Category: Divorce and Family Law

How To Calculate Child Support In Florida

How To Calculate Child Support In Florida

Clients involved in child support cases with the Department of Revenue or Department of Administrative Law Hearings often ask how to calculate child support in Florida. The answer is incredibly nuanced. Primarily, the DOR or DOAH or the family court judge is looking for your incomes to determine how much child support is needed. From there, the court (DOR, DOAH or circuit court) looks to the number of overnights each parent spends with their children, as well as a multitude of other factors. Here, to calculate child support, we are focusing mainly on whether the party’s reimbursed expenses will be used to increase their income when calculating child support in Florida. Call Jacobs Law Firm, child support lawyer Orlando at 407-335-8113.

Calculating Child Support in Florida

The district courts of appeal have tested your question, how to calculate child support in Florida. The answer varies depending on the unique facts of your case. Among the biggest areas of dispute is whether your reimbursed expenses (from your parents or new wife or significant other, or the military, etc.) count as income when calculating support. Let’s start answering this question by looking to statutory law, “The child support guidelines specify that gross income includes reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses. § 61.30(2)(a)13, Fla. Stat. Ortega v. Wood, 316 So. 3d 408, 409, 2021. Essentially, the Ortega Court ruled that reimbursed expenses can count as gross income as long as they reduce living expenses. What might reduce living expenses? Many in the armed services receive housing and meal stipends that may reduce their living expenses.

If you are going to reasonably calculate child support Florida, distinguish the basic premise above from the Court’s further decision that “Reimbursements for business expenses are not income and should not be included in calculations for child support purposes.” It stands to reason that if I ask my paralegal to purchase a new printer at Office Depot or Costco and then pay her that exact amount, she has not profited, she has been reimbursed for an expense. Therefore, the Court rightly decided not to include that as gross income for purposes of calculating child support in Florida.

Calculate Child Support Florida

Here is a major pearl of wisdom for how to calculate child support in Florida. “Before a trial court can include a bonus in calculating net income for child support purposes, the bonus must be regular and continuous.” Vergara v. Vergara, 831 So. 2d 251, 252, 2002. Many clients tell us they might receive occasional bonuses but that does not guarantee regular bonuses or the amount to be earned/received. Plus, bonuses might be taxed at a higher rate. A lot goes into figuring out the numbers.

Moreover, in deciding how to calculate child support in Florida, adding to the case law provided above, “Parental gross income is determined using the factors in § 61.30(2)(a), which includes reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses. § 61.30(2)(a)(13). Specific dollar values for the in-kind contributions and reimbursed expenses must be determined, and the other statutory computations must be performed, in order to arrive at the parties’ net income levels, a proper support amount, and the respective shares of support.” Sunderwirth v. Sunderwirth, 332 So. 3d 1087, 1088, 2022. Of course, when courts calculate child support Florida, they should make factual findings. It stands to reason that calculating child support should be based on logic and common sense. Call Jacobs Law Firm today for your consultation 407-335-8113.

Citrus County uncontested divorce attorney

Citrus County Uncontested Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be a stressful and emotional process, but it does not have to be brutal. By hiring a Crystal River uncontested divorce attorney, spouses with a clear plan for the terms of their divorce may pursue a less expensive and better option. Call Jacobs Law Firm, Citrus County uncontested divorce attorney to learn about amicable dissolution and how it is right for you. Uncontested divorce is typically faster, less expensive, and less emotionally draining than a long and drawn out contested divorce. A no contest divorce inherently means that both parties are in total agreement on all issues. As your uncontested divorce attorney in Citrus County FL (Hernando, Homosassa, Lecanto, Inverness, Beverly Hills, and elsewhere), we are ready to help you from the very start until your case is 100% finalized through the Citrus County Family Court. Call 407-335-8113 today for a consultation and get started.

