Author: Law Firm Admin

Do I have to pay child support if my child moves abroad

Do I have to pay child support if my child moves abroad

Do I Have To Pay Child Support If My Child Moves Abroad?

Do I have to pay child support if my child moves abroad? According to the Fifth District Court of Appeals presiding over Orlando and Orange County, a parent residing in Florida may be required to pay child support for their child, even if that child is no longer living in the United States. A new decision made by the Fifth District Court of Appeals solidifies this position in the Orange County Florida family law courts. The case citation is Keogh v. Keogh, No. 5D18-1080, 2018 WL 4168553 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).

In Keogh, the Fifth District Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision. In doing so, the 5th DCA arrived at its ruling on the question, do I have to pay child support if my child moves abroad. The trial court had erroneously dismissed the mother’s request for child support during a dissolution of marriage action (divorce). Mom had moved to Ireland with the minor child and asked the court order for child support despite her relocation with the child. The trial court held that it did not have jurisdiction to order child support since the child no longer lived in Florida.

Fifth DCA Rules on Do I Have To Pay Child Support If My Child Moves Abroad?

However, the Fifth District Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision. The Fifth DCA in Keogh decided that although Florida is not the minor child’s current state of residence, the Florida Court will retain its jurisdiction to award child support to the mother. The Court specifically pointed to the facts that the parties were married in Florida, and their divorce proceedings were brought in a Florida court. These two crucial facts gave Florida courts personal jurisdiction over the parents even though one parent had moved overseas.

The legal undergirding is that once the Florida court has jurisdiction over a family law litigant, the court retains jurisdiction to decide on all matters substantially related to the case. In this instance, the court held jurisdiction over the parent’s divorce and child support payments are substantially related to mom and dad’s marriage and divorce. The court answered the question we posed, do I have to pay child support if my child moves abroad.

Under Florida statute §61.13(1)(a), a court is able to “order either or both parents who owe a duty to support a child to pay support to the other parent.” This is fundamental Florida statutory law. The Fifth Circuit District Court of Appeals decided to interpret this statute exactly as it is written. The Court determined that, although the mother and child lived for several years in another country, Florida courts maintain the authority to order a parent, over whom jurisdiction has been established, to pay child support to the mother and child living abroad. The lesson here is that a child support obligation does not end simply because one parent moves to another state or country.

Do I have to pay child support if my child moves abroad? The Florida court presently has jurisdiction to order the father to pay child support, however, the 5th DCA made an important distinction that may apply to a future change of circumstances; the Keogh court ruled that “The fact that a custody proceeding may, at some point, be instituted in Ireland does not preclude a Florida court from presently exercising its authorized jurisdiction to award child support.” The Florida court may lose its jurisdiction at a future time and any existing child support order could be canceled.

Neyza Guzman is a third-year law student and Juris Doctor candidate at Barry University School of Law who will sit for the Florida Bar in July 2019.

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando and a family law attorney in Clermont Florida.

Relocation Factors Florida

Relocation Factors Florida

Relocation Factors Florida

The relocation factors Florida are set forth in Florida Statute 61.13001 titled “Parental relocation with a child.” The Relocation factors Florida applying to a contested relocation are announced in subsection 7. Florida Statute 61.13001(7) makes it abundantly clear that there is no presumption in favor of or against relocation.

First, I will provide relevant portions of the factors, or the factors in their entirety, and comment on each with a hypothetical, or a simple explanation of the meaning of each factor. Please note that the Florida family law court will take into account ALL of the factors, not just one factor in and of itself. No one of the relocation factors Florida is isolated as an outcome determinative factor.

Statutory Relocation Factors Florida

(a) The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent or other person proposing to relocate with the child and with the nonrelocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life. This means that the Statute allows for evidence to be heard regarding BOTH parents’ involvement with the child, as well as any other familial involvement the child has in either or both locations. Why would a Florida family law court take a child away from strong family bonds and powerful parent-child relations absent a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary?

(b) The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child. Is the child old enough to make decisions in a meaningful and rational manner? Will the relocation hinder the child’s development emotionally, or educationally? Is there a better or worse school where the relocating parent proposes to move? This is a critical relocation factor Florida where the best interests of the child are closely examined.

