Category: Florida Law Blog

marital settlement agreement Florida 1

Marital Settlement Agreement Florida

A marital settlement agreement Florida is required in most divorce/dissolution of marriage cases in Orlando, Tavares, Sanford, Kissimmee, Brooksville, and throughout Florida family law courts. Call the Jacobs Law Firm, Divorce Attorney in Orlando and Divorce Attorney in Clermont at 407-310-5636 or e-mail us at Admin@JJLawFL.com for more information. Judges may not necessarily require a settlement agreement if the divorce is a simplified dissolution of marriage (all issues are agreed on and there is no alimony or other substantial assets being divided). When there are assets and liabilities to be divided in equitable distribution, a marital settlement agreement is a vital component of a Florida divorce. Call now to speak with a divorce attorney at (407) 335-8113.

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement in Florida?

In essence, a marital settlement agreement in Florida is designed to equitably (fairly and judiciously) divide a married couple’s assets and liabilities (credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage debt, etc.). The marital settlement agreement must be notarized by both spouses and submitted into the court file by your attorney. A marital settlement agreement in Orlando, Tavares, Sanford or Kissimmee, will be incorporated by reference into the final judgment. The agreement becomes a binding contract once ratified by the family law divorce court. The agreement should provide as much specificity and clarity as possible to ensure its enforceability if contested.

A marital settlement agreement Florida will specify which spouse receives alimony, real property (house, condo, apartment), any cars and/or boats, how bank accounts will be divided, and any other marital assets that are deemed to be marital property. There is a presumption by law that all property accrued during the marriage is marital property unless rebutted or as otherwise agreed upon by the parties themselves. A settlement agreement may also incorporate how the parties intend to claim the child tax credit, and any daycare tax credits that may be temporarily available.

Marital Settlement Agreement in Florida

The less glamorous aspect of a marital settlement agreement in Florida is the liabilities portion. Any agreement should provide for how the parties will divide their credit card, student loan, car loan, and/or other debts. If amicable, litigants often choose to accept responsibility for their own debts accrued during the marriage, unless they are unable to afford repayment in which case certain compromises may be brokered. If the case goes to trial, the court will ultimately divide liabilities in an equitable manner based on a number of factors, considerations, and the strength of the evidence presented.

Financial Affidavits and Marital Settlement Agreements

A marital settlement agreement Florida is made in conjunction with the parties’ financial affidavits. The assets and liabilities described in the financial affidavits should be accounted for via equitable distribution in the settlement agreement. Call for a family law consultation to speak with a family law attorney about drafting your marital settlement, or litigating your divorce case. Uncontested divorce lawyer Jonathan Jacobs is prepared to work with you. Call now to speak with a divorce attorney at (407) 335-8113.

Florida Bad Check Demand Letter

Florida Bad Check Demand Letter

In this article, we include the language required for a Florida bad check demand letter to be enforceable as a condition precedent to a lawsuit to recover monies from a bad check transaction. The Florida Statute for worthless checks identifies one of the two bad check laws in Florida (one criminal and one civil) that business owners such as check cashing stores, and money lenders frequently use when seeking to recover bad check in Florida. The pre-lawsuit requirement is clear when a customer has passed on a bad check to you. A lawyer must draft a Florida bad check demand letter on your behalf and send it to the person or company that passed the bad check to you. Call 407-310-5636 today to speak with a Florida Debt Collection Attorney to help you recover bad check in Florida.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 68.065(4), which is the civil Statute under which you may recover a bad check in Florida, the person that has caused you financial damages must receive notice. The notice may inform the person or entity they may be liable civilly and you may choose to include notice that there is a potential for criminal punishment for their actions. Notice to the party that has financially misled you must mirror the following statutory language for litigation purposes:

Bad Check Laws Florida

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Florida Statute 68.065 Civil Bad Check Law

