Category: Divorce and Family Law

Child Custody Lawyer Orlando

Child Custody Lawyer Orlando

Attorney Jonathan Jacobs will go to court to fight for you to have custody of your children. Jacobs Law Firm is a child custody lawyer Orlando who knows your legal rights and is here to help you enforce those rights in court. The law has changed. Unmarried fathers now have more rights to see their children. Unmarried mothers who deny unmarried fathers time with their children may be at a disadvantage in court. Florida Statute 61.13 tells us the law favors equal timesharing for both parents. Attorney Jacobs is a custody lawyer Orlando who loves working with people to help make sure they get more time with their kids because more kids need more time with their parents. Call 407-335-8113 to speak with an Orlando child custody lawyer. When we meet, ask our Orlando custody lawyer all of your questions to make sure you maximize your time together.

According to Florida Statute 61.13, it is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Your child custody lawyer Orlando can read to you the Statutory language which now specifies (including for unmarried dads) that timesharing should be equal: “after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.” Perhaps the language many of you now know, and want to verify, is that timesharing should be equal for the parents because the default position of the Florida family court is that equal timesharing is in your child’s best interests.

Orlando Custody Lawyer

However, Attorney Jacobs, custody lawyer Orlando, understands you may want to know there is a rebuttable presumption that equal time-sharing of a minor child is in the best interests of the minor child. What is a rebuttable presumption? It means that equal timesharing is not guaranteed. Both moms and dads may argue their case in court.

As a child custody lawyer, we know the types of arguments moms and dads make to the court. It is possible a lawyer will have their client argue how frequently they take their kids to the doctor, the dentist, school events, help with homework etc., and argue the other parent is not doing their fair share of parenting. Everything matters when an Orlando child custody lawyer argues your case before the family circuit court. Every text message, every e-mail, every communication in writing may be presented to the judge. Call 407-335-8113 today and learn about your parental rights.

Parental Alienation Florida Divorce

Parental Alienation Florida Divorce

Parental Alienation Florida

Parental alienation in a Florida divorce can have a detrimental impact on your ability to coparent, and even worse, a harsh and lasting impact on your children. How to prove parental alienation in Florida is by documenting instances of alienation and possibly through minor child testimony if permissible and appropriate. For instance, one parent may accuse the other parent of being a cheater and tell the kids the other parent has wrecked their family through selfish behavior. Even if this may ultimately be proven, it is the preference of the family court that parents avoid belittling one another in front of/to the kids. It is not healthy for children to be in the proverbial crossfire of parents getting a divorce and playing a sort of blame game. Children are not pawns or messengers for your divorce. As you might expect, in a contested divorce case, accusations fly, emotions run high, and that means parents need to be mindful that at the heart of it all is a child caught in the middle. Lean about parental alienation Florida. Call Jacobs Law Firm today at 407-335-8113 to speak with an Orlando divorce attorney and Clermont family lawyer.


Parental alienation does not help parents. It hurts kids. Before you run down your kids’ other parent, consider how your children will hear your words and how it will impact them. #coparenting #coparentinggoals #coparentingwithanarcissist #clermontdivorce #clermontfl #orlandofamilylaw

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Parental alienation Florida is intended to cause the kids to reject one parent and develop a sense of loyalty to the other. How to prove parental alienation in Florida? This poor behavior can manifest in various ways, from negative talking about the other parent, limiting contact with the other parent, creating fear of being alone with the other, or even falsely accusing the other parent of abuse. It is difficult to disentangle kids psychologically and emotionally from this sort of abuse. The Florida family courts prefer the kids have continuous and meaningful contact with both parents. Parental alienation in a Florida divorce achieves the exact opposite of what courts prefer.

As you may be aware, Florida family courts prioritize the best interests of the minor child first and foremost. Parental alienation is taken seriously because it can have lasting psychological impacts on the child and may harm the parent-child relationship. If a the judge determines that one parent is guilty of causing parental alienation, it can potentially lead to a modification in time-sharing arrangements, or some other form of relief such as the appointment of a parenting coordinator (among other potential outcomes).

