Category: Divorce and Family Law

Irretrievable Breakdown Of Marriage Florida

Irretrievable Breakdown Of Marriage Florida

What is irretrievable breakdown of marriage Florida? Florida Statute 61.052(1)(a-b) states that a final judgment for divorce / dissolution of marriage may be granted when there is proven mental incapacity of one of the parties, or when the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. An irretrievably broken marriage in Florida is a marriage where one spouse, or both spouses believe the marriage cannot be saved and should end. This is a broad standard, much like irreconcilable differences, where there isn’t one absolute definition. This nebulous standard leads to a lot of misunderstandings and confusion. Call the Jacobs Law Firm, divorce attorney Orlando, Orlando uncontested divorce attorney, and we will provide you with some guidance with your divorce. Dial 407-335-8113.

What is Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage Florida?

An irretrievably broken marriage in Florida might mean there is marital infidelity and one spouse is in love with another person. It could mean that financial troubles have cause the marriage to collapse. From a different perspective, perhaps one spouse is an absentee parent and the primary parent demands a greater commitment to mutually raising the children and that renewed commitment is not occurring. Marriages have no guarantees or warrants of success. They require constant teamwork and sensitivity and understanding. Has Covid 19 been an issue or a concern for your family as you are going through your family law case?

In order to satisfy the minimum requirement in a petition for dissolution of marriage in our State, the petitioner must allege that there is an irretrievably broken marriage in Florida. This signals to the family law circuit court judge that the marriage cannot be salvaged and the court should ultimately grant the litigants a divorce.

 irretrievably broken marriage in Florida

Infrequently , out of an abundance of caution, certain family law judges will ask the parties if their marriage can be saved. This may include a mention of marriage counseling. However, this sort of remedy is generally made available when there is a child involved in the divorce action. The Statute provides that:

“(b) When there is a minor child of the marriage, or when the responding party denies by answer to the petition for dissolution that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may:

1. Order either or both parties to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation; or [in theory, a mental health professional may be able to circumvent or relieve the stress of the irretrievable breakdown of marriage Florida]

2. Continue the proceedings for a reasonable length of time not to exceed 3 months, to enable the parties themselves to effect a reconciliation; [90 days can feel like the blink of an eye or like a long time for healing] or

3. Take such other action as may be in the best interest of the parties and the minor child of the marriage. [this is another catch-all standard].

If you are involved in an irretrievably broken marriage in Florida, call Attorney Jonathan Jacobs for the help and guidance you need at 407-335-8113.

florida divorce venue

Florida Divorce Venue

Florida divorce venue is a legal concept that requires an in depth analysis. Choosing the proper venue in a contested dissolution of marriage case demands a careful assessment of Florida Statutory and case law. Venue is generally defined as the circuit court where a civil/family case may be heard, or where it may be properly adjudicated. If your case is contested and both sides want to litigate in a different county, how will the court decide where venue is proper? In this article, we will review case law precedent for guidance regarding the Florida Divorce Venue Statute. For answers to your important questions call the Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113. Ask us about an uncontested divorce or a collaborative divorce.

First, to determine Florida Divorce Venue we look backward to the seminal ruling from the Florida Supreme Court wherein the Court issued a ruling based in part on Florida Statute 47.011, the Florida Divorce Venue Statute. This Statute provides: “Actions shall be brought only in the county where the defendant resides, where the cause of action accrued, or where the property in litigation is located.” This Statute applies with certain additions and exceptions based on case law and a plethora of facts. In Carroll v. Carroll, the Court rules: “For purposes of venue in dissolution of marriage proceeding, the “cause of action” arose in county in which spouses were last present with a common intent to remain married, rather than county in which wife assuredly realized that marriage was irretrievably broken when husband came to such county and took away car four days after wife left spouse’s home. West’s F.S.A. § 47.011. 341 So. 2d 771 (Fla. 1977).

