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Florida Family Law Notice of Related Cases

Florida Family Law Notice of Related Cases

Florida Family Law Notice of Related Cases

What is a Florida family law notice of related cases and why do Florida family law circuit courts require family law litigants to file this notice with the court? According to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.545(d), and Florida Family Law Rule 12.900(h), a Florida family law notice of related cases must contain the case captioning, the case number(s) of any related case(s) and should indicate to the court whether you are seeking to consolidate all outstanding issues under the family law court umbrella. Similar to the litigants’ obligation to inform the court of any changes in financial circumstances (by filing an amended Financial Affidavit), if related cases are filed during the pendency of the divorce/marital dissolution, then the parties must bring them to the court’s attention by filing a Florida family law notice of related cases.

What is a Related Case in Florida Family Law Court?

Florida Family Law Notice of Related Cases | What is a Related Case in Florida Family Law Court?

What is a related case in Florida family law court? Commonly, litigants will file a notice of related cases when there is an eviction, unlawful detainer, domestic violence, and/or criminal assault, battery, or stalking case/situation that arises. These types of cases could significantly impact the litigants’ timesharing and child support amounts, particularly if the case proceeds to trial. Withholding information from the court can lead to a result that could be challenged, and/or your veracity and forthrightness with the court could be challenged. If there are no related cases, you may wish to submit the Florida family law notice of related cases form and state that there are no related cases for purposes of making the record.

The rules of procedure provide that a case is related if it “involves the same parties, children, or issues and is pending when the family law case is filed; or it affects the court’s jurisdiction to proceed; or an order in the related case may conflict with an order on the same issues in the new case; or an order in the new case may conflict with an order in the earlier case.” If you need clarification, call a Florida family law attorney for more information, or consult with the local Clerk of Court in your county to receive the clarity you need to proceed forward with confidence.

For more information please continue reading.

Jonathan Jacobs is a Divorce Attorney In Clermont Florida, a Divorce Attorney in Orlando Florida, and helps his clients in the surrounding counties. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today for a consultation in your family law case. (407) 310-5636, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment. Jonathan@JJLawFL.com

 

 

 

Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance

Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance

Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance

Often, the parties in a Florida family law case do not have the financial resources to hire an attorney to manage their entire case. These financially-constrained litigants may, in the alternative, hire an attorney with the understanding that he or she will file a Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance. This means that if a litigant wants to hire an attorney for just one proceeding such as the family law mediation, or only for the family law trial, that is a strategy they may employ in an attempt to save on legal fees and costs. It is not optimal to hire an attorney that does not have the full knowledge of the proceedings, and has not been litigating your case since the beginning, but hiring an attorney to protect your best interests is still the best choice.

In order to appear on your behalf on a limited appearance basis, a Florida family law attorney such as myself will file a Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance. According to Florida Family Law Rule 12.040, Attorneys may represent a client on a limited basis provided they obtain the client’s informed consent and in some cases the client’s signature. Florida Family Law Rule 12.040(a) specifically provides that: “An attorney of record for a party, in a family law matter governed by these rules, shall be the attorney of record throughout the same family law matter, unless at the time of appearance the attorney files a notice, signed by the party, specifically limiting the attorney’s appearance only to the particular proceeding or matter in which the attorney appears.”

Consider your budget, the benefit that a skilled Florida family law attorney may add to the outcome of your case, and if you want to hire me on a limited basis, I will consider filing a Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance to appear on your behalf at certain hearings, mediations, or trial, as opposed to being your legal counsel for the entire case.

Florida Family Law Notice of Limited Appearance

More simply stated, sometimes Legal Aid or low cost firms are unable to assist an indigent client. At times such as those, what some clients do not know, is that they may hire (if the attorney or law firm is willing) an attorney for limited appearances/representation. This is one way that some law firms, such as my own, make legal representation affordable. The limitation is just that however, limited representation helps, but does not necessarily resolve all legal issues because the attorney hired for a per-event basis may not have all the background facts and the client may not have properly drafted his/her pleadings. Nevertheless, some attorney help is surely better than none, and affordability is critical for a great number of would-be-clients. Food for thought.

