WHO WE ARE

We are experienced and passionate advocates for those who are involved in a family crisis such as divorce, paternity, post-judgment matters, support, dependency, and other child custody problems.

MARY LOU MILLER WAGSTAFF, ESQ.

Mary Lou Miller Wagstaff

Family Law Attorney

Having been born an Ohio Buckeye, it was not hard to become a Florida Cracker when my family moved to Winter Park. I was educated at The College of William & Mary which not only gave me a great education but appealed to my love of history, followed by law school at Stetson University College of Law. I started out as an in-house corporate attorney, but quickly decided I wanted to help people more directly in private practice.

Mary Lou Miller Wagstaff, ESQ.

Family Law Attorney

Having been born an Ohio Buckeye, it was not hard to become a Florida Cracker when my family moved to Winter Park. I was educated at The College of William & Mary which not only gave me a great education but appealed to my love of history, followed by law school at Stetson University College of Law. I started out as an in-house corporate attorney, but quickly decided I wanted to help people more directly in private practice.

After getting experience in corporate and business law, general litigation, and marital and family law, I realized my real passion was advocating for my clients who were going through a family crisis. I particularly like working with my clients who want to protect their children and families in this changing world. I try to focus on what is truly in the best interest of the children as my clients are engaged in an increasingly complex legal system.

I have participated in various statewide and local bar association committees, as well as civic and charitable groups, focused on helping change the practice of family law. Some attorneys tell clients that their divorce has to be like the breakup of a business. Instead, I believe family law attorneys should recognize the emotional turmoil of families in crisis and approach their cases in a more therapeutic manner. This is how I approach every case, with genuine care and concern.

I serve as a Guardian ad Litem for children in high-conflict cases and am a certified mediator. I have represented Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg for more than 30 years in their adoptions program. Because families need legal counsel at all stages of their lives, I assist with wills, durable powers of attorney, and other life-planning documents, and when necessary, probate.

I am currently privileged to be on the Supreme Court Steering Committee of Families & Children where I also serve as liaison to the Florida Bar Family Law Rules Committee. You might also be interested to know I have written a chapter for the Florida CLE “Red” books.

I am passionate about helping my clients. I work hard with each and every case to make sure that it is handled competently, compassionately and thoroughly whether it is through litigation, mediation or collaboration, and I’m anxious to help you toward resolution.

Member of The Florida Bar, Clearwater Bar Association, Canakaris Inns of Court, Florida Supreme Court Committee on Families and Children, and board member of the Florida Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

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MARIA G. PITELIS, ESQ.

Maria Pitelis

Family Law Attorney

I was born in Bristol, Connecticut and moved to Pinellas County, Florida in 1991. Having an interest in law at an early age, I participated in the Executive Internship Program as a teenager, interning at the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and the Law Firm of Yanchuck, Berman, and Kasaris.

Maria G. Pitelis, ESQ.

Family Law Attorney

I was born in Bristol, Connecticut and moved to Pinellas County, Florida in 1991. Having an interest in law at an early age, I participated in the Executive Internship Program as a teenager, interning at the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and the Law Firm of Yanchuck, Berman, and Kasaris.

I majored in political science at Stetson University in Deland, Florida and participated in its mock senate, receiving numerous awards for my participation as foreign relations committee chair. I continued my studies at Stetson by enrolling in Stetson University College of Law in 1999. While there, I interned at the State Attorney’s Office, allowing me to participate in criminal hearings on behalf of the prosecutor’s office.

After graduation from Stetson in 2002, I continued my career at the State Attorney’s Office and have been practicing family law since 2003. I handle all aspects of family law from simple uncontested cases to complex litigation, including but not limited to divorce, custody, child support, asset division, relocation, domestic violence injunctions, and alimony.

In my spare time, I enjoy running, yoga, and comic-book conventions. My husband Tom and I have three wonderful children.

Memberships: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Clearwater Bar Association, Canakaris American Inn of Court, Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, and former chair of the Family Law Section of the Clearwater Bar Association.

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MELISSA OCEAN

Firm Administrator

Melissa joined our team in 2018 as our “Jill of All Trades.” She truly helps the office run smoothly by overseeing all administrative functions as well as doing everything from coordinating the Firm’s day to day operations to handling our Human Resources. She is skilled at managing both the Firm’s bookkeeping and client’s bills to more mundane things like scheduling whose turn it is to take out the trash or clean up the kitchen. Melissa strives to deliver a great experience to each of our clients (including helping with understanding invoices and the various convenient ways that you can pay them). Fortunately for all of us, behind her quiet exterior she has a great deal of patience along with a dry sense of humor. Melissa has more than 15 years as an administrative professional with a varied background that brings a unique perspective to our daily operations. In her free time, you can find her hanging out with her dog, taking a barre class, or at the beach with a new book.

BRENDA PATTON

Registered Paralegal

Brenda Patton has lived in Florida for many years but is originally from New Jersey. She has been with Wagstaff Law Office for more than ten years and has her paralegal degree from St. Petersburg College. As a registered paralegal, Brenda has the education, training, and certification to comply with Florida Bar regulation and can complete delegated legal work under the supervision of our licensed attorneys. Prior to her time at Wagstaff she was with Eckerd Community Alternatives.

ALLY DICKSTEIN

Legal Assistant

Ally graduated from Towson University in 2017 with a B.S. in Law and American Civilization. She is originally from Ellicott City, Maryland but relocated to Florida in the summer of 2019. She began her career as an Investigative Legal Assistant for a personal injury firm that represents lead paint poisoning victims in Baltimore City. It was truly a rewarding experience being able to help individuals who had been poisoned by lead. Now that she has become a Floridian, she finds helping families in crisis at Wagstaff Law Office even more rewarding. Ally plans to attend law school and continue working in family law as she has found a true passion for helping families. When she is not in the office, you can find her at the beach or in Disney World riding Space Mountain.

TEELA LITTLETON

Receptionist

Teela Littleton is the friendly person who answers the phone and greets you when you come in the door. Teela graduated from Dunedin High School. She has worked in the legal field for more than 10 years. With her legal experience, she is able to assist the whole office in performing many of the day to day tasks.

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Families We've Helped