A Citrus County uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all the terms of the dissolution settlement agreements. This includes equitable property division, alimony, child timesharing and child support calculations. If you retain Jacobs Law Firm, you generally do not need to go to court. Your divorce can be finalized without the need for litigation. If there is a short final hearing, we will schedule it for you and attend the hearing with you on your behalf. You will know what to expect and we are here to prepare you.

There are so many benefits to choosing to hire a Crystal River uncontested divorce attorney. Namely, we can move your case along faster than a contested divorce. A Citrus County uncontested divorce is less expensive than a litigated divorce. This is because the couple does not need to pay for a mediations, motions or trial which helps you save on legal fees. Amicable divorce is less emotionally taxing than a standard divorce. Perhaps best of all is an uncontested divorce allows the couple to have control over the provisions of the divorce. This is because the couple can agree on the terms of the divorce and the judge will approve the agreement.

If you are considering hiring a Crystal River uncontested divorce attorney, look no further than Jacobs Law Firm, a compassionate and caring Firm. We prefer when divorce is done faster, less expensively, and with less of a harsh impact on families. Having experienced legal counsel on your side can make all the difference. Hire us to be your Citrus County uncontested divorce attorney.

Equitable Distribution Worksheet Florida

Equitable Distribution Worksheet Florida

This article is about drafting a Florida equitable distribution worksheet. Divorce in Florida can present difficult and legally challenging issues. As such, among the most important aspects of dissolution of marriage is determining how to EQUITABLY divide your assets and liabilities accrued before, during and after marriage and separation. A helpful and often vital step Jacobs Law Firm performs for many clients is drafting an equitable distribution worksheet in Florida. An ED worksheet can clarify the financial portrait of both parties and lay out the arguments for which spouse should prevail and in what way(s). Call us at 407-335-8113 to speak with Attorney Jacobs about your equitable distribution spreadsheet and how it can be enhanced and improved.

The Florida family courts apply an equitable distribution standard. This ED scheme (the basis of your equitable distribution spreadsheet in Florida) is a method the courts apply to determine equitable property division in a divorce. As such, an equitable distribution worksheet Florida is a document that lists all of the assets and debts accrued before, during and after the marriage, along with their current value. Current values are sometimes best determined through the hiring of appraisers or expert witnesses. The Florida equitable distribution worksheet is used to lay out clearly the parties’ financial arguments. Your Orlando divorce attorney will calculate how to divide the assets and debts in a fair and equitable manner the court will approve.

There are multiple benefits to using an equitable distribution spreadsheet to predict or enhance the outcome of a divorce. First, the spreadsheet can help to ensure that the assets and debts are divided in a fair and equitable manner. This can help to avoid disputes and disagreements between the parties, which can prolong the divorce process and increase the cost. Prior to drafting the spreadsheet, we will need to have mandatory disclosures complete. This way, we will have information such as property values, mortgage balances, and the amounts of your liabilities. The spreadsheet is used to calculate the value of each asset and debt and to determine how they should be divided between the two parties.

An equitable distribution spreadsheet in Florida can help to identify any assets or debts that may have been overlooked or forgotten. Perhaps there is a student loan outstanding, or a car note the parties wished they had forgotten. This can be particularly useful in cases where one party may have been hiding assets or debts in order to keep them out of the divorce settlement.

When you need to speak with an experienced divorce attorney in Clermont, Orlando, or anywhere in Central Florida, call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113.

Child Support Modification Florida

Child Support Modification Florida

Are you looking to modify your child support payments? Filing a petition for modification of child support is generally the right course of action to take. Before any change may be made, a court must decide there has been a substantial change in circumstances. A child support modification in Florida may occur at any time when support payments are being made and you meet the statutory standard for change. This standard for demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances in Florida child support has occurred is rather modest. A substantial change in circumstances change means that if the Department of Revenue, or Department of Administrative Hearings, or the family circuit court is to order a change in child support, that change has to be at least a certain amount of money to justify a deviation. According to the modification of Child Support Florida Statute, Florida Statute 61.30(b), “the difference between the existing monthly obligation [what you pay right now] and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.” Call Jacobs Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with an Orlando Child Support Attorney to discuss your modification of child support, dial 407-335-8113. We can help you calculate and decide whether a modification is appropriate for you.