Affidavit of Corroborating Witness in Florida

Affidavit of Corroborating Witness in Florida

Affidavit of Corroborating Witness in Florida

To obtain a dissolution of marriage in Florida (colloquially speaking, a divorce), either spouse (husband or wife) must have resided in the State of Florida for a minimum of six months prior to filing a petition for divorce. There are many ways that a family law litigant can prove to the Florida Court that he or she is a Florida resident, one of which is by asking a witness to produce an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness in Florida on your behalf. The foremost method is by simply filing a copy of one’s Florida Driver License that shows a residency of at least six months in Florida. Alternatively, a family law litigant may provide a Florida identification card, a Voter Registration card, or otherwise. If none of those documents can be furnished, there is still an alternative to proving one’s residency in the State of Florida, pursuant to the requirements of the Florida family law circuit court.

The alternative is for the litigant to bring in a witness to testify to the litigant’s residency for minimum of six months, or the witness may simply furnish an affidavit to the court stating the same. The witness may not be either of the litigants themselves because that would hardly offer new information or solve the evidentiary problem. The person that signs the Affidavit of Corroborating Witness in Florida
must also have been a Florida resident for a minimum of six months prior to the petition for divorce having been submitted to the court. This is really quite a basic and logical requirement. Under oath, the affiant must swear, “I know of my own personal knowledge that this person has resided in the State of Florida for at least 6 months immediately prior to the date of filing of the petition.”

If you need clarification, call a Florida family law attorney for more information, or consult with the local Clerk of Court in your county to receive the clarity you need to proceed forward with confidence.

Writ of Bodily Attachment Child Support Florida

Writ of Bodily Attachment Child Support Florida

Writ of Bodily Attachment Child Support Florida

A “Writ of Bodily Attachment Child Support Florida” is established when the payor (person ordered to pay the payee/recipient) of child support has been delinquent, received a fair warning of that delinquency (essentially a failure to pay child support, whether willful or due to financial hardship and/or inability), and has failed to pay that amount owed/requested. The Writ commands the Sheriff of any county to arrest the payor for his or her failure to pay child support. First, either the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) will commence an action, or the party to whom child support is owed will first file a Motion for Contempt, stating that the payor has failed to pay and is accruing arrears in defiance of a court order commanding him or her to pay child support payments.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 38.22, and Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.615, a Florida Family Law Court (the Circuit Court of any County) may find a person in civil contempt for failure to pay child support. Civil contempt is not the same as criminal contempt, but the consequences are severe.

The “Writ of Bodily Attachment Child Support Florida” may be served by a Sheriff in any Florida county, even if in a county where the Writ did not originate. This is not simply a matter of the delinquent payor absconding to another county to avoid paying child support debt. Once the debt is owed, it must be paid and satisfied to avoid very real consequences.

A Florida Child Support Attorney

Florida Child Support Attorney

The reason you may need a Florida Child Support Attorney to represent you is because a Bowen Hearing (eponymously named after Bowen v. Bowen, 471 So. 2d 1274 (Fla. 1985)) is held within 48 hours. The purpose of a Bowen Hearing is for the Circuit Court to determine the payor’s present ability to pay the amount of child support owed. The “Writ of Bodily Attachment Child Support Florida” creates a “purge” amount owed. This means that the amount owed must be satisfied or else the payor will likely not be released from jail. If the payor is determined by the evidence to have the ability to pay, he or she must do so or remain incarcerated until such a time as they decide to pay their child support debt.

A Florida Child Support Attorney may file a Motion to Set Aside Writ of Bodily Attachment for you, which will illustrate to the Circuit Court your inability to pay and ask for your release from jail. Call us immediately if you need help.