florida divorce venue statute

Translation? The county (examples include Orange County, Seminole County, Lake County, Osceola County) where the spouses lived together and intended to remain married (prior to one party moving somewhere else contemplating divorce) is likely the proper county for an action of dissolution. Further strengthening this principle is a more recent case, Smith v. Smith where the Court reasoned (applying the Florida Divorce Venue Statute) that the “Divorce cause of action accrued in Pinellas County for purposes of venue statute where parties last lived together in Pinellas County with intent of remaining married there, and marriage became irretrievably broken in Pinellas County when wife moved out of marital home because husband wanted to get a divorce.” West’s F.S.A. § 47.011. 430 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1983)

Florida Divorce Venue Statute

Let’s again return to the wisdom of the Florida Supreme Court in Carroll v. Carroll, for a further analysis of Florida divorce venue, “To protect the beneficial purposes of both the marriage dissolution legislation and the venue statute, we are required to look, not for the county or the scattered counties where the breach may be said to have occurred, but to the single county where the marriage last existed. In that county the intact marriage was last evidenced by a continuing union of partners who intended . . . to remain married, indefinitely if not permanently. 341 So. 2d 771, 772 (Fla. 1977). Of course, the parties did not intend to remain together permanently or there would be no filing for divorce. Naturally, the Court did not want to create forum shopping for the most advantageous divorce circuit court. It serves many purposes to identify one circuit court where an action may be brought with relative certainty it is the correct choice of venue.

Following this logic, “If a petition seeking modification of divorce decree is filed in a county where venue is appropriate, it is improper to transfer the venue to another county merely because venue also would have been proper in the other county…” Amir v. Gannon, 896 So. 2d 793 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005). In other words, years later one former spouse petitions the court for a deviation of child support or alimony. That party is not able to reverse jurisdiction without a proper analysis and factual finding that another county is now more appropriate. After all, a petition can and likely will be dismissed for lack of proper venue.

In a ruling subsequent to Carroll v. Caroll, the Florida Supreme Court colorfully wrote “Venue is not a vehicle that rolls around on wheels nor a vessel that sails the borders of the state. Venue cannot be hauled from county to county like a sack of potatoes upon the theory of ‘where the property in litigation is situated’”…Richard Bertram & Co., 155 So.2d at 412. Goedmakers v. Goedmakers, 520 So. 2d 575, 580 (Fla. 1988)

When you need answers to your questions about Florida Divorce Venue and the Florida Divorce Venue Statute is not enough to formulate a conclusion, call us at 407-335-8113.

modify alimony florida

Modify Alimony Florida

Can alimony be modified in Florida? Are you a former husband or former wife seeking to modify alimony Florida? According to Florida case law, the statutory right to modification (Florida Statute § 61.14(1)(a)), unless specifically waived (in writing in a marital settlement agreement or otherwise), is incorporated as a matter of law (automatically) in any agreement or judgment (court order after trial) providing for alimony. Rosenthal v. Rosenthal, 199 So. 3d 541 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). It is true that parties to a marriage may waive their statutory right to seek modification of alimony provisions in a marital settlement agreement provided the language in the MSA clearly and unambiguously expresses the parties’ desire for a waiver, or in the alternative, if the reading/interpretation of the parties’ agreement or judgment taken in its entirety can lead to a conclusion only of a waiver of said right to alimony. Non modifiable alimony in Florida is more of the exception to the general rule. Call Attorney Jonathan Jacobs of the Jacobs Family Law Firm to ask about how to modify alimony in Florida or protect yourself against an action for modification. Dial 407-335-8113 today.

Provided the parties may modify alimony in Florida because there is no waiver of modification, when confronted with a party’s request to modify alimony, a court should follow the steps it performed at the outset of the case. This means a court should consider the parties’ income, the payee’s need for alimony, and the payor’s ability to pay. Need and ability to pay are the touchstones of alimony awards and modifications. Dunn v. Dunn, 277 So. 3d 1081 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).

Non Modifiable Alimony Florida

To modify alimony Florida, the moving party must justify the modification of an alimony award by showing: “(1) a substantial change in circumstances, (2) that was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of dissolution, and (3) that is sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature.” Florida Statute § 61.14(1)(a). What is a substantial change in circumstances? There are examples in case law, though every case is unique. That may seem vague so consider your own facts. Has your job been eliminated? Is it possible to find substitute employment for similar wages? Does your profession now demand a different educational standard that you do not qualify for and your job has been terminated? There are many unique and unfortunate financial downturns happening because of Covid and electoral politics (hopefully both are temporary).