“You are hereby notified (this is the notice required in a Florida bad check demand letter) that a check, draft, order of payment, debit card order, or electronic funds transfer numbered (this is the number printed on the instrument such as Check #1050) in the face amount of $($7,500.00) issued by you on (date), drawn upon (name of bank), and payable to (Check Cashing Business), has been dishonored (the check has already previously been cashed or there are insufficient funds for example). Pursuant to Florida law, you have 30 days from receipt of this notice to tender payment in cash of the full amount of the dishonored payment instrument (there is a potential issue when the recipient cannot be located or rejects certified mail), plus a service charge of $25 if the face value does not exceed $50, $30 if the face value exceeds $50 but does not exceed $300, $40 if the face value exceeds $300, or 5 percent of the face amount of the dishonored instrument (do the math carefully), whichever is greater, the total amount due being $ and cents. Unless this amount is paid in full within the 30-day period (you may litigate after the 30 days have elapsed since the receipt of you Florida bad check demand letter), the holder of the dishonored payment instrument may file a civil action against you for three times the amount of the dishonored instrument, but in no case less than $50, in addition to the payment of the dishonored instrument plus any court costs, reasonable attorney fees (hiring a Florida Debt Collection Attorney may allow you to recover attorney fees in a lawsuit), and any bank fees incurred by the payee in taking the action.”

Criminal Bad Check Laws Florida

Florida Statute 832.062 makes it clear that there is the potential for criminal penalties to the wrongdoer under the bad check laws Florida. For example, a violation of Florida Statute 832.062 can lead to charges of a third degree felony or a second degree misdemeanor for first time offenders. The Florida Bad Check Demand Letter statutory requirement remains in place for the criminal statute and accompanying penalties to be enforced.

Florida Debt Collection Attorney

Ultimately, you should call a Florida Debt Collection Attorney to seek a recovery of money from a bad check that has cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today at 407-310-5636.

Are Student Loans Marital Debt in Florida

Are Student Loans Marital Debt in Florida?

We begin our inquiry into whether student loans are marital debt in Florida with a hallmark decision issued by the Fifth District Court of Appeal. In Adams v. Cook, a divorce/dissolution of marriage case, the Fifth District Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s ruling when it decided that the former wife‘s student loans were in fact a marital debt subject to equitable distribution. 969 So. 2d 1185 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007). The facts teased out during the trial clearly allowed the higher Court to overrule the trial court’s rather inept decision. Factually, the former wife started law school during marriage, during which portions of student loans that exceeded her tuition were deposited into parties’ joint bank accounts. The parties used former wife’s extra loan money deposited into their joint accounts for living expenses. Id. at 1186–87. Are student loans marital debt in Florida? Florida Statute 61.075(1) does not distinguish between student loans and other liabilities as a standalone non-marital debt. There is no such distinction allocated to student loan debts. Call the Jacobs Law Firm at 407-310-5636.

Do the Courts Think Student Loans Are Marital Debts in Florida?

Illustrating this point, in Adams v. Cook the trial court mistakenly reasoned that Wife’s law degree was solely for her benefit and, thus, the debt incurred in obtaining it was solely hers. The Appeals Court corrected the trial court by stating “whether one party obtained the benefit of the marital debt does not determine the equitable distribution of the debt under section 61.075(1).” The Second District Court of Appeals then began grappling with this issue to focus on answering our question, are student loans marital debt in Florida. In Rogers v. Rogers, the Court started with the general proposition that student loan debt incurred during a  marriage is a marital liability that must be equitably divided absent evidence to the contrary. 12 So. 3d 288 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009), West’s F.S.A. § 61.075(5)(a)(1).

The Second District Court of Appeals then rendered a definitive decision in Gudur v. Gudur, a landmark 2019 case answering the question “are student loans marital debt in Florida?” the Court pontificated that the “fact that one party in a dissolution of marriage proceeding will not receive any benefit from the other party’s education because of the dissolution is NOT a factor to be considered when allocating a marital debt for student loans.” 277 So. 3d 687 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019). Furthermore, the Court decided “whether a party would receive a benefit from the other party’s education was NOT a factor to be considered in allocating marital debt for student loans…” Id.

Are Student Loans Marital Debt in Florida? Ultimately, student loans debts are subject to equitable distribution unless unequal distribution of marital assets is warranted. Just because one party might benefit more than the other litigant does not mean that student loan debts are somehow exempt from equitable distribution.