 

 

Florida Divorce Consultation

Florida Divorce Consultation

Florida Divorce Consultation

Often new or potential clients ask us what our Florida divorce consultation is/consists of. Our goal at the Jacobs Law Firm, PLLC is to provide both ourselves (as your would-be attorney), and you (our potential client) with a Florida divorce consultation that gives an overview of the legal issues in your divorce or family law case. The Florida divorce consultation can help you decide how best to proceed in your case, and us whether to offer you legal help, in the following seven ways:

  1. The more our clients are able to tell us about their case history, the more we can diagnose the potential issues involved in their case.
  2. If the potential client’s case is already underway, the Florida divorce consultation will allow us to understand the trajectory of the case and discern whether we can help, and if so, how we can best help our potential client and minimize costs if possible.
  3. Hearing directly from you about your divorce/family law case will allow for us to brainstorm a strategy for how best to pursue your case. It is important to hire a family law divorce attorney that knows how to handle your case, especially if it is a unique case with infrequently litigated issues (rare issues that need to be addressed).
  4. Having the opportunity for a one-on-one consultation will allow us to establish a rapport enabling us to work well together to achieve your legal goals.
  5. Clear communication and a level of comfort can be established by having a good first impression.
  6. During our Florida divorce consultation, we can learn about your expectations concerning alimony, child support, tangible personal and real property distribution, and about your division of other assets.
  7. We can discuss potential timelines to avoid confusion about how long a dissolution of marriage case may take when issues are contested.

Florida Family Law Attorney

Florida Family Law Attorney

If you would like to speak with a Florida family law attorney about your case, and receive a Florida divorce consultation, please call the Jacobs Law Firm today. We will be happy to hear from you.

Child Support Deductions in Florida

Child Support Deductions in Florida

Child Support Deductions in Florida

Child support, as you may have already figured out by filling out your Financial Affidavit (short form or long form), is largely based on what is determined to be your net income. Gross and net income are different. Gross income is the sum total of all of your monthly income from all revenue sources that qualify under Florida and Federal law. Net income is the amount of money you net/make after taxes and other allowable deductions, most or all of which are clearly specified on both the Affidavit and Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Let’s delve into child support deductions in Florida including mandatory contributions and alimony.

Child Support Deductions in Florida

Alimony and Child Support Deductions in Florida

One of the most significant child support deductions in Florida you may be eligible to subtract from your gross income is the court-ordered child support you pay because of another case (i.e. you have another child or children, and the court has ordered you to make monthly child support payments). Careful, if you make voluntary payments that are not the result of a court-order (many people do this because they love their children and/or because they used to have a private arrangement without court intervention or oversite), those payments generally do not qualify as one of the child support deductions in Florida. It is also important to note that if you have been ordered to pay child support as a result of a previous case, and you have not made your payments (resulting in arrearages or past due payments that must be made), those would-be payments may not qualify as a child support deduction in your present case. You only receive “credit” if you pay. Court-orders are not to be taken lightly. There are real consequences for failures of payment. This same principle applies to alimony. Alimony paid from a current or previous relationship may qualify as a deduction provided those payments are timely made.

Mandatory Union and Retirement Deductions

Recently, a client asked me if their 401K and IRA contributions qualify as standard child support deductions in Florida. Although every case is different, generally speaking, unless the retirement payments are MANDATORY (some corporate jobs and public-sector jobs require contributions toward/for retirement), they are considered voluntary and thus do not qualify as child support deductions in Florida. The same applies to union dues. If they are not MANDATORY (subtracted from your paycheck as a condition of your employment), in the eyes of the court, any payments you make to the union are voluntary and do not qualify as a deduction.

The moral of this article is that your family law attorney advises a careful reading of your Financial Affidavit. If and when necessary, feel free to call us for a consultation.

A Florida Child Support Attorney

Duty to Update Financial Affidavit in Florida

Duty to Update Financial Affidavit in Florida

Pursuant to Florida Family Law Rule 12.285 (Mandatory Disclosure), both the petitioner and the respondent in a family law case (divorce, paternity, or otherwise) have a duty to supplement their financial disclosures, and this may include a duty to update financial affidavit in Florida under certain circumstances. The specific language of Rule 12.285(e)(1), “Duty to Supplement Disclosure; Amended Financial Affidavit,” provides that the: “Parties have a continuing duty to supplement documents described in this rule, including financial affidavits, whenever a material change in their financial status occurs.” There is often some debate over what a “material change in financial status” means. The Florida Legislature and the Family Law Courts are wise not to pinpoint a specific number because circumstances are different, litigants are different, incomes and careers vary, and Judges rule slightly different depending on the evidence propounded and the circumstances of each case.