How to prove parental alienation in Florida? The general evidentiary standard in cases where parental alienation Florida is alleged is that the moving party must show by competent and substantial evidence that the other party has committed the acts as alleged. McKinnon v. Staats, 899 So. 2d 357, 361 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005). For point of reference, one instance of purported alienation occurred in the case of Schumaker v. Schumaker where the father was alleged to have “consistently made degrading and obscene comments about the Mother. The Mother had a previous child out of wedlock prior to this marriage and the Father has made sure the minor children of this marriage know the circumstances of their half-sister’s … out of wedlock birth and routinely refers to the Mother in derogatory terms. The Father has told the minor son … that he does not have to listen to his mother and made derogatory statements about … half sister.”  931 So. 2d 271, 274 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006). Call Jacobs Law Firm today at 407-335-8113.

domestication of foreign divorce judgment in florida

Domestication of Foreign Divorce Judgment in Florida

Many divorced parents are moving to Florida for a better life. A large number of you also have a child custody order from another state. For good reason, people who are divorced want to take their final judgment here to Florida. It makes sense to want a domestication of foreign judgment Florida divorce. Why would anyone living in Florida prefer to litigate thousands of miles away in their former state when they now live here in Orange, Lake, Osceola, Seminole County, etc.? To domesticate a foreign judgment in a divorce, your divorce attorney Orlando may recommend you follow several technical procedures. This is a challenging lawsuit that is best handled by a Clermont divorce attorney. First, you may choose to file a petition to domesticate and enforce out-of-state custody order in Florida. By filing this sort of petition, and following all statutory requirements, you may be able to have your case transferred here to a Florida family court. Call Jacobs Law Firm and speak with Attorney Jonathan Jacobs about domestication of foreign divorce judgment in Florida. Dial 407-335-8113 today.

Domestication of foreign judgment in a Florida divorce means you will need to file the petition to domesticate and enforce out-of-state custody order in Florida. Your petition will need to be accompanied by an official copy of the final judgment, marital settlement agreement, and parenting plan from the state where you last litigated your case. The final decree must be the last final judgment and it is best if litigation is not pending to avoid dismissal or an interstate jurisdiction battle. You will need to file an affidavit attesting to this fact. Notice must be provided to the other parent pursuant to statutory law. The language is based on the statute and is quite specific. Pay careful attention to the requirements of domestication of foreign divorce judgment in Florida. There are a number of other requirements you must follow to be successful.

A former spouse may want the domestication of foreign judgment Florida divorce to ensure that the parenting plan can be enforced locally. It may be a deterrent toward future litigation if the other party lives a tremendous distance away from the court you have transferred your case to. It also will allow Florida law (generally) to be applied to your out-of-state decree. If your petition to domesticate and enforce an out-of-state custody order is granted and registration occurs, the parenting plan and child support can be enforced, potentially modified, and applied under Florida law. Call Attorney Jonathan Jacobs, divorce lawyer Orlando, divorce lawyer Clermont to find out if your case is a good candidate for a petition to domesticate and enforce out-of-state custody order in Florida. Dial 407-335-8113 today to start the process of domestication of foreign divorce judgment in Florida!

Motion for Summary Judgment Florida Divorce

Motion for Summary Judgment Florida Divorce

Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 1.150 “Summary Judgment”, also known as Fla. Fam. Law. R. P. 12.510 is about drafting and filing a motion for summary judgment in a Florida divorce. Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 1.150 Summary Judgment provides (in essence) that either party may ask the court to grant an end to your case. When a court grants summary judgment, it means the case will be decided based on the evidence available at that time (provided the facts are undisputed), meaning the case will essentially stop in its tracks. For example, if it is irrefutably proven that both parties earn the same income and that neither side has a need for alimony (they both have a surplus and no need for alimony) a party may wish to file a motion for summary judgment Florida divorce to seek the conclusion of the case without the need for trial. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113 to speak with an Orlando divorce attorney and Clermont divorce attorney to receive the help you need.

Did you know that Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 1.150 Summary Judgment requires the movant (person asking for the court to grant SJ) to state in capital letters the following message:


If this bold-lettered message is not properly provided, a judge can as a matter of law deny a motion for summary judgment in a Florida divorce or paternity case.

When can you ask for summary judgment? Subsection (b) of Fla. Fam. Law. R. P. 12.510 provides that you may ask the judge for summary judgment at any time after the expiration of 20 days from the start of the case or after service of a motion for summary judgment by the adverse party. Further, the person requesting this outcome must serve the motion at least 40 days before the time fixed for the hearing that will result from service of the motion itself.

Perhaps the best news for practitioners such as Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is that a motion for summary judgment Florida divorce allows him to make use of the records from the case. In the motion and at the subsequent hearing, you can cite to depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, and/or other materials and or other materials at the court’s discretion. The other side has to serve a response at least 20 days before the time fixed for the hearing. Call Jacobs Law Firm today at 407-335-8113.