(c) The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the nonrelocating parent or other person; and the likelihood of compliance with the substitute arrangements by the relocating parent or other person once he or she is out of the jurisdiction of the court. Suppose that mother has an opportunity to triple her income and send her daughter to private school. Housing is complimentary with this new job, and the quality of the private school far outweighs that of the public school where she is currently enrolled. However, by moving 2,000 miles away, daughter will rarely see dad, and dad just so happens to be her closest family member and her best friend. That makes the burden on mom to find time where dad may have visitation with daughter especially important for the court to consider when evaluating the merits of her petition for relocation based on the relocation factors Florida.

(d) The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child. Is the child 6 and of a tender and impressionable age or 16 and capable of making his own decisions? If the child is not old enough or mature for his age, the court will need to make its judgment without much input from the child.

(e) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities. For instance, dad has decided to accept a job as a CEO of a major financial institution. If permitted to relocate with his son, his son will need to be in after school care and frequently with babysitters on nights and weekends. Dad’s income will go up, his quality of life will improve, but the child will experience the absence of consistent parenting.

(f) The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation. Be truthful with the court and let your head and your heart speak on behalf of your child.

(g) The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent or other person seeking relocation of the child. As mentioned above in response to one of the relocation factors Florida, if one party can double or triple their income and has limited or no employment opportunities locally, relocation may be the only way for the family to prosper.

(h) That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations. The objecting parent may have a weaker argument if he/she owes $10,000 in child support arrears.

(i) The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs. See answers above for clarity and examples.

(j) A history of substance abuse or domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or which meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d) by either parent, including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation. If one parent has a history of alcohol or drug addiction and particularly if the child has been exposed to such abuse, the court may want the relocating parent to bring the child to a safer environment.

(k) Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in s. 61.13. As stated above, the best interests of the child are paramount in a family law case.

Subsection 8 of this Statute regarding relocation factors Florida provides that “The parent or other person wishing to relocate has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that relocation is in the best interest of the child.” If the parent seeking to relocate proves his/her case for the court, the burden then switches to the other parent to provide by a preponderance that relocation is inappropriate and NOT in the BEST interests of their child.

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando.

Florida Divorce FAQ

Florida Divorce FAQ

Florida Divorce FAQ

Although we have nearly one hundred legal articles here on our Florida family law blog that answer many Florida divorce FAQ, the field of family law is massive. Clients have numerous questions about how divorce works in Florida. In order to provide some measure of guidance to family law clients, we have compiled a list of five Florida divorce FAQ that we believe cover a lot of ground and answer a lot of your potential questions. Here are our five Florida divorce FAQ:

  1. Do I have to go to court to get a divorce in Florida?
  • You usually do not have to go to court to obtain a divorce in Florida, but some courts require a final hearing for 5-15 minutes for basic testimony to establish jurisdiction.
  • You may hire an attorney to handle your divorce/dissolution of marriage as an uncontested case.
  • Attorney Jacobs can prepare all of the divorce paperwork for you to save you time, money, and all of the fighting that often comes with a divorce.
  1. What is a no-fault divorce?
  • A no fault divorce in Florida means that neither party has to prove the other party is at fault.
  • The standard for divorce in Florida is that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • Marital infidelity does not need to be proven.
  1. What are the requirements for divorce in Florida?
  • The requirements for divorce in Florida are that one party must have lived within the jurisdictional/geographic limits of the State for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce.
  • Furthermore, the marriage must be irretrievably broken
  • We can state in our Florida divorce FAQ that irretrievably broken in Florida is a low threshold standard that is rarely disproven or disputed.

Florida Divorce

  1. How does the court determine if I am a Florida resident?
  • Generally speaking (there is not definitive/bright line answer for every court that we can definitely state in our Florida divorce FAQ), if you are an individual that has lived in Florida for at least 6 months, but have been temporarily sent to another state for work, or have taken a vacation sabbatical for a short period of time, the court will likely decide you maintain a Florida residency for family law jurisdictional purposes.
  • Alternatively, if you have relocated your residence to another state, signed a lease to stay in Texas or North Carolina (for example), taken a job in another state, and no long have a mailing address or license in Florida, it is likely the court will deny you standing to sue in our State.
  1. How long does a divorce take in Florida?
  • The length it takes to get a divorce in Florida depends on the degree of litigation (number and extent of issues being litigated/contested) in your case.
  • The Jacobs Law Firm offers uncontested divorce legal services whereby the parties agree on all of the issues before the court before trial, and a final order can be issued effectively ending the case at that time.
  • An uncontested divorce generally requires 1-3 months of time, depending on the rapidity of the agreements reached and the availability of the judge’s time to hear the facts of your case.
  • However, if the case is contested, and disagreements remain as to custody, child support, timesharing, alimony, and how to divide marital assets and liabilities, some cases take more than a year, while at a minimum, 4-6 months of time may be required for the parties to reach a resolution.
  • You may expect that preparing a majority of your initial divorce documents may require approximately 1-3 weeks depending on the extent of your legal issues under consideration.