If you are searching for a Winter Park divorce attorney and a small claims contract attorney, call the Jacobs Law Firm.

Winter Park Divorce Attorney

Winter Park Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be full of turmoil and trauma. The fact is that when you need a Winter Park Divorce Attorney, it is likely because you are in a legal fight over finances. It is common that people say they want to protect their assets in a divorce. It is equally as probable the other side is seeking the maximum possible financial award given their marital sacrifices and financial needs beyond the marriage. There is great value in hiring a Winter Park Divorce Lawyer when your financial future is under litigation. Call the Jacobs Law firm today at 407-310-5636.

A primary benefit of retaining a Winter Park Divorce Attorney is they are experienced legal drafters. Your attorney will prepare your pleadings and your motions in such a manner as to encompass the critical factual allegations that frame and outline your unique case. Your Winter Park Divorce Lawyer will ensure your case involves the necessary assets and liabilities and therefore tells the court the financial and parental issues that should be focused on. Call now to speak with a divorce attorney at (407) 335-8113.

Winter Park Divorce Lawyer How We Can Help You Win

Your family law attorney will also assist clients in assembling their mandatory financial disclosures, and in turn, help verify the accuracy of their financial affidavit to protect clients from impeachment at deposition, hearings or trial. Your Winter Park Divorce Attorney will perform discovery to ensure the other side has provided their full financial portfolio and not hidden any assets or liabilities that should be equitably distributed. If clients do not have as much information as they are entitled to by law, a divorce will likely overlook important financial aspects that could negatively impact their case.

Winter Park Divorce Lawyer

Retaining a Winter Park Divorce Lawyer will show the other litigant that you are well-represented and are approaching your divorce carefully. Often, pro se or self-represented litigants, will not know what is reasonable based on the facts and circumstances of their case. This could lead a party to an agreement on a settlement that is far too low to be reasonable, or a settlement agreement that offers a great deal more to the other party than is reasonable.

Finances in a contested divorce are not just about a spouse’s financial well-being, they are also about their children’s future comfort and stability. Your Winter Park Divorce Attorney will know how to advise you regarding alimony and child support calculations. Negotiating a settlement often comes from a position of strength and knowledge. When you need to hire us, the Jacobs Law Firm is ready to help you achieve a successful resolution to your divorce case. Call now to speak with a divorce attorney at (407) 335-8113.

Standard Family Law Interrogatories Florida

What Are Standard Family Law Interrogatories Florida?

Do you need information that your spouse is not providing you despite the mandatory rules of the court? Are they not complying with mandatory disclosure? Do you need truthful answers and all they give you is limited information? Have no fear, for the Standard Family Law Interrogatories Florida are here. What are Standard Family Law Interrogatories Florida? Standard Family Law Interrogatories for Original or Enforcement Proceedings are questions that you may ask about your partner or spouse’s finances and behavior. The family law courts empower litigants by giving them the opportunity to pose relevant questions to the other side. Call now to speak with a divorce attorney at (407) 335-8113.

What are Standard Family Law Interrogatories Florida used for in paternity or divorce litigation? These interrogatories are used to help you obtain the information needed in order to determine alimony, child support, and the best way to enact the equitable distribution of marital property. The sorts of questions that you will see on the Standard Family Law Interrogatories for Original or Enforcement Proceedings are about the other party’s addresses, education, finances, earning capacity, licensing, insurance, careers, and more. You may also utilize this opportunity to request the production of a Long Form Financial Affidavit.

Standard Family Law Interrogatories For Original Or Enforcement Proceedings

Curiously, one potentially critical piece of information that Standard Family Law Interrogatories Florida ask for is the location and content of any safety deposit boxes the other side may possess/rent. For example, if you have a family ring or an engagement ring or some financial document that is worth a large sum and the other party possesses it, if they answer the interrogatories honestly, they must disclose the location of the ring and it will likely be made a part of equitable distribution. The Standard Family Law Interrogatories for Original or Enforcement Proceedings also inquire whether the other party has canceled any insurance policies that may have benefited you or your kids.