Not contemplated at the time of the final judgment means that if it was reasonably understood or foreseeable that your economic circumstances would change, it may be difficult to modify alimony in Florida. If a spouse knew they would be retiring in two years, agreeing to a high amount of alimony may be a challenging obstacle to overcome. The involuntariness and permanency standard is perhaps the toughest to prove and requires substantial evidence for a good showing of proof. See Golson, 207 So. 3d at 325; see also Gelber v. Brydger, 248 So. 3d 1170, 1173 n.1 & n.2 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018); Dogoda v. Dogoda, 233 So. 3d 484, 488 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017). Befanis v. Befanis, 293 So. 3d 1121, 1123 (Fla. 5th DCA 2020). This all presupposes you have not waived your right with non modifiable alimony Florida.

Non Modifiable Alimony Florida

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney Orlando and a divorce attorney Clermont FL dedicated to assisting his clients with their divorce and family law litigation. Call us at 407-335-8113 for a consultation when you need to modify alimony Florida.

Divorce Process in Florida

Divorce Process in Florida

Florida is a no fault divorce state. This means that the petitioning party (person who files for dissolution of marriage) does not need to prove the marriage is broken (irreconcilable differences). This policy makes the divorce process in Florida relatively clear. The Florida divorce process involves some initial steps that we can outline for you in general terms. Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando and a divorce attorney in Clermont Florida with knowledge of the steps in a divorce in Florida. Schedule your consultation today and start planning for your future. Jacobs Law Firm may be reached at 407-335-8113.

Steps in a Divorce in Florida

The steps in a divorce in Florida first involve deciding whether divorce is appropriate for you, your spouse, and your children (if any). Once you have decided to obtain a dissolution of marriage, the initial divorce process in Florida involves retaining a divorce attorney capable of litigating your case. Your lawyer will help you organize your personal and financial information, evidence, and potential exhibits in order to streamline the process of dissolving your marriage. The timeline for divorce in Florida (generally speaking) may take as few as 21 days if uncontested or if the Respondent is defaulted, or many months if the case is highly litigated.

Steps in a divorce in florida

Once our office has collected your essential information, we will schedule a longer consultation with you to explain the Florida divorce process and attempt to match the facts of your case with Florida marital law. Our consultation is designed to inform you about the process, and to help you understand the role the court may play in your divorce.

Florida Divorce Process

Technically, the divorce process in Florida officially begins when a petitioner files his/her divorce pleadings and related documents with the appropriate family law circuit court. The initial pleadings and related documents may include the Petition for Dissolution, Notice of Social Security Numbers, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Financial Affidavit, a Civil Cover Sheet (automatically generated in most cases), Notice of Related Cases, and a Notice of Confidential Filing Within Court File. This is not an all-inclusive or exclusive list of what must be filed, or what you may require, but it is generally helpful to make a list of the documents you require for your case to move forward in a timely manner. Organization is vital to the dissolution process.

When you are ready to speak with a family law attorney about your contested or uncontested divorce, call us for a free phone consultation. 407-335-8113.

Summary Judgment in Florida family law

Summary Judgment in Florida Family Law

Searching for information about summary judgment in Florida family law? A family lawyer and divorce attorney often litigates complex issues that require extensive research and the matching of your unique facts to specialized laws. A seldom used aspect of a family lawyer’s proverbial toolkit is a Motion for Summary Judgment. Summary judgment in Florida family law is intended to determine with finality whether there is any “genuine issue of material fact” in controversy. What does this mean in laymen’s terms? A genuine issue of material fact means that each side disagrees about an allegation/fact. For instance, Petitioner claims Respondent has been verbally abusive to the parties’ child and Respondent argues it never happened and as such the allegation is a fabrication. Having a disagreement over a key fact, there is a genuine issue to be litigated and a case may not be appropriate for summary judgment at that time. This may be different when there is a supplemental petition for modification. Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney Orlando and family lawyer Clermont Florida. Call 407-335-8113 today for a family law consultation.

Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.510 “Summary Judgment” is modeled after its sister Civil Rule of Procedure that sets the standard for summary judgment motions. Despite applying to family law, the Rule largely describes civil matters and, in many ways, leads only to inferences and loose assertions how the Rule may apply to a family law case. Hopefully this article will partially demystify the summary judgment in Florida family law Rule. Remember that a motion to dismiss Florida family law is different than a motion for summary judgment.

Summary Judgment Florida Family Law

Summary Judgment in Florida family law is rarely tested in court and historically has been litigated only in actions for modification of child support. If a motion for summary judgment is seldom made in family law, in what other situations may it be applicable? Here is one such factual predicate.

Petitioner files a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Timesharing, Parenting Plan and Child Support. The Respondent is pro se (self-represented) or is represented by counsel that is inexperienced in countering a Supplemental Petition. Respondent files a Motion to Dismiss which is denied or outright fails to file a Motion to Dismiss. Instead, Respondent answers the Petition for Modification and files a Counterpetition. The Petitioner’s facts do not support a modification of the parenting plan and the Respondent’s failure to properly litigate a Motion to Dismiss has unnecessarily caused the case to move to mediation and perhaps noticed for a full day of trial. The case never should have been allowed to progress on its absence of triable facts/merits. Once an Answer and/or a Counterpetition has been filed, a Motion to Dismiss is off the table procedurally. The Respondent is disempowered, unless he or she files a Motion for Summary Judgment in Florida family law. This is no simple matter as it is highly technical and rarely has been battle tested in family law court.

In our hypothetical Supplemental Petition, Petitioner’s main allegation is that the live-in girlfriend of the Respondent/Father was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Superficially, this seems like a provocative fact that will allow a Petitioner to modify a parenting plan. However, looking deeper into the situation, we find the girlfriend was alone in the car while the minor child was safe at home with the Father. No accident occurred, nobody was injured, and the girlfriend was given pre-trial diversion by the prosecutor. Now, what once appeared to be a scandalous fact in the favor of the Petitioner is really just a fact, and a fact that will not overcome the extraordinary burden of Florida Statute 61.13 defining a substantial change in circumstances as something that is substantial, material, and unanticipated at the time of the Final Judgment.

A Motion to Dismiss would likely have resolved with the case being removed. Now, having progressed due to the failure of due diligence and/or litigation strategy of/from the Respondent, all that remains in the arsenal of the Respondent and Respondent’s counsel is to file a Motion for Summary Judgment. Respondent must demonstrate to the Court the case cannot proceed on its merits and that no facts are in dispute. Summary judgment in Florida family law is a viable and powerful force in litigation when no other alternative remains.

Call Attorney Jonathan Jacobs if you need help dismissing or removing a Supplemental Petition for Modification that has been filed against you unfairly without sufficient grounds for a modification. Dial 407-335-8113 for your consultation about Summary judgment in Florida family law.

divorce rate florida

Divorce Rate Florida

Writing about the divorce rate in Florida and the divorce rate in America is a delicate proposition. Although there may be hundreds of social, cultural, economic, political, and a myriad of other reasons explicating this recent divorce phenomenon (a temporary/ephemeral predicament ideally), as a divorce attorney in Orlando, we will provide a few reasons divorce may be on the rise and let our readers contemplate their agreement or disagreement with our examination. Call Jacobs Law Firm to speak with a flat fee divorce attorney Orlando, 407-335-8113.

The divorce rate in America for the first four months of the Covid-19 pandemic was said to have “skyrocketed”. Our practice received more calls for divorce and paternity lawsuits from March-June of this year. The divorce rate Florida may be leveling off as people are returning to work and as kids are being welcomed back to school (bricks and mortar or online). Let’s delve into this trending issue.

Divorce Rate in Florida

The divorce rate in Florida experienced a spike because people’s careers (this is not intended to implicate/apply to every marital couple) may have been interrupted. The aftermath of these disruptions of people’s regular work hours, changing of their work schedules, furloughs, and employment terminations was brutal. Marriages felt the impact of an inability to pay their regular bills/expenses. This caused discontent, and in many cases psychological issues such as depression. Beyond the obvious impact of economic uncertainty, work interruptions brought spouses together on an everyday basis. Some worked from home inhabiting the same space. Others spent more time together than had been the case in months or years. Couples that had preexisting marital problems faced increased uncertainty and anxiety and tensions rose. What once may have been acceptable became a cause for discontent.