Jonathan Jacobs is a Lake County Florida Divorce Lawyer, and a Divorce Attorney in Orlando Florida who enjoys working with families to resolve their legal issues. Call today for a consultation to understand the divorce process beyond our Florida Divorce FAQ, and find out your rights as a litigant.

 

Time sharing and child support in Florida

Time sharing and child support in Florida

Time Sharing and Child Support in Florida

One of the primary questions clients ask me is how do time sharing and child support in Florida go together? Worded differently, does time sharing affect child support in Florida? This is a great question, and an astute client asks it with good reason. I have heard many family law mediators lecture litigants that time sharing and child support are separate issues and should be addressed distinctly and separately. This is easy for the mediator to say because they are not paying child support based on the number of overnights in a timesharing agreement, you the litigant or client are. I believe that the splitting of the issues as mutually exclusive is noble in concept, but foolhardy and impractical in real law practice. Honestly, facts are facts, child support is largely based on the number of overnights the parties are allocated/awarded in the time sharing agreement. Why then should any litigant ignore this fact and give up valuable time with their child(ren) and at great financial cost?

How Are Time sharing and child support in Florida Connected?

Time sharing and child support in Florida are inextricably linked and should be considered as one issue. If a dad or a mom fights for more time with their child(ren) and that comes with a reduction in support being paid to the other side, that is not some self-serving motivation, it means that that parent will keep more money to spend on their child(ren) when they have time sharing with them. This is why pushing litigants to negotiate time sharing first, and then figure out the child support obligation is short-sighted and does not serve the client or litigant. In fact, it operates against their interest, and frankly, can operate against the interest of their kid(s).

Educating Clients about Time sharing and child support in Florida

The best approach is to educate clients, or litigants, whether you are their attorney, or mediator, so that they can understand how Time sharing and child support in Florida are connected and operate based on one another. Once armed with all of the facts and some knowledge of the law, family law litigants can render the best decisions for themselves and their children. Family law cases are about whole families, not just lawyers, not only mediators, but mostly, families and their best interests as an entirety. I would encourage clients to continue asking brilliant questions that address issues such as time sharing and child support in Florida that impact their families and their financial and emotional wellbeing.

Right Of First Refusal In Florida Child Custody Cases

Right Of First Refusal In Florida Child Custody Cases

Right Of First Refusal In Florida Child Custody Cases

First, let’s ask and answer, what is a right of first refusal in Florida child custody cases? A right of refusal in Florida child custody cases is a clause/provision that is optional when drafting a Florida parenting plan. The Florida parenting plan governs as a backdrop/fallback/default guide for parents that have a great relationship and govern their own conduct on their own terms, and an ironclad schedule that applies daily for parents that argue, fail to communicate, and cannot agree on other terms. A right of first refusal custody clause in a parenting plan will state that the parent (during their timesharing) must contact the parent who is not with the child (not their regular allotted timesharing) to ask if the other parent would like to care (overnight) of their child at that time. In some cases, a right of first refusal will apply if the timesharing parent (parent currently with the Child) for more than four or six hours.

For example, a right of first refusal in Florida child custody cases would apply if Mother, who is an on-call doctor, has this weekend with the kid(s), and is asked to come to the hospital overnight to treat patients. The right of first refusal provision would mandate that Dr. Mom call Dad to ask if he can or wants to take care of the kid(s) overnight because she has to go to work unexpectedly. Dad has the right to first refusal, though he is not obligated to take the extra timesharing. The right of first refusal will operate to allow him that option, chance, and choice. Just like a right of first refusal is optional in a Florida parenting plan, it is optional for the non-timesharing parent to exercise the right when it may apply/occur.

Another example: Father has his son M-F, but this week on Thursday, for a business conference, he must travel to Texas for work. Father must call, text, and/or e-mail (or otherwise) Mother to ask if she wants their son on Thursday. If the answer is no, Dad can of course find suitable child care (unless a mutual agreement is necessary according to the Parenting Plan), or even have grandma or grandpa step in for the night. Most parenting plans are different because they accommodate unique couples, families, and circumstances.