Florida Alimony Reform 2023 and Retirement

Florida Alimony Reform 2023 and Retirement

SB 1416, which is now Florida Statute 61.08 (Florida’s new alimony statute) signed into law by Governor DeSantis, is Florida’s alimony reform bill passed this year in 2023. This article is about Florida alimony reform 2023 and retirement. Alimony reform has modified the way family courts may consider alimony modification in Florida. Rather than leaving the alimony statute as nebulous and subject to an individual court’s interpretation and/or a hodgepodge of case law, SB 1416 has redefined how retirees paying alimony may be able to obtain relief. Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida alimony attorney with offices in Winter Park/Orlando and Clermont Florida. When you need to speak with an experienced alimony lawyer about how the new alimony reform Florida 2023 may impact you, call 407-335-8113 to schedule a thorough consultation.

Pursuant to Florida’s new alimony statute and its subsections about Florida alimony reform 2023 and retirement, “In reasonable anticipation of retirement, but not more than 6 months before retirement, the obligor [person paying alimony to their former spouse] may file a petition for modification of his or her support, maintenance, or alimony obligation, which shall be effective upon his or her reasonable and voluntary retirement as determined by the court pursuant to the factors in subparagraph 2.” It is important to note that most family law statutes in Florida provide for a number of factors the court may or must consider when ruling on timesharing, alimony or child support. This is what we often refer to as a totality of the circumstances principle. Florida Statute 61.08, Florida’s new alimony statute further provides that: “The court shall give consideration to, and make written findings of fact regarding, the factors in subparagraph 2. and s. 61.08(3) when granting or denying the obligor’s petition for modification; when confirming, reducing, or terminating the obligor’s alimony obligation; and when granting or denying any request for modification, the date of filing of the obligor’s modification petition, or other date post-filing as equity requires, giving due regard and consideration to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties.”

The factors include, but are not limited to the age and health of the payor (remember, this is the person that is ordered to pay spousal support), their industry (line of work), the typical age of retirement in their field (it could be 55, 65, 67 or even higher), the needs of the payee (are they destitute or otherwise financially self-sufficient), all of the assets both parties have accrued before, during and after the marriage, and whether Social Security or other retirement payments allow for their financial stability.

Florida’s new alimony statute, which is Florida’s alimony reform bill 2023 informs us that when it comes to Florida alimony reform 2023 and retirement, a payor may petition 6 months before retirement to try to plan for a reduction of alimony. This is a helpful and important guideline. Call Orlando alimony attorney Jonathan Jacobs for the help you need. Dial 407-335-8113 today.

Divorce lawyers in Lakeland Florida

Divorce Lawyers in Lakeland Florida

It’s time to find the best divorce attorney in Polk County Florida. You are about to file for divorce, or you have already been served with papers. Divorce lawyers in Lakeland Florida understand the procedures and processes from experience. We are knowledgeable to help you with all of your issues. Most divorce cases in Polk County involve some or all of the following issues: child custody (timesharing, parental responsibility, medical expenses, education), child support (how much, how often, based on certain sources of income and allowable deductions), the equitable distribution of marital assets (cars, houses, land, 401Ks, retirement accounts, bank accounts) and liabilities (equity loans, mortgages, credit card debts, student loans, etc.). Call Jacobs Law Firm to speak with Attorney Jonathan Jacobs, Lakeland divorce attorney by calling 407-335-8113. Ask us about Florida’s alimony reform 2023.


Starting a Divorce in Florida is a difficult decision to make. Are you ready to get divorced? Have you planned on a divorce? Why are you getting a divorce? This is a decision that is generally made over time and not because of any one occurrence. Call Jacobs Law Firm offices Clermont and Winter Park FL for the divorce and family law help you need. Dial 407-335-8113 today. #orlandodivorce #orlandodivorcelawyer #uncontesteddivorce #amicabledivorce #startingdivorce #divorce #clermontflorida #tampadivorceattorney

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Divorce lawyers in Lakeland Florida know that each judge has their unique policies and procedures. This can impact your case in a number of ways. You may want a hearing on timesharing and child support before mediation has occurred. The best divorce attorneys in Polk County Florida know the judge’s preference for when hearings should occur. This includes whether a meet and confer is necessary, the proper timing for the filing of a non-emergency motion, and how to schedule with the court.

As a Lakeland divorce attorney, Jacobs Law Firm knows it is important to prepare your family law case from the beginning in an organized and meticulous manner. The best way to approach a family case is to ensure all mandatory disclosures are exchanged. This helps us as your counsel to determine the best equitable distribution framework for your case. Ensuring all documents have been exchanged also allows us to be sure all of your issues are addressed.