Another reason the divorce rate Florida rose dramatically earlier this year is (regrettably) because of childcare. Some career people were forced to at least temporarily abandon their career to take care of their kids at home. During a pandemic, few people feel safe sending their children to school. Virtual school is not a simple process; in fact, it is flawed. Kids need supervision even when attending school online. Meal preparation, help with homework, and ensuring children are actively participating in virtual classes are just a few parental responsibilities that must be considered. The abandonment of one’s livelihood can cause bitterness even if the result is the children as better nurtured and parented.

The last reason the divorce rate in Florida increased this year is because of politics. Without delving into any political position or party or ideology, the political strife in our nation is thrusting national issues into homes across our country. Politics is inherently divisive. In times of great tumult and stress, one can imagine that political disagreement does not always help perpetuate a marriage when times are tough.

This article about the divorce rate Florida is intended to be a thought-provoking piece. We would like to hear from you. Feel free to disagree, as discussion and awareness of major issues is a beautiful thing.

Notice of Divorce Hearing in Florida

Divorce Notice of Hearing in Florida

When thinking of divorce notice of hearing in Florida, consider the seminal Florida family law case of Loudermilk v. Loudermilk, 693 So. 2d 666 (Fla. 2d. DCA 1997). The Loudermilk case established the cornerstone for what constitutes a true emergency situation within the context of an emergency child pick up order or an emergency motion for child custody/timesharing. The Loudermilk Court decided that for a family law court to grant one parent temporary custody of child without affording notice to the other parent, one of two facts/situations must be true: 1. Where the child is threatened with harm, or 2. Where other parent plans to improperly remove child from state. Proper removal of a child pursuant to a parenting plan, or a 100% timesharing custodial parent’s decision is not necessarily improper. These analyses require what we call a totality of the circumstances assessment. Contact an emergency child pick up order attorney in Orlando today for the help you need in securing your parental rights 407-335-8113 and giving proper divorce notice Florida.

Divorce Notice in Florida

Regarding divorce notice Florida for scheduling hearings, Loudermilk recites constitutional law in making it clear the bedrock of due process must be honored, “Failure to give notice to opposing party of hearing on motion for temporary custody of child, absent true emergency, deprives opposing party of right to procedural due process.” U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 14.

A fairly recent decision about divorce notice of hearing in Florida (though there have been many cases that Loudermilk spawned), Ferris v. Winn, 242 So. 3d 509 (Fla. 2d. DCA 2018) cites constitutional law in support of the furtherance of Loudermilk, “To satisfy procedural due process, fair notice must be of such nature as reasonably to convey the required information, and it must afford a reasonable time for those interested to make their appearance while the opportunity to be heard must be at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.” Borden v. Guardianship of Borden–Moore, 818 So.2d 604, 607 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002). What does this mean in plain terms?

Fair and reasonable divorce notice in Florida must be afforded to the parent against whom a motion has been filed with the court. That notice should provide the respondent reasonable time to reply and prepare, and the parent should have enough time to make arrangements to appear before the court.

In Ferris, the Court decided that 19 hours of notice (the notice was provided by e-mail) was insufficient insofar as it deprived the opposing party of due process, and deprived the opposing party of a meaningful opportunity to be heard.

Call an emergency child pick up order attorney in Orlando today for the help you need in securing your parental rights 407-335-8113. The Jacobs Law Firm is here to help you!