Right Of First Refusal Custody Clause

A Right Of First Refusal Custody Clause

A right of first refusal custody clause may state something similar to the following:

“Each party must offer the other parent/party the opportunity to care for the Child before using a different child care provider for any overnight period. The party exercising the right of first refusal shall be responsible for transportation beginning and ending their time with their Child.”

As mentioned above, a right of first refusal custody clause may specify the amount of time the timesharing gap in time, such as four hours, overnight, or otherwise, so the parents may govern their conduct appropriately. Communicate openly and forthrightly.

What if I Refuse a Right of First Refusal?

Buyer beware, caveat emptor. If you refuse a right of first refusal multiple times, would you be surprised to learn that your co-parent no longer contacts you when your Child needs overnight supervision during their timesharing? Establish a pattern of trust and reliability if you want this provision to work.

Jonathan Jacobs is a child custody attorney in Orlando, Clermont, Kissimmee, Davenport, Montverde, Winter Garden, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, and all throughout Central Florida.

Montverde Family Law Attorney

Montverde Family Law Attorney

Montverde Family Law Attorney

Montverde Family Law Attorney Jonathan Jacobs helps clients resolve their most challenging legal issues. The Jacobs Law Firm, PLLC is located in both Orlando and Clermont (by appointment) to assist their clients throughout Lake and Orange County, including in Montverde. How can a Montverde Family Law Attorney help you?

Many clients seek out help with divorce (dissolution of marriage) and paternity (establishment of parental roles and responsibilities for those who are unmarried) legal matters. However, being a family law attorney/divorce attorney is not an exclusive title. Many family law attorneys also help clients with guardianship petitions, wills and trusts (probate issues), and many other legal quagmires that may come your way. We also offer a variety of document preparation services including prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and powers of attorney. Montverde Family Law Attorney Jonathan Jacobs loves working with clients from all walks of life.

We Live in Montverde, Do You Make “House calls?”

Yes, the Jacobs Law Firm does offer house calls by appointment. More frequently, house calls are for clients that need estate planning. Nevertheless, if they are delicate family law issues that you would feel most comfortable discussing in private and in a familiar setting, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Montverde, Florida is primarily a residential area, and there are fewer professional offices as a result. This is another reason you may wish to have a house visit for a legal consultation. We also offer Saturday appointments to accommodate clients with busy work schedules.

Montverde Family Law Attorney Jonathan Jacobs

The two best ways to reach the Jacobs Law Firm for your family law needs, are by phone (or text) and by e-mail. If you would like to speak with a Montverde Family Law Attorney about your legal issues, please call us at any time, or e-mail us. If you provide a narrative of your legal needs, we will be better prepared to engage with you in a detailed conversation about how we may help you.

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce and family law attorney.

 

 

 

 

Breach of Oral Contract Florida

Breach of Oral Contract Florida

Breach of Oral Contract Florida

The Florida Supreme Court has decided that Florida contracts may be in writing or orally created, if not both. As such, the Supreme Court and the District Courts of Appeal have put forth rulings that solidify foundational principles for Florida contract enforcement when there has been a breach of oral contract Florida. In this vein, Florida contracts may be a mixture of oral and written depending on the facts and circumstances of each unique case.

Breach of Oral Contract Florida: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration

If oral contracts are proven based on offer, acceptance and performance, they may be determined to be valid under Florida law, and thus enforceable by the courts. The aforementioned mixed contract (portions of which are oral and sections of which are in writing) is still bound by the same requirements of contract formation as a contract which is entirely written: “acceptance, consideration, and sufficient specification of essential terms.” St. Joe Corp. v. McIver, 875 So.2d 375, 381 (Fla. 2004). Once a plaintiff has proven a breach of oral contract Florida, the litigant must then also prove they have suffered damages as a consequence of the breach.

Breach of Oral Contract Florida: Is It Enforceable or Missing Something?