Financial Affidavit in Florida

Financial Affidavit in Florida

It makes perfect sense that litigants in a family law case have a continuing duty to disclose fluctuations in their income. Often a party will lose his/her job during the proceedings, or one party may find better and higher paying employment. This happens frequently, and the proper way to account for these changes is by amending one’s financial affidavit to reflect their new financial projections/calculations/data/fiscal reality (phrase it however you like). For instance, if you are a family law litigant and you earn a promotion that comes with a pay raise amounting to thousands of dollars, your income has likely materially changed. You have a legal duty to inform the court of your change in circumstances.

Another reason there is a duty to update financial affidavit in Florida is the failure to do so could cost you money. If your income has gone down during the divorce proceeding, and you fail to inform the court, you may be forced to pay more in alimony or child support than you can afford. Alternatively, if your income has gone up materially, and you fail to notify the court, the other party may take you back to court soon after you have reached a marital settlement or a mediated settlement agreement. This could involve a supplemental petition that will compel additional court appearances and may require the help of a family law attorney. Choose carefully when you decide whether to keep the court apprised because the rules clearly state that you have a duty to update financial affidavit in Florida.

 

Florida Parenting Coordinator

Florida Parenting Coordinator

Florida Parenting Coordinator | Orange County Parenting Coordinator

Perhaps you have heard of the substantial and largely beneficial impact most Florida Guardian Ad Litems have had on the well-being of children and families. Since approximately 2009, another alternative has been legalized in the Florida family law courts, provided by a Florida Parenting Coordinator. Locally, Judges are free to appoint an Orange County Parenting Coordinator. This alternative dispute resolution, as adopted by the Florida Legislature pursuant to Florida Statute 61.125, is a form of dispute mollification/resolution that is centered on the needs of the child. Let’s think about the needs and best interests of the child. The child (a hypothetical construct for purposes of this article, though one that can be transposed into any number of family life scenarios) has certain basic needs. These needs include the minimization of conflict between the parents. Parents should limit the yelling, screaming, incessant bickering, rebuke, and stop placing their child(ren) in the middle of their fights as though the minor child is supposed to have to listen to them and choose a side.

In addition to attorneys having the option of moving the court to appoint a guardian ad litem, the parties, the judge, or the attorneys may move the court to appoint a Florida parenting coordinator. A Florida parenting coordinator is either a mental health professional or someone with a background in the law that has undergone extensive training (Florida has certain minimum requirements to ensure this person is thoroughly trained and can really help families). Two important Statutory qualifications a Florida Parenting Coordinator must possess are: [they must be: “Be licensed as a physician with certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, [OR] Be certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a family law mediator, with at least a master’s degree in a mental health field.”

Your Florida Parenting Coordinator will offer her/his assessment of your individual and mutual interactions with your child(ren). These insights are intended to assist one or both parties in better appreciating and communicating with their child(ren). Parenting coordinators are in theory unbiased and impartial. Of course, after observing each unique household’s style of raising their child(ren), the parenting coordinator may develop an ironclad sense of what changes may need to be made to establish a safe and secure environment. Conflicts of interest can arise and lead to disqualification.

Orange County Parenting Coordinator

Orange County Parenting Coordinator

Most Florida Circuit Courts, including the Orange and Osceola Ninth Circuit Court offer lists of qualified parenting coordinators ready, willing, and able to help with your contested parenting situation(s). If you have any doubt about whether you may be eligible for the appointment of a parenting coordinator because you are a grandparent, or other legal guardian, according to the Rules for qualified parenting coordinators, “parent” refers to the child’s “mother, father, legal guardian, or other person who is acting as a parent and guardian.”