Family Law Interrogatories Florida

Family Law Interrogatories Florida

Family law interrogatories Florida are governed by Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.340. It is important to note that divorce (dissolution of marriage) and family law (paternity) actions are a process. Generally, once a party has filed a petition and the other side has responded with an answer and/or a counterpetition, the parties must comply with their mandatory disclosure requirements pursuant to Rule 12.285. (This may not be entirely necessary if a divorce is uncontested). A review of discovery documents produced by the opposing party (bank statements, credit card statements, pay stubs, health insurance cards, deeds to properties, car loan documents, etc.) often raises many important questions. Have the parties disclosed all their sources of income? Are there unanswered questions about a party’s finances? Beyond finances, there are other questions that often need to be answered for a case to be resolved by mediation, or for your lawyer to commence family law trial preparation. Consider propounding (serving) family law interrogatories Florida onto the other party and his/her attorney of record. The more you know, your understanding of the issues in your case may help you decide how best to proceed with settlement or litigation. Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce and family law attorney in Orlando and Clermont, as well as throughout Central Florida. Call Jacobs Law Firm to speak with a flat fee divorce attorney Orlando, 407-335-8113 about family law interrogatories.

As your attorney, we do not need to ask the court’s permission to serve written interrogatories on your former partner or spouse. Even better, according to Florida Family Law Rule 12.280(c)(1) “Parties may obtain discovery regarding ANY MATTER, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the pending action…It is NOT GROUNDS FOR OBJECTION that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” This Rule allows a wide berth wherein probative questions may be asked provided they are relevant to your case and may lead to the discovery of evidence the court will admit during the course of your litigation.  

Florida family law interrogatories

Florida Family Law Interrogatories

Now that you know the general purpose of Florida family law interrogatories, let’s mention some specific issues you may choose to inquire about. Perhaps your spouse’s bank statements show multiple deposits through Zelle or Cash App, and those monies are not accounted for in their financial affidavit. You need to know if those deposits are a source of recurring income for alimony, child support, and other equitable distribution purposes/calculations. If yours is a paternity case, those deposits may need to be accounted for in child support calculations. Another topic often inquired into is whether your spouse has spent lavishly on their romantic partner. Did your spouse spend marital monies on their partner? How much, when, why, and with whom? Often, parents choose to inquire through Family law interrogatories Florida about their ex partner’s parental mishaps. Why did a parent fail to bring their child to school several times, causing unexcused absences to hurt the minor child’s grades?

Of course, these topics are a non-exhaustive list of Florida Family law interrogatories you may choose to serve on the other party. Interrogatories are a fact-finding mission with broad scope. They are generally a precursor to depositions and are designed to kindle a settlement or prepare for divorce trial. Ultimately, if depositions, deposition transcripts, and court reporters are too expensive, Family law interrogatories Florida may be a good option for you. Consult with your attorney and remember that the more information and background you provide to them, the more questions they may be able to ask to the other party in a divorce or paternity suit. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today for answers to your family law questions. 407-335-8113.

How To Enforce A Child Custody Agreement In Florida

How to Enforce a Child Custody Agreement in Florida

If you need legal help from a divorce and family law/paternity attorney to answer how to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida, call the Jacobs Law Firm for help and guidance when you need it the most. Dial 407-335-8113 today. Your attorney may file a Motion for Enforcement (titled a Motion to Enforce Parenting Plan Florida or a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.960). This Motion does not need to include a count for contempt, though many argue it should. Consider several common situations among parents and decide how you may choose to respond. Placing yourself in the shoes of another parent is a challenge. It is only natural that the further removed two parents and/or former spouses are from their romantic relationship, there can be a degradation of trust about one another’s character and parental abilities and intentions. Over time, many parents see their communications dwindle and the resulting lack of information sharing may cause unforeseeable problems.

How To Enforce A Child Custody Agreement In Florida

How to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida is by considering whether you are prepared for additional litigation in your divorce or paternity case when there are minor children being affected. A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt is designed to help a parent enforce a court-ordered parenting plan. A court has the discretion to enforce a parenting plan, and in doing so, may also hold the other parent in contempt which may involve certain financial or other severe penalties.

A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in Florida

A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in Florida is initiated by a parent that wants to inform the family law circuit court about the other parent’s inability, unwillingness, or outright refusal to comply with their Florida parenting plan. Timesharing is seldom honored to the letter of a parenting plan because life happens and circumstances change. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, clients may want to examine a few hypothetical situations and assess how you would respond. How to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida? Would you file the Motion for Enforcement only, or do you believe a count for contempt is the only way to assure the other parent’s compliance?