Foundationally, in Gulf Solar, Inc. v. Westfall, the Second District Court of Appeal determined that “As long as an essential ingredient is not missing from an agreement, courts have been reluctant to hold contracts unenforceable on grounds of uncertainty, especially where one party has benefited from the other’s reliance.” Gulf Solar, Inc. v. Westfall, 447 So.2d 363 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984); Community Design Corp. v. Antonell, 459 So.2d 343 (Fla. 3d DCA 1984). This is important because oral contracts must be proven, and in many ways, they are difficult to verify. Testimony from the affected/aggrieved party(ies) and evidence of performance are generally required in order to prove the existence of oral contracts. It is up to a jury to decide what the specific parameters of an oral contract were/are, and to decide the remedy accordingly. Perry v. Cosgrove, 464 So.2d 664, 667 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985).

One such case where a breach of oral contract Florida occurred, and the plaintiff’s proved they had been damaged occurred in Carole Korn Interiors, Inc. v. Goudie. In this case, a company had provided interior design/decorating based on an oral contract for which they went uncompensated and were therefore damaged. It is worth noting that any litigant must prove the amount and extent of labor, materials, and services they provided in reliance on the existence of an oral contract and its validity and enforceability in order to be compensated by the jury.

Jonathan Jacobs is a contract attorney Orlando and a contract attorney Lake County FL. Call today for a consultation.

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Florida

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Florida?

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Florida?

Do I need a divorce lawyer in Florida? Great search query family law litigant! You have asked the million dollar (figuratively) question. Many people prefer to avoid hiring an attorney and to utilize all available self-help resources. However, here is a non-exhaustive list of reasons many petitioners and respondents alike hire an attorney:

  1. The other party has hired an attorney and you might feel disadvantaged without your own legal counsel;
  2. The forms are difficult to fill out and there are few people that are available to give you the instructions and the help you may need;
  3. The divorce process is a legal process, and those that know the ins and outs and procedures are lawyers;
  4. You may not know how to ask for what you want (alimony, child support, timesharing, equitable distribution of property);
  5. You may be afraid that you are asking for too much or too little in alimony or property distributions;
  6. Attorneys are skilled negotiators with a vast knowledge of the law; and the list could continue indefinitely with enough people survey respondents.

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Florida? 4 Reasons Not to Hire an Attorney

Here is that question again, “do I need a divorce lawyer in Florida?” Let’s answer this question by asking why litigants might choose to not hire an attorney:

  1. Attorneys are expensive;
  2. If you hire an attorney, the other side might hire an attorney;
  3. Attorneys do not know your family (in most cases) and might not understand your unique circumstances;
  4. Attorneys may disagree with client’s actions and strategies, etc.

Divorce Lawyer in Florida

Why Hire the Jacobs Law Firm, PLLC?

Back to our original question, this time with a persuasive answer in response to: “Do I need a divorce lawyer in Florida?” If you hire the Jacobs Law Firm, PLLC we will endeavor to communicate with you every step of the way. You will be informed about your case, the procedural aspects, the financial aspects, and otherwise. We attempt to get to know our clients to the extent we can understand why you prefer certain timesharing plans based on the extensive history between the parties. We will do our level best to advocate for your preferences, be they timesharing for the best interest of your children, you property distribution according to Florida statutory and case law, and ultimately, litigate your case to the best of our professional ability and skill.

Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce lawyer in Florida that practices in the Central Florida area, including the following counties: Seminole, Orange, Lake, Osceola, Sumter, and beyond.

 

What Documents Should I Bring to a Florida Child Support Hearing

What Documents Should I Bring to a Florida Child Support Hearing

What Documents Should I Bring to a Florida Child Support Hearing?

Have you been summoned to court for a Florida Child Support Hearing? Have you asked yourself and others the following question, “What Documents Should I Bring to a Florida Child Support Hearing?” Many respondents (a respondent is the party the Department of Revenue has summoned to court on behalf of the State of Florida, the petitioner, and the minor child(ren)) are unaware of what documents to bring to the child support hearing.

Sometimes, in advance of a Florida Child Support Hearing, the petitioner and/or the Department of Revenue will make a request for production of documents. This request will clearly state the documents you shall/must bring to the hearing. In the absence of such a request, many respondents ask the above question, “What Documents Should I Bring to a Florida Child Support Hearing?” As a matter of practicality, it is recommended you bring a copy of your Financial Affidavit (short form for under $50,000 in income and long form for incomes greater than $50,000), your six mots recent pay stubs, your last 3 years of tax returns, and any other documents that may provide the DOR with your true and accurate income. If you have recently been terminated from your employment, bring a notice of termination. If you have daycare expenses and medical expenses for your child(ren) and medical expenses for yourself, furnish those records to the hearing officer or the DOR attorney if you wish to have those records considered in the child support calculations. Also bring records of any child support payments you have already made to the petitioner, as you will likely be credited for those payments. This is a non-exhaustive list of the documents you should consider bringing to a Florida Child Support Hearing.