After you have filed a petition for child support modification Florida (a motion is not enough, you need a petition), there are many reasons a court may agree a substantial change in circumstances has occurred and order a modification of child support in Florida. A primary reason can be a parent’s refusal or failure to see their child. For example, in a recent decision, the Smith Court referred to the modification of Child Support Florida Statute and decided that: “A parent’s failure to regularly exercise the time-sharing schedule set forth in the parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties not caused by the other parent which resulted in the adjustment of the amount of child support pursuant to subparagraph (a)(10) or paragraph (b) shall be deemed a substantial change of circumstances for purposes of modifying the child support award.” Section 61.30(11)(c), Fla. Stat., and Smith v. Smith, 273 So. 3d 1168, 1169, (1st DCA 2019).

modification of Child Support Florida Statute

This language means that if a parent does not exercise overnight timesharing with their child(ren), and the other parent is not the reason for their absence, the Court has the authority to grant a petition for modification of child support Florida. The Court may also decide the substantial change in circumstances Florida child support standard has been statutorily met as a matter of law.  

The Department of Revenue provides some helpful advice to payors (people paying child support) about what to do while your petition for child support modification Florida is pending. Until or unless a court order commanding you to pay child support is modified, terminated or vacated, you must continue making payments according to your court order. Paying a lower amount of child support could result in sanctions or penalties against you. Keep making your payments pursuant to the modification of Child Support Florida Statute. Asking for a credit and resolving any overpayment later is better than being held in contempt. When you are ready to talk about your child support case, call 407-335-8113 and schedule time with Attorney Jacobs.

uncontested divorce lawyer Osceola

Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Osceola

As an uncontested divorce lawyer in Osceola County FL, we help clients in Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Poinciana, Celebration, Yeehaw, and all throughout the County. The Osceola Court is part of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which includes/is shared with Orange County. In fact, some of the family law judges are assigned to cases in both courts. It is not uncommon for family judges to transfer from one courthouse to the other. Procedurally, Osceola County uncontested divorces are handled differently than is the case in many other areas. Typically, a final hearing is required even if you are represented by an Osceola divorce attorney, and there is a substantial amount of paperwork required for your Kissimmee uncontested divorce. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113 and we will discuss how we can save you money with a flat fee representation agreement and talk about the procedures you must follow to complete an uncontested divorce in Osceola County. Kissimmee and St. Cloud are amazing cities and great places to live.

When represented by an uncontested divorce lawyer Osceola, as your counsel of record, we must certify to the court that all documents have been properly executed and filed. This is a basic prerequisite to the court allowing us to schedule a final hearing in your case. This is generally called a verified checklist for attorney uncontested divorce. Fortunately, your dissolution of marriage may be done online through document submission and your hearing will likely be held virtually for the convenience of both parties.

Finalizing an uncontested divorce in Osceola County may involve a short hearing. The family court will want to have your Osceola divorce attorney ask some basic jurisdictional and other questions pertaining to your settlement agreements. Moreover, if you or your spouse are seeking a name change, the final hearing is the optimal time to ensure the court grants that relief. The judge will ask to view your driver license to ensure it was issued at least six months prior to the filing of your case. Additionally, it is not uncommon for a family judge to ask whether your marriage can be saved. Your Kissimmee uncontested divorce lawyer Osceola will ask you any remaining colloquy questions.

Prior to your hearing, and after consulting with you and your spouse for approval, as your uncontested divorce lawyer Osceola, we will submit to the court your final judgment proposal. This document is intended to finalize your divorce and for the court to order your settlement agreements (marital settlement agreement, parenting plan and child support) enforceable. Consider hiring Jacobs Law Firm for your uncontested divorce in Osceola County FL.