Any divorce lawyers in Lakeland Florida should obtain all of the documents necessary to determine your alimony, child support, distribution of assets and liabilities. Retrieving and assembling a complete case file helps an attorney develop a strategy for your case and identify reasonable settlement terms. When your case requires a hearing or if you are going to trial, Polk County is a good place for family litigation. The judges and general magistrates are fair and the system moves at a good pace when compared with other counties.

Call 407-335-8113 today to speak with divorce lawyers in Lakeland Florida, Lakeland divorce Attorney Jonathan Jacobs. We offer flat fee rates and enjoy working with clients.

divorce attorney Sumter County Florida

Divorce Attorney Sumter County Florida

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney Sumter County Florida that listens to his clients and cares about their needs. As a Bushnell Divorce Attorney, Mr. Jacobs recognizes that each county presents unique cases and facts. Sumter County offers a great deal of larger homes with more land, as well as an abundance of senior living communities. This makes a lot of Sumter County divorce cases focused on estate planning, the equitable distribution of marital homes, and family issues with minor children (what you might expect when the Villages are involved). When you need to speak with an experienced and compassionate counsel, call Jacobs Law Firm and schedule your hour-long consultation. It is important you learn about the divorce process, the options you may have, and why settling your case reasonably can help save on legal expenses. Dial 407-335-8113 today.

Sumter County has the highest population of 65 or older people in the State of Florida. When spouses need a best divorce attorney Sumter County Florida, it likely means they have been married for a very long time. This means their case likely involves more retirement issues, assets, liabilities, and many other issues dealing with financial affairs. Retirement communities often house younger people going through child custody issues and temporarily living with their grandparents. This is where you may need a Bushnell Divorce Attorney to help sort through your timesharing and child support issues. For instance, your case may involve child support arrearages which may be retroactive two years from the date of filing your case. The case might involve a family home that would otherwise be inheritable.

A Sumter County divorce attorney has experience dealing with larger properties. Sumter County is home to large rural properties that may be multi-acre properties. These can also present uniquely challenging issues with service of process. A divorce attorney Bushnell Florida also knows the standing order for Sumter County and how it could impact your case. This is a unique place for divorce and we want to quarterback your case.

A divorce attorney Sumter County Florida will help you from start to finish with your documents, filing, service, disclosures, settlement offers, mediation, and if necessary, depositions and trial, etc. Call Jacobs Law Firm when you need experienced and compassionate representation during this difficult time in your life. Dial 407-335-8113 today and speak with Attorney Jonathan Jacobs about your divorce matters.

common law marriage florida

Common Law Marriage Florida

Do you have questions about common law marriage in Florida? How long do you have to be together for common law marriage in Florida? Are you legally married after living together for 7 years in Florida? What is considered common law marriage in Florida? The answer to all of these questions about this unique type of marriage is that generally there is no such legal precedent in our state. Florida does not offer/have this form of nuptials in our state, with the exception that Florida family courts recognize common law marriages from other states provided they are valid and legitimate. Read on for the answers to all of these questions. Call Jacobs Law Firm, divorce attorney Orlando, divorce attorney Clermont Florida. Dial 407-335-8113 today.

How long do you have to be together for common law marriage in Florida? There is no set amount of time because Florida does not have this type of marriage. Therefore, it could be 2 months or 80 years and it likely does not exist unless the Florida Legislature issues a contrary law. Are you legally married after living together for 7 years in Florida? This sounds more like adverse possession of technically abandoned land/property. The answer is that if this type of marriage is not legally binding, then 7 years is an arbitrary and counterfactual amount of time. This merely refers to when another type of marriage exists in another state and that couple moves to Florida excepting the same application of the law. Florida courts will generally recognize/accept the couple as married, but will likely not apply the laws of another state to your case in the event of a divorce.

Florida recognized validly executed marriages from other states and from many other countries. It may be helpful to have a marriage certificate as proof. It is common (no pun intended) for people moving to Florida from other states or countries to want to apply the laws of their former home. However, Florida has its own family and divorce laws and courts. It is always best to check with a family law attorney to determine your rights and obligations pursuant to Florida law.