Florida Parenting Coordinators are trained to be on the lookout for unusual and detrimental behaviors among the parents. Similar to a Guardian Ad Litem, a Florida parenting coordinator must watch the parties to ensure there is no substance abuse, mental health issues, or domestic violence. Call Jonathan Jacobs, a caring a compassionate Florida family law attorney who can help you with your family law legal issues.

 

 

 

 

Groveland Florida Divorce Attorney

Groveland Florida Divorce Attorney

Groveland Florida Divorce Attorney | Davenport Florida Divorce Attorney

Lately, we have received calls from areas such as Groveland and Davenport Florida that are not often considered “heavy” markets for family law cases. I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to potential clients in Groveland and Davenport to let you know we are ready to help you achieve their goals in your family law cases. As a Groveland Florida Divorce Attorney, and a Davenport Florida Divorce Attorney, I would like to invite you to call the Jacobs Law Firm. We offer a free initial consultation. During your consultation we will discuss the legal issues involved in/with your case and determine how much we would charge for those services (payment plans are welcome, we accept cash, check, credit card, or otherwise), and whether we are the right fit for working together on your legal issues. Generally, the cases we decide to accept are those where our clients are interested on achieving amicable solutions, or where our clients have been placed in situations where our legal expertise can make a substantial difference for them. In other words, if you have done your best to resolve your case, and the other side has been uncooperative or unfair to you, we want to help you!

Davenport Florida Divorce Attorney

Davenport Florida Divorce Attorney for Hire | Groveland Florida Divorce Attorney Ready to Help You

Here at the Jacobs Law Firm you may expect courtesy and professionalism, as well as caring and compassionate legal help from the lawyer you trust. Ask as many questions as you like. As a former professor, I truly enjoy explaining the ins and outs of the law. I can do so in a unique way to make the complex understandable. It is important that my clients know what to expect during this difficult time.  Whether your case involves divorce, paternity, child custody/timesharing, child support, alimony, property and asset division, or otherwise, please call us and ask if we will be your Davenport Florida Divorce Attorney or Groveland Florida Divorce Attorney.

 

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to get a Divorce in Florida

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to get a Divorce in Florida

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to get a Divorce in Florida? How Long Do You Have to Live in Florida Before you Can Get a Divorce?

How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce in Florida? This is one of the most popular questions among potential clients seeking a divorce in Florida. People ask this question because the Florida Statutes are relatively silent on this specific issue/question. The issue of time is more appropriate for alimony and other financial considerations in a dissolution of marriage action. The more appropriate question, that is governed by Florida law, is how long do you have to live in Florida before you can get a divorce?

Marriages may last for a relatively short period of time (days, weeks, or months) and marriages may last for years or decades. There is no specific requirement in the Florida courts providing that the spouses must be apart/separated for weeks or months or years before petitioning for divorce. Each case is unique and has its own set of circumstances, which you may already be aware of if you are seeking marital dissolution. The more time the spouses have been married, the more marital assets they may have accrued, and the more financial considerations may be at play if alimony is an issue in the case. Let’s move on to the more pertinent question, how long do you have to live in Florida before you can get a divorce?

How Long Do You Have to Live in Florida Before You Can Get a Divorce

How Long Do You Have to Live in Florida Before You Can Get a Divorce? Divorce in Florida

The Florida Statutes are quite definite in their answer to this question, and the answer may affect your ability to file a petition immediately. Florida Statute 61.021 answers our question succinctly, “To obtain a dissolution of marriage, one of the parties to the marriage must reside 6 months in the state before the filing of the petition.” Read carefully. Only ONE of the parties to the marriage must have resided in the State of Florida for 6 months prior to filing for divorce. This means that if one spouse has lived in Florida for 6 months or longer and the other spouse has moved to another state, or never moved to Florida at all, it is likely the party residing in Florida can successfully petition the Florida court(s) for a dissolution of marriage. For more information on subjects such as Florida divorce, Florida alimony, child support, child support health care, Florida parenting plans, and other family law topics, click on any of our links.