A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in Florida

In scenario #1, Parent 2 is supposed to drop the child off every Friday after school to Parent 1’s house by 6:00 P.M. Instead, Parent 2 brings the minor child home and Parent 2’s girlfriend supervises the child until 8:00 at night before transporting the child to Parent 1’s house. Parent 1 is suspicious of Parent 2’s girlfriend and does not trust her driving safety. Would you file a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt?

In scenario #2, Parent 1 is supposed to follow the clause in the parenting plan about a right of first refusal. Instead, Parent 1 often leaves the minor child at home overnight while Parent 1 goes on a work trip or engages in social activities at night. Parent 2 does not want their child left with a babysitter overnight and wants Parent 1 to abide by the parenting plan by offering them the right to timesharing when Parent 2 is away. Would you file a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in this situation to enforce the child custody agreement?

In scenario #3, Parent 1 does not allow Parent 2 to have telephone or video communications with their kids even though the parenting plan clearly specifies this should happen every night at 7:30 P.M. Would you choose to file a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt to ask the court to enforce this portion of the parenting plan?

During your hearing on enforcement and contempt, the judge will hear evidence, the testimony of the parties and their witnesses, and will decide how best to resolve the issues before the divorce or family law court. If the court determines the parenting plan has been violated, the court may order the offending party to pay for the movant’s attorney fees, order make-up timesharing, impose jail time, modify the parenting plan, and a host of other remedies may be applied.

How to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida is by standing up for your rights as a responsible parent. Florida family law courts generally prefer that litigants resolve their own differences and work together to parent for the best interest of their children. When there is no reasonable alternative and the facts allow for a good faith Motion For Civil Enforcement/Contempt, call the Jacobs Law Firm paternity attorney Orlando and family lawyer Orlando for help.

Shared Parental Responsibility Florida

Shared Parental Responsibility Florida

In family law and divorce cases involving minor children, the circuit court must determine whether the parents of the minor children at issue in the case will have shared parental responsibility Florida. The Court is obligated to order shared parental responsibility under Statute 61.13, unless it is determined such an order would be detrimental to the welfare/best interests of the children. Some examples of shared parental responsibility being detrimental to the children include abuse, neglect, and certain crimes causing a parent to be incarcerated for a majority of the children’s minority. What is shared parental responsibility in Florida? Call to speak with a child custody attorney about your divorce or family law case and to learn about the Florida shared parental responsibility guidelines recommended by family law courts, dial 407-335-8113 today.

What is shared parental responsibility in Florida?

What is shared parental responsibility in Florida? To understand what shared responsibility means, we look to Statute 61.046 for a definition of the term. Florida Statute 61.046 defines shared parental responsibility as “a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly.” If you are a great co-parent and your ex-partner or spouse is also a terrific parent and communicator, shared parental responsibility in Florida can be a wonderful guideline. However, for everyone else, break ups often cause an absence of communication and opinions differ as to how best to raise a child.

What is shared parental responsibility in Florida

As a petitioner or a respondent in a family law case involving minor children, you will need to decide what level of parental responsibility to petition for. There are three primary categories of parental responsibility in our State. The first, as mentioned earlier, is the court’s statutorily preferred shared parental responsibility. The second is shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision-making authority, and the third is sole parental responsibility. Providing the court rules, or the parties agree, and the court affirms that shared parental responsibility Florida is best for the children, what exactly does that mean for the parents and the kids?

Sharing parental responsibility affects all decisions involving the minor children. That may be too broad of a statement for you to get a sense of what shared parental responsibility is in our State. Specifically, many litigants believe shared parental responsibility in Florida generally involves decisions about a child’s education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. Typically, one parent (the primary timesharing parent) believes he or she is better-suited to making day-to-day decisions about their child’s schooling, doctor visits and care, and whether extracurricular activities (sometimes involving sports, religion, dancing, etc.) are appropriate.

Ultimately, family law circuit courts, in coordination with the State Legislature, believe the best policy is for parents to be awarded shared responsibility unless a different approach is warranted based on the facts admitted into evidence. If you would like to speak with a child custody attorney about your divorce or family law case, contested or uncontested, call Attorney Jonathan Jacobs of the Jacobs Law Firm to determine your rights and responsibilities. Dial 407-335-8113 today.