Standard Family Law Interrogatories For Original Or Enforcement Proceedings

When sending the standard interrogatories, you may exercise the option of asking ten additional interrogatory questions. You may utilize this opportunity to ask questions about the other side’s criminal records, financial records not otherwise accounted for in the standard interrogatories, or any other subject/topic that may be relevant to your case. The more information you are able to gather about the issues being litigated, the more information your attorney will have to enable him/her to bring the case to trial with a broad perspective and sufficient evidence to prove the merits of what you are requesting from the court.

Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando and a divorce attorney in Clermont that practices same sex divorce and small claims civil litigation up to $15,000.00 in controversy. Call us when you need us the most. Call the Jacobs Law Firm when you need us the most at (407) 335-8113.

Exclusive Use And Possession Of The Marital Home

Exclusive Use And Possession Of The Marital Home

Are you getting a divorce and the most significant issue in the case is the exclusive use and possession of the marital home? This is a major issue for spouses and parents that have always lived in the marital home with their children, and a massive issue when the primary timesharing parent lives in the marital residence and cannot afford to move to another place. If you need help fighting for or defending against a claim for exclusive use and possession of the marital home call the Jacobs Law Firm, divorce attorney Clermont Florida, divorce attorney Orlando. We can help you file the appropriate motion and resolve your issue.

We begin our analysis of exclusive use and possession of the marital home with the bedrock principle of equitable distribution as provided by Florida Statute 61.075(1), which states: “Distribution of marital assets and liabilities, including the marital residence, begins with the premise of equal distribution unless there is justification for unequal distribution under statutory factors.” Martin v. Martin, 959 So. 2d 803 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007). Of course, there is such a thing as unequal distribution of marital property, but our focus here is the marital home you may have purchased prior to the marriage. This goes to whether the party that wants to stay in the marital residence can afford to pay the bills enabling them to live there during the pendency of the divorce and/or after equitable distribution has occurred.

Minor Children and Exclusive Use And Possession Of The Marital Home

Case law and statutory law suggest that the general manner in which this issue is decided is that a family law trial court “should award the primary residential parent exclusive use and possession of the marital residence until the youngest child reaches majority or is emancipated, or the primary residential parent remarries, unless there are special circumstances; special circumstances exist where the parties’ incomes are inadequate to meet their debts, obligations, and normal living expenses, as well as the expenses of maintaining the marital residence. Coristine v. Coristine, 53 So. 3d 1204 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011).

In basic terms, this means that child custody/timesharing looms even larger as an issue in divorce and family law cases. Also in the Coristine case (which is binding in the Fifth DCA), the higher court ruled the trial court made the right decision when it ordered the sale and partition of marital home, rather than awarding exclusive use and possession of home to wife until youngest of the parties’ three children reached age of majority…[because the] parties did not have financial capability to pay mortgage, taxes, and other costs related to ownership of marital residence.” Id. at 1204. This makes sense from an objective perspective.

Exclusive use and possession of the marital home

If neither party can afford to pay for insurance, property taxes, and the mortgage, why would the court sanction one party staying there to the financial detriment of everyone? The other perspective is also convincing. Why would the court allow parents and children to be judicially compelled to leave their home where they have always lived and where the school district is located? These are complicated family legal issues.

Domestic Violence Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home

There is one additional circumstance that may add texture to the argument over which party will obtain use of the marital home temporarily or permanently. If there has been a domestic violence injunction, the court may order one parent or one spouse to have exclusive use and possession of the marital residence. This issue is often further litigated and contested if an action for dissolution of marriage is concurrently or subsequently filed.

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Osceola County

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Osceola County Unlawful Detainer Attorney Seminole County

Do you have someone living on your property and you want them to leave? Have you asked them to leave and they just won’t budge? Are they living on your property without a lease agreement or rental documents to prove they pay rent or any other expenses to have the permission to live there? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be in need of an unlawful detainer attorney Osceola County or an unlawful detainer attorney Seminole County. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today.