Clermont uncontested divorce attorney

Clermont Uncontested Divorce Attorney

Clermont uncontested divorce attorney Jonathan Jacobs absolutely loves working with clients and their families to help them save money and time. There are many family lawyers who believe all cases are best resolved with fair and reasonable settlements. Jacobs Law Firm takes the approach that most dissolution of marriages should be uncontested. In fact, we encourage new clients to either pursue an uncontested divorce in Clermont, and/or offer reasonable settlement terms during the case. By thinking about how best to negotiate terms, and what may be fair for both parties and your kids, you can save time and money and potentially prevent months or years of expensive litigation. Let’s talk a little bit about the uncontested divorce process and how we may help you navigate the entire process. Call 407-335-8113 for a consultation with experienced and compassionate uncontested divorce attorney Jonathan Jacobs. We offer payment plans and flat fee rates for uncontested proceedings.

Attorney Jacobs is a Clermont enthusiast. His favorite places locally are the waterfront area (there are so many great new restaurants and the Splash Pad is terrific for the kids), the Farmer’s Market, Citrus Tower during the holidays, Hibachi Express (who doesn’t love hibachi?), and the pet stores (his kids are animal lovers) and maybe a Costco someday? One thing is certain; Clermont is a booming/growing town with lots of young families. This is extra incentive for our Firm, a Clermont uncontested divorce attorney, to help people make good decisions because divorce can impact a whole family.

First and foremost, a Clermont uncontested divorce attorney can help you by drafting and filing your divorce papers (including a marital settlement, parenting plan, and child support worksheets). Knowing that you will be represented from the first moments until the conclusion of your case can provide a great deal of security for you. We will make you knowledgeable of the process, the timeline, and the costs associated with court filing fees.

Choosing to obtain an uncontested divorce in Clermont means that you will likely file with the Lake County family court. Lake County is a unique place to litigate or resolve your family case. Lake generally has only 2-3 domestic relations judges available. This means that if you have a Clermont uncontested divorce attorney representing you, the court may allow us to submit your case electronically. You may avoid any court proceedings and resolve your case on your own terms without undue scrutiny or unnecessary court intervention. When you are ready to pursue your case with a law firm that cares, call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113 and visit our Clermont or Winter Park office for your consultation.

Uncontested Divorce Volusia County

Uncontested Divorce Volusia County

You are married and live in Daytona Beach, DeLand, New Smyrna Beach, Orange City, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Deltona, DeBary, or another town or city in Volusia County, Florida. Sadly, your relationship with your spouse that has hit a rough patch, and a divorce is imminent. You should strongly consider hiring a divorce attorney in Volusia County. When you call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, we specifically encourage you to ask about obtaining an uncontested divorce in Volusia County. Good news for future clients; an uncontested divorce is generally less expensive than a traditional divorce. Not only can choosing an amicable divorce save you money, by doing a Volusia County Uncontested Divorce, you can also save months of time otherwise spent under the stress of litigation. The family court in Volusia is among the very best in Florida, and Jacobs Law Firm is here to help. Call us today for a consultation about your uncontested divorce Volusia County, Florida. Dial 407-335-8113 today to speak with a Volusia County divorce attorney.

The Volusia County Courthouse is a charming building, and the judges are fantastic. Settlements are often encouraged. Being reasonable generally leads to the best outcomes. Rather than relying on a stranger to decide your entire parenting and financial future, it is probably best that you and your spouse decide together. Rather than looking at hiring a divorce attorney Volusia County for litigation, choose instead to get an uncontested divorce Volusia County. The judges will prefer that, and consider that the future is now. This is not a cliché. The sooner you and your spouse work together, the faster your case will be resolved.

If you have minor children at issue, coparenting will be a critical component of your uncontested divorce in Volusia County. Coparenting involves decisions about your children’s schooling, health care, religion, extracurricular activities and to much more. It is better to make decisions together than having to rely on the court to decide granular aspects of your life for you. Learning to get along as parents today can help your children have a better future tomorrow.  