Florida Child Support Hearing

Florida Child Support Hearing

Consider two hypothetical child support hearing scenarios. In hypothetical scenario 1, the petitioner fails to appear before the court for his/her own child support hearing. This may cause the respondent to avoid a full hearing and obtain a more favorable child support payment plan (as long as they are truthful and forthright with the court). It is possible that fewer documents will be required. However, litigants should prepare for hypothetical scenario 2, as it is always best to be prepared for court proceedings to the fullest extent possible. In hypothetical scenario 2, both petitioner and respondent appear before the hearing officer, and due to their disputed facts, the parties go to a Florida child support hearing. In this case, having originally asked “What Documents Should I Bring to a Florida Child Support Hearing,” and planned to the fullest extent, an evidentiary hearing should include all relevant documents to ensure fairness and accuracy in the child support calculations (arrearages, and future payments).

Alternatively, to obtain  some guidance, however limited, litigants may call the Clerk of the Family Law Court in your jurisdiction to ask questions, though because they are not acting in the capacity of an attorney, they are likely unable to provide you with legal advice. The Jacobs Law Firm generally practices in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Lake County(ies) and is happy to provide you with guidance in the role of a consultant, or with legal help should you choose to hire a child support attorney to attend the child support hearing Florida on your behalf as your trusted legal advocate.

Florida Standard Timesharing Plan

Florida Standard Timesharing Plan

Title IV-D Florida Standard Timesharing Plan

Under the Florida Standard Timesharing Plan, under Title IV-D, the parties/parents may agree to a form of default custody arrangement whereby they mutually agree upon standard visitation rights. Title IV-D cases are those that involve the Florida Department of Revenue as a named party. Fla. Dep’t of Revenue v. James, 159 So. 3d 973, 974 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015)(“We find that all child support cases that are administered by the Department of Revenue are considered Title IV–D cases….”); Dep’t of Revenue ex rel. v. Satchell, 949 So.2d 1116, 1117 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007).  The Standard Timesharing Plan in Florida provides that the respondent will enjoy visitation rights every other weekend (on even numbered weeks) from approximately six o’clock on Friday evening until approximately six o’clock on Sunday night. Alternatively, the parents may agree to what some in our profession refer to as the “stretch weekend” in which the respondent may have the child(ren) until Monday morning when the kid(s) return to school. This is a sort of establishment of a routine both for parents and for the little ones. The Florida Standard Timesharing Plan may also include the respondent enjoying one evening per week either on a set dinner-time schedule, or from school release until 8:00 at night. Jonathan Jacobs is an Orlando Child Support and Orlando Timesharing Attorney.

Standard Timesharing Plan in Florida Accounts for Major Holidays

By default, the Florida Standard Timesharing Plan accounts for major/nationally recognized holidays. For example, Thanksgiving break may see the division of custody between parents/families on an odd or even-numbered years schedule. Due to careful structuring and planning, the architects (Florida Legislature) of the Standard Timesharing Plan in Florida also map out holiday/winter break. Winter break is essentially divided in half between the parents so that the child(ren) may spend holiday time with both parents/families.  Spring break and summer vacation are similarly plotted out, and for more details, you may contact us for a complete picture of what the Title IV-D parenting plan looks like and how it functions for families (generally).

Title IV-D Order and Attorney’s Fees

A Florida Standard Timesharing Plan becomes part of an Order that includes an award of child support based on the timesharing schedule (the number of overnights, medical expenses, etc. are factored in), and is modifiable only by petitioning the court for a change.

Attorney’s Fees, pursuant to Section 61.16(1), Florida Statutes (2011), limits attorney’s fees available in Title IV–D cases. The Statute provides that: “In Title IV–D cases, attorney’s fees … shall be assessed only against the nonprevailing obligor after the court makes a determination of the nonprevailing obligor’s ability to pay such costs and fees….” Fla. Dep’t of Revenue v. James, 159 So. 3d 973, 974 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

If you would like to discuss your rights as a parent, please call the Jacobs Law Firm PLLC offices Orlando and Clermont. We would love to hear from you.