Should you choose to work with us, you can rest assured knowing that we will always take the time to listen and address your concerns, stand up for your rights and keep your family's best interests as our primary goal.

If you would like to learn more about what sets us apart or if you're ready to discuss your case, don't hesitate! Call us toll-free at (813) 756-1871


  • “I so appreciate all of the help I received.”

  • “Rob, thanks for the great, very professional job.”

  • “Really amazing during this difficult time.”

  • “Dear Rob, Kelly and Anita, I cannot express my gratitude enough to all of you for your hard work in reaching a successful outcome in my case. You made every step of this difficult process much more bearable through your attentiveness, timely communication ”

  • “Rob, thank you so much for helping with all of this and know that I hold you and your staff in the highest professional esteem. No matter what was thrown at us, you had an answer that countered. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and more importan”

  • “Stann, thank you doesn’t seem like enough. You are truly a master negotiator.”

  • “We are glad that you were with us during this process.”

  • “Solid, tenacious, thorough, and reputable counsel.”

  • “Stann, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I appreciate the hard work by the attorneys in your firm.”

  • “We were able to leave with big smiles - all because of you!”

  • “Stann, I just wanted to say thanks. I was very impressed by the entire Givens Givens Sparks team and process.”

  • “I am very appreciative of the work Rob and his team put out for my case. And as I already said, he knows his stuff for sure. Please extend my thanks again to the whole firm for all of their help no matter how small it may have been.”

  • “You Helped keep me calm and understand the legal side of matters.”

  • “Good job today, Rob – thanks for the help!”

  • “Your team is amazing!”

  • “Rob, Chris and Paula, just a note to personally thank each of you for your time, expertise, knowledge and guidance through this long, and at times grueling process. We truly appreciate your due diligence through this process and your experts were a pleasur”

  • “If ever in the future I need any legal advice I will not hesitate to contact you.”

  • “Thank you for taking the time and spending long days and nights dealing with my case.”

  • “I just want to take a minute to tell you how amazing you are at your job!”

  • “Rob, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all of the time, effort and hard work you put into my case! Without your assistance and support, I would not be where I am now.”

  • “I am truly grateful for your efforts.”

  • “I will look to your firm in the future for any other assistance.”

  • “You are of the highest caliber.”

  • “Only you made the difference in our situation.”

  • “I have never experienced as great service as your team has provided me.”

  • “Very friendly and down to earth – they are real people.”

  • “Rob, thank you again for your counsel and care over the past few months. It has been a pleasure working with you. Please extend my appreciation to Paula and Arely as well for their work and process expedition.”

  • “You stepped up to serve the interest of our client seamlessly.”

  • “I could not have been more pleased with the work that Chris did for me.”

  • “Robert, I would not have expected anyone less, of your expertise, from my chosen lawyer! You have been both extremely competent and personable throughout your part of these proceedings, and I don’t believe anyone could have done a better job!”

  • “GREAT communication!”

  • “Diligent communications and follow-ups.”

  • “Beyond thorough and true to your original timeline.”

  • “Stann, Esther and staff, thank you so much for handling my divorce. I really appreciate your hard work and dedication.”

  • “Kelly and Tiffany, thank you both so much for all of the wonderful work you did for me in handling my divorce. I had feared it was going to be a stressful experience despite the overall situation and it was far from it.”

  • “They have always been accessible and courteous in meeting our needs.”

  • “Givens Givens Sparks will be my first thought if anyone ever asks about a referral to an attorney. Chris Givens and Peggy were not only very professional, but also friendly and helpful, and I truly believe they cared about my case.”

  • “I was very happy with the attention given to me by Chris Givens and his paralegal Peggy. They were very professional and at the same time made me feel comfortable and welcome. I will definitely refer.”

  • “I read your article on never badmouth your child's parent. Kudos!”

  • “I'm not sure I could have made it through the past 18 months without you guys.”

  • “So professional and caring!”

  • “Robert Sparks and his personal injury team fought with great effort to get the most out of my case. I appreciate all of your hard work guys, keep it up!”

  • “The legal team demonstrated experience explaining every step of my case. I was very satisfied with my settlement and will I seek their services for all my legal needs in the future.”

  • “I have worked with attorneys my entire professional career. My experience with Givens Givens Sparks was the best, by far, of any previous experience! Stann did a great job of guiding me thru the process, and more importantly, helping me keep my emotions i”

  • “My Givens Givens Sparks attorney stayed with me and fought for me.”

  • “Mrs. Garcia Is very professional and extremely helpful and organized.”

  • “The team at Givens Givens Sparks was very caring and kept us up to date on the claim.”

  • “Mr. Codling made my legal process easy.”

  • “All communication has always been timely and in a professional manner. Very thankful for the Givens Givens Sparks legal team in a stressful situation.”

  • “The personal attention given to the needs of our family's case has always been timely, professional, and accurate. I have gratitude for each person in the firm, but especially Mr. Sparks and Paula Bland.”

  • “The entire firm extended a personal interest in my case from the beginning to the end. My attorney, Chris Givens, created not only this interest but a personal relationship as a genuine friend not only during the course of my case but still continues prese”

  • “Communication was a strong point. When I had a question, an answer was provided in a timely manner.”

  • “Did exactly what they said. Period.”

  • “We really like Kelly. She's really quick on her feet and able to think outside the box, in terms of getting favorable solutions to our unorthodox situation. Tiffany is very helpful too, working with us as a team. My husband and I appreciate them both.”

  • “Stann Givens, Lindsay A. Moczynski and Arely Quiles, Paralegal/ Client Care Manager all were very helpful and professional. Great team, great job. Thanks, Stann!”

  • “Frequent contact, never left in the dark and wondering what was next. Thanks to Paula.”

  • “Kept in touch, always available, quick turnaround and very professional and courteous.”

  • “Very professional, polite and always respectful. I felt your team had my best interests at heart and that you tried wherever possible to keep costs to a minimum.”

  • “I am forever humbly grateful for their honesty, integrity, and diligence.”

  • “I do wish I would have retained earlier so as to avoid a lot of unnecessary stress.”

  • “Victoria Cruz-Garcia has been the best throughout both of my cases.”

  • “Rob Sparks is a great attorney, and even better person. Paula Bland is as good as it gets.”

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Family Law Practice Areas

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