Hiring a divorce attorney Volusia County can help you achieve a substantially better outcome. When you call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, we ask about the procedures, timeline and cost of an uncontested divorce in Volusia County. We would like to work with you on resolving every one of your marital issues, financial and parenting, without the bitterness of a traditional divorce.

Life Insurance to Secure Alimony in Floridavvv

Life Insurance to Secure Alimony in Florida

Can a divorce court order the payor spouse to purchase life insurance to secure spousal support in Florida? This question is answered in part by the Second District Court of Appeal ((Levy v. Levy, 900 So. 2d 737, 745 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005)), In Levy, the Wife requested the trial court issue an order commanding the Husband to purchase a life insurance policy to secure his future alimony payments to her. The Levy Court, basing its decision on precedent which includes a Florida Supreme Court Case, stated that “Trial courts may require that alimony awards be secured by life insurance on the life of the payor spouse.” § 61.08(3); Sobelman v. Sobelman, 541 So.2d 1153 (Fla.1989); O’Connor v. O’Connor, 782 So.2d 502, 505 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001). The Court’s decision received a second layer to further its distinctiveness. The Court continued, “However, there must be special circumstances that demonstrate a need for such a requirement.” See Solomon v. Solomon, 861 So.2d 1218, 1221 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003); Cozier v. Cozier, 819 So.2d 834, 837 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002); but see Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So.2d 295, 300 n. 2 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003). Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113 for answers to your child support, alimony and spousal support questions.

Furthermore, beyond the fact that a court may (not shall) order life insurance to secure alimony in Florida, in order to justify such a requirement, the court required, “the record should contain evidence of [1] the payor’s insurability, [2] the cost of the proposed insurance, and [3] the payor’s ability to afford the insurance.” Lopez v. Lopez, 780 So.2d 164, 165 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001); see also Cozier, 819 So.2d at 837. Now we know that the question, can a divorce court order the payor spouse to purchase life insurance to secure spousal support in Florida may have at least a three-part inquiry.

Consider a circumstance where a party is ordered to pay alimony in the amount of $250 per month. The payor (person paying) has a gross income of $40,000.00 per year, and expenses totaling $39,500.00 per year not counting the impact of inflation. If there is a limited or narrow ability to pay alimony, then the payor might not meet the demands of the three-part test. This is of course an issue for the attorney’s to present and the judge’s discretion. While maintaining life insurance to secure an award of alimony and spousal support may make practical sense, that does not automatically confer its affordability and feasibility. When you are confronted with a similar circumstance and need answers to your questions such as whether a divorce court may order the payor spouse to purchase life insurance to secure spousal support in Florida, call Orlando Divorce Attorney Jonathan Jacobs at 407-335-8113 for the help you need.

Motion for extension of time divorce

Motion for Extension of Time Divorce

A Motion for Extension of Time in a Divorce is intended to help you avoid a default judgment against you. A Motion for Extension of Time in Florida family law can also be helpful when you have a discovery request due and the other side might otherwise file a motion to compel against you. It is generally axiomatic that a family law court will not take action unless you have filed a motion or other request for their intervention. Let’s go over two scenarios where a motion for extension of time divorce can potentially help you avoid being late and interfere with your case in a negative way. Call Jacobs Law Firm by dialing 407-335-8113 for a consultation about how best to protect your rights and help your divorce or paternity case.

A Motion for Extension of Time Florida family law may be helpful when you have been served with a petition for dissolution of marriage or a petition for the establishment of paternity. If you have an answer due within twenty days and you have waited until the last day, even if you hire counsel, it may be prudent to ask for additional time to answer. Answering a petition and responding with a counterpetition is best done in a reasonable time and with careful preparation.