An unlawful detainer attorney Osceola County or an unlawful detainer attorney Seminole County can explain the process to you in clear terms. Did you know there is a different Florida Statutory Chapter that applies to homeowners “evicting” tenants that do not have a rental agreement? This is called unlawful detainer. There are specific things a homeowner/plaintiff needs to allege to have an unwanted “guest” removed from their home. Essentially, Person A is the Landowner of personal representative of an estate. Person A has asked Person B (non-tenant squatter) to leave. Person B has refused to leave. Person B has no rental agreement with Person A and Person B does not pay rent. Person A wants to evict Person B. However, eviction is likely not the proper remedy in this situation. An unlawful detainer lawsuit is likely the best remedy. Consult with an unlawful detainer attorney before filing your lawsuit to make sure this cause of action is proper in your unique case.

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Seminole County

Unlawful Detainer and Personal Representatives of an Estate

Unlawful detainer is not just useful for homeowners, it is also a lawsuit many estates bring with their personal representative against a squatting family member that has no right to possess the property. Dad passes away leaving his oldest son as the Personal Representative of the Estate. Dad has 2 children, but the second child is suffering from addiction and is damaging the property. The Personal Representative has the power to manage the property/house. Son 2 does not pay rent and has no property interest. An unlawful detainer action may be the proper remedy. Call an unlawful detainer attorney Osceola County or an unlawful detainer attorney Seminole County to learn about your rights.

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Osceola County Unlawful Detainer Attorney Seminole County

The Jacobs Law Firm, unlawful detainer attorney Osceola County or an unlawful detainer attorney Seminole County, is experienced in handling unlawful detainer cases in Central Florida. Seminole and Osceola County each have separate county procedures that an experienced unlawful detainer attorney will be able to navigate on your behalf.

Small Claims Lawyer Seminole County

Small Claims Lawyer Seminole County

You made a contract with someone so they would buy your car, motorcycle, boat or something similar. You performed your end of the bargain by delivering the equipment, but magically the other party has disappeared and/or refuses to pay you anything. You find yourself out of the money you rightfully deserve. Perhaps somebody passed you a bad check. This is when you should hire a small claims lawyer Seminole County or a small claims lawyer Lake County Florida. Get your money back through a demand letter and/or by litigating. Do not let the other party take what is yours without a fight. Call us at 407-335-8113 or e-mail us at Admin@JJLawFL.com to speak with a small claims attorney today.

Small Claims Lawyer Lake County Florida

Appearing without a small claims lawyer Seminole County or a small claims lawyer Lake County Florida can mean being at the mercy of the other side, without the knowledge of how to best proceed with litigating your case and pursuing or defending against claims for monetary damages. A small claims attorney can make sure that you are treated fairly at hearings, during mediation, or trial. It isn’t fair to you to be called a liar, when that isn’t the matter at hand, the matter at hand is whether or not you are owed that thousands of dollars (the small claims jurisdictional limit is $5,000 and will increase to $15,000 in 2020) as well as attorney’s fees and court costs.

Small Claims Lawyer Lake County

If you choose not to retain a small claims lawyer Seminole County or a small claims lawyer Lake County Florida, the litigation process involving your money can be substantially more difficult and a monetary recovery might be far less than you had anticipated. Not having a skilled litigator present for court proceedings can allow for disagreements between the parties that can be quite disparaging.

Small Claims Attorney Litigation

Recently, the Jacobs Law Firm litigated a small claims case at trial in which the Firm proved victorious and earned a judgment for our client. The opposing party represented herself. The other party repeatedly voiced comments that were irrelevant causing us to make several key objections to prevent irrelevant information from coming into the court record.

If you believe that you have been financially wronged by a person or company that has deprived you of money or property, of if you are being sued by someone for monetary damages, it may be time for you to call the Jacobs Law Firm, small claims lawyer Seminole County, small claims lawyer Lake County Florida, for a consultation to determine your legal rights and responsibilities. We take all litigation seriously and treat every case as though it is our primary case.

remarriage and child support in florida

Remarriage and Child Support in Florida

Attorneys know the answer to your questions about remarriage and child support in Florida but clients often have serious doubts about their rights and obligations. The way Florida divorce and paternity courts calculate child support when you get remarried is not common knowledge. One reason this area of marital law is so obscure is the laws tend to be different in every state. A family law litigant that remarries may feel deep concern when their marital income goes up. Does this mean that child support and remarriage in Florida will put a difficult burden on you financially? Call the Jacobs Law Firm, at 407-335-8113, Divorce attorney in Orlando and Divorce attorney in Clermont for the help you need in calculating your financial obligations.