We have asked “do you have questions about common law marriage in Florida?”, “how long do you have to be together for common law marriage in Florida?”, “are you legally married after living together for 7 years in Florida?” and “what is considered common law marriage in Florida?” and answered that marriages from other states may be recognized in Florida, but Florida itself does not offer this type of marriage. Call 407-335-8113 to speak with Attorney Jonathan Jacobs about your divorce.

general magistrate florida

General Magistrate Florida

Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.490 is all about Florida General Magistrates. A general magistrate in Florida family law is an attorney hired by a circuit court to decide cases not otherwise heard by the circuit court family law judge. It is common for a family judge to refer a case to the GM’s office, called an order of referral to general magistrate. This can allow some litigants to seek relief in a shorter time. Judge’s calendars can be full and hearing time can be hard to come by. Not every husband or wife, mom or dad, wants the general magistrate to hear their case. Many want the circuit judge to preside. Some specific matters are referred to the magistrate’s office such as a motion to compel, a motion for temporary relief, or a motion to vacate, etc. Typically, only some aspects of a case are sent to the GM’s office. Why object to general magistrate help with your case? Unless the entire case has been sent to the GM’s office by mutual consent of the parties and their family attorneys, a general magistrate Florida makes reports and recommendations, which can be appealed by exception and heard by the circuit judge. You may need to litigate part of your case twice if this happens. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113.

Why object to general magistrate? Procedurally, a written objection to an order of referral to general magistrate must be filed within 10 days of the service of the order of referral (served by electronic means in most cases). The failure to file a written objection within the applicable time period is deemed to be consent to the order of referral. This does not mean that if the circuit court has referred one aspect that your entire case is now with the general magistrate forever. However, if the entire case is referred and you fail to object, your entire case might not be eligible to be appealed by exception to the circuit court. A general magistrate in Florida family law can be better or worse than a circuit judge. It depends on your case, the facts, the timing, and the circumstances.

A general magistrate in Florida family law can be an attorney of the highest qualifications and ethical standards. Not every attorney is an expert on family law, but most are extraordinary in their knowledge and courtroom demeanor. As with anything else, it depends on the unique facts of your case. Call 507-335-8113 for more information.

modify divorce decree florida

Modify Divorce Decree Florida

Your Florida divorce case is over…or is it? Does Florida alimony reform 2023 and Senate Bill 1416 allow you to modify alimony? If there is some part of your case you need to change, you can hire us to modify your divorce decree in Florida (generally this is done for your parenting plan) or modify your marital settlement agreement Florida (for the financial awards such as alimony). Modifying a final judgment in Florida comes with a higher burden when your case is being reopened. There are some additional procedural requirements about equitable distribution and child support you need to be aware of that if not followed could lead to your case being dismissed. When you modify a divorce decree, it is best to get it right the first time. In this article, we will discuss some of the common situations where former spouses or former partners seek to change some or all aspects of their parenting plan and/or marital settlement agreement. We also discuss how the unanticipated change in circumstances requirement has been removed. Call child support modification attorney Orlando, and child custody modification Attorney Orlando, Jonathan Jacobs at 407-335-8113.

You are reasonably certain you want to modify divorce decree Florida. Even if Florida alimony reform 2023 is not retroactive prior to cases decided before July 1, 2023, the District Courts of Appeal and Florida Supreme Court will be deciding cases in light of the new alimony reform bill and that could have cascading effects. This may include planning for your retirement. What happens next? The next step is to speak with Jacobs Law Firm. Let us ask about the facts and we can apply case law and statutory law (mixed with our experience) to help you determine if your supplemental petition for modification has a chance of success. It is all about getting past the motion (the motion to dismiss your supplemental petition). You can modify marital settlement agreement Florida by showing there have been what we call substantial change(s) in circumstances. Florida Statutory law formerly required that the Petitioner prove there has been a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances in order to modify the parties’ Final Judgment. Case law makes it clear this  is an “extraordinary burden.” Now, with the passage of SB 1416, the unanticipated standard has been removed. This may well open the floodgates for litigation.

To modify a divorce decree in Florida it is important to show that circumstances have changed since your case ended (when the final judgment was issued by the Court). It could be that you are involuntarily (we all live in a shifting economy where AI and other market and computer generated forces are changing the way many companies do business) unemployed and that you cannot find the same or a substantially similar job. You may need to take a job to survive on a lesser salary. Should you be obligated to pay the same alimony or child support on a lower salary? At some point your own personal survival and standard of living must be considered. The question is will the court allow you to modify marital settlement agreement Florida by ruling your petition for modification of child support or petition for modification of alimony or timesharing will get past a motion to dismiss. Using experience, writing/drafting skills, and case and statutory law, Attorney Jacobs can help you with your case. Call 407-335-8113 today.