A Motion for Extension of Time Divorce can also be utilized when a discovery response is due or nearly due and you cannot respond on time. For example, your mandatory disclosures are due. You are at the time when the other party is poised to or has threatened a motion to compel against you for your failure to comply with the rules. Maybe you are confused and do not know how to respond. If this is true, you may want to speak with a divorce attorney immediately. Failure to respond to a request for mandatory disclosures or other requests to produce documents may result in sanctions being imposed against you both financially, and with the substance of your case. Seek the proper advice when you need it.

Caution: A Motion for Extension of Time Florida family law does not change the Rules and you should ask an attorney if responding late could impact your case. It is not a cure-all motion, and it is not always an appropriate remedy. It is best to consult with a divorce and family lawyer that has the knowledge and experience necessary to properly litigate family cases. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113 today.

Brevard County uncontested divorce

Brevard County Uncontested Divorce

Clients ask, who gets the house in a Brevard County uncontested divorce? One of the primary marital assets that is often equitably distributed is a residential/real property. Jacobs Law Firm negotiates home ownership and division when couples split up. Attorneys help to equitably distribute property in an uncontested divorce in Brevard County Florida. Attorney Jonathan Jacobs assists clients with amicably and peacefully dissolving their marriages. Private negotiations are held where spouses and their attorney(s) work on a property settlement agreement, called a marital settlement agreement. Jacobs Law Firm negotiates uncontested divorces in Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Merritt Island, Palm Bay and Titusville. Having an experienced attorney may help you avoid a trial and multiple court appearances, and can spare you the figurative agony of years of document disclosures. In an uncontested divorce, the judge does not decide your marital property division. Contact Jacobs Law Firm, uncontested divorce attorney Brevard County Florida for a consultation by calling 407-335-8113. Learn who gets the house in your divorce.

Couples who do not have a prenuptial agreement negotiate the equitable division of their marital property. Homeowners who have minor children (under 18 or otherwise still in high school) work out a parenting plan to meet the best interests of their children. An uncontested divorce attorney will ask their client to complete Financial Affidavit. Jacobs Law Firm examines your mortgage, utility bills, insurance, property taxes, and value to help determine the post-divorce affordability of living in your home. Other factors go into who gets the house in a Brevard County uncontested divorce. The purchase date, down payment, and renovations during the marriage are sometimes considered as factors in the parties’ decision. Jacobs Law Firm generally advises three primary options for your marital settlement regarding who keeps or sells the house. Book a consultation with Jacobs Law Firm by dialing 407-335-8113.

Brevard County Florida is located in the east-central part of the Sunshine State. Much of the area makes up The Space Coast. Home to Cape Canaveral, the aerospace industry drives the local economy. As of 2020, Brevard is the 10th most populated County in Florida. Titusville is the seat and has a historic courthouse. Additional government branches are located in Viera and Melbourne to serve all residents. Brevard County Florida has a long coastal stretch of 72 miles. The Palm Bay Melbourne Titusville Metro Area is located between Jacksonville and Miami. Attorney Jacobs recommends visiting the famous Kennedy Space Center. Other must-see sites include the Brevard Zoo and Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier. Call 407-335-8113 for a consultation with Jacobs Law Firm. Our attorney practices uncontested divorce in Brevard County Florida.

When a judge rules on marital property division, sometimes the settlement is surprising. Out-of-court negotiations and settlements typically save you time and money. Your attorney charges less because your case does not go to trial. An uncontested divorce helps you plan for the future with some degree of predictability. Moreover, parents choose to do a Brevard County uncontested divorce often do not want to disrupt their children’s lives or want a fresh start. Jacobs Law Firm works with all different family dynamics and financial situations. An uncontested divorce in Brevard County Florida grants a peaceful end to a marriage. In a buyout, the spouse keeping the house must be able to afford the payments. Having an experienced family lawyer may assist in protecting your interests and investments. Please call Jacobs Law Firm, uncontested divorce attorney Brevard County Florida at 407-335-8113 for your consultation. Get a fair settlement on your uncontested divorce in Brevard County Florida.