Child Support and Remarriage in Florida

Will remarriage make your child support obligation automatically increase? Should you consider waiting to get remarried to avoid an increase in your child support obligation? These are legitimate and frequently asked questions when clients visit their divorce attorney in Orlando or divorce attorney in Clermont FL. You should ask these questions because your financial future could be impacted.

child support and remarriage in Florida

If a payor (person that pays child support) remarries, the court does not add the incomes of both parties together for purposes of child support calculations. In some cases involving remarriage and child support in Florida, if the payor remarries and claims additional child tax credits as a result, or if the payor files his/her taxes jointly and earns additional tax breaks, this could impact his/her own income for child support calculations. Daycare expenses may continue to be a factor until the minor child(ren) are eligible to enter elementary school.

Alternatively with child support and remarriage in Florida, if the payee (recipient of child support) remarries and as a result has a lot more disposable income, this may be a factor the judge, magistrate, or hearing officer will factor in to child support calculations. The fact is that child support trials occur often and both sides seek to prove their case using every piece of evidence at their disposal.

Should You Consider Remarriage and Child Support in Florida Before Tying the Knot?

Because there is no absolute right on the part of the payee to receive an increase in their child support because their ex gets remarried, and because there is no absolute guarantee a payor will have his/her child support obligation increase as a consequence of remarriage and child support in our state, the question answers itself. Florida divorce courts do not have one absolute answer to your questions about remarriage and child support in Florida until you seek to litigate your case and obtain a judgment. Attorney Jonathan Jacobs helps clients throughout central Florida when they need to litigate.

florida child support daycare expenses

Florida Child Support Daycare Expenses

Florida child support daycare expenses can be a contested issue in your divorce or paternity case. Let’s assume you are getting a divorce, or you are involved in a paternity lawsuit. You have engaged in a settlement conference, or you have undergone mediation or a hearing on timesharing and child custody. This means you have likely negotiated or litigated a timesharing/parenting plan in the best interests of your child. The next major issue to work out is how much either parent will pay for child support. A major shock to many payors (a payor is the person paying child support) is that Florida’s child support guidelines include daycare as part of child support calculations. Clients often wonder how to prove childcare expenses for child support such as healthcare and daycare expenses. Evidence is critical to winning this issue. When you need advice about Florida child support daycare expenses, call Orlando child support Attorney Jonathan Jacobs.

How To Prove Child Care Expenses For Child Support

Childcare expenses for child support may include transportation costs, healthcare premium payments, and daycare expenses. How to prove childcare expenses for child support is an issue your attorney may talk about with you. One way to prove health care expenses for your child is by analyzing your pay stubs to determine monthly premium payments. Another way to go about proving your healthcare expenses is by contacting your human resources department for the numbers you need. There may be some basic math calculations involved. Child support calculations are impacted by health care expenses for the children.

how to prove childcare expenses for child support

Meanwhile, Florida child support daycare expenses can be evidenced by asking your child’s daycare for printouts of receipts of your payments. Also, many daycare facilities require direct deposit payments. This means that your bank statements may be one answer in how to prove childcare expenses for child support calculations. Do not be afraid to ask your child’s daycare director for these records. May people go through litigation over timesharing and daycare staff are well aware of the necessity of providing printouts of your payments.

Should You Request to Pay Florida Child Support Daycare Expenses?

Sometimes clients will ask us if they should be the primary payor of daycare to make sure the child support calculations are in their favor. First, the answer depends on whether you are already paying for daycare or whether your former spouse or partner is paying the expenses. Second, this depends on your share of responsibility for childcare expenses. Further, there is no guarantee a court will award one parent the privilege of paying daycare expenses. Daycare is a costly expenses that allows many hard-working people to go to work every day with the knowledge that their children will be safe and protected and will learn during the day.

Jonathan Jacobs is an Orlando child support attorney that can help you understand and litigate Florida child support daycare expenses and can guide you in how to prove childcare expenses for child support purposes in your divorce or family law case.