Category: Florida Law Blog

payment plan divorce lawyer orlando

Payment Plan Divorce Lawyer Orlando

You are searching for a flat fee divorce attorney and/or a family lawyer that offers payment plans. A payment plan divorce lawyer Orlando can help make your divorce affordable and cost effective. A divorce lawyer with payment plan options can do this by offering clients the opportunity to pay in installments. One of the obstacles many people face is being able to afford paying an entire retainer fee in a lump sum all at once. Instead of facing this sort of barrier to hiring the lawyer you feel most comfortable with, call Jacobs Law Firm to speak with an experienced and welcoming divorce attorney. Call 407-335-8113 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Jonathan Jacobs. Ask us about our payment plan options.

divorce lawyer with payment plan options

A payment plan divorce lawyer Orlando will often accept a reasonable down payment to begin working on your family case. The first payment is frequently the largest because it will include the filing and summons fees, and service of process fees. The next series of installment payments will likely be affordable and clients can budget for any anticipated expenses. Budgeting for unanticipated expenses and/or for those that are planned, is an important thing to do. A divorce lawyer with payment plan options for clients can be the difference between hiring an affordable family lawyer and being self-represented (pro se) in litigation that impacts your family.

Beyond the financial aspects of hiring Jacobs Law Firm as your payment plan divorce lawyer Orlando, there can be a great deal of confidence brought on by knowing a family law attorney will represent you in the months or even years that litigation may take in court. Many of the procedures the family court demands are regimented and structured. This means there are many crucial deadlines each party must meet and a great deal of procedure you may not be aware of. Knowing that a divorce lawyer with payment plan options may be available for your case can be a vital part of litigation.

Jacobs Law Firm’s primary practice areas include divorce and family law (paternity). Attorney Jacobs litigates cases at trial, mediation, during the discovery process, and from the very beginning. Whenever you may need help with your case and want the answers to your important questions, call a payment plan divorce lawyer Orlando, divorce lawyer with payment plan options, at 407-335-8113 to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney ready to discuss your case.

uncontested divorce Winter Garden FL

Uncontested Divorce Winter Garden FL

If you are pursuing an uncontested divorce Winter Garden FL, you have the choice of filing your case in Orange County or Lake County, Florida. In Florida, litigants may file in any county of their choosing if they are pursuing an amicable divorce. There are some procedural differences between Lake and Orange County Florida in the way the family law court handles the finalization of a divorce. The additional paperwork required by the family court in Orange County may cause some in Winter Garden and Oakland Florida to choose to file their case in Lake County (Tavares). To speak with an uncontested divorce attorney Winter Garden FL call 407-335-8113 to speak with the Jacobs Law Firm about your case and find out why uncontested divorce may be the best way to move forward.

An uncontested divorce attorney in Winter Garden FL can help save you money. For starters, uncontested divorce generally does not require a process server and therefore there is no summons fee charged by the clerk of court. This could result in substantial savings. Further, an uncontested divorce can allow spouses to pre-litigate/settle ALL of their issues without any litigation. Rather than spending months or years tied up in a bitter struggle, spouses are welcome to retain Jacobs Law Firm to make their divorce affordable. Leave more of your hard-earned money to your children, and have more funds available to start your post-marital life without hardship and financial distress.

Traditionally, an uncontested divorce means both sides have decided how best to co-parent (provided the case involves minor children), how to allocate for the children’s time with each parent, and which parent will be the primary school parent (if this is a crucial issue in your case). Moreover, your uncontested divorce attorney Winter Garden FL will provide insight into the best approach to equitably (fairly, reasonably, and justly) dividing your marital assets and liabilities. The division of cars, homes, bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit card debts, student loan debts (etc.), is best done with guidance from an attorney trained experienced with litigation and uncontested divorce in Winter Garden FL.

When you are ready to resolve all of your issues amicably and speak with an uncontested divorce in Winter Garden FL call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113. Speak with Attorney Jacobs about all of the issues you are concerned with and find out how we may help save you money and move on without the bitterness associated with divorce litigation.

Does Florida Have A Waiting Period For Divorce

Does Florida Have A Waiting Period For Divorce?

Does Florida have a waiting period for divorce? Unless there is a factual argument for an expeditious or urgent divorce decree, lawyers and pro se litigants generally submit to the family law and divorce court, a proposal for final judgment after twenty (20) days have elapsed. This waiting period for divorce in Florida is 20 days from the date of filing as date and time stamped in the court file/record. Your uncontested divorce attorney may file your completed case pleadings and related documents within days. However, the Court usually adheres to the 20-day Rule to prevent fraud and other misunderstandings or abuses. This means that on day twenty-one (21), most divorce cases are eligible to be finalized. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, affordable family lawyer and flat fee divorce attorney Orlando today for a consultation to discuss your unique case.

Waiting Period For Divorce In Florida

The approximately three-week waiting period for divorce in Florida exists because of Florida Statute § 61.19. Florida Statute 61.19 is essentially a pronouncement of public policy. The Statute dictates the timing of the filing versus the possible signing of a final judgment in a divorce case by your family law judge.

Let’s more succinctly answer the question, does Florida have a waiting period for divorce? According to the Statute, an entry of final judgment may not be entered until at least twenty (20) days have elapsed. This is known as the waiting period. This brief delay is a matter of both procedure and public policy. Twenty days is a reasonable amount of time for litigants to determine if their agreements are accurate and continue to represent their own and their children’s best interests.  

waiting period for divorce In Florida

Florida Statute 61.19 tells us that: “No final judgment of dissolution of marriage may be entered until at least 20 days have elapsed from the date of filing the original petition for dissolution of marriage; but the court, on a showing that injustice would result from this delay, may enter a final judgment of dissolution of marriage at an earlier date.” Therefore, the waiting period for divorce in Florida can be as little as one day if a case is filed promptly and there is justification for a faster final judgment to be ordered. Typically, even with an uncontested divorce, the parties are generally encouraged to wait for the statutory period unless the circumstances warrant an expeditious conclusion to the case. Call 407-335-8113 today.

Final Divorce Decree Florida

Final Divorce Decree Florida

Clients often express surprise that we generally may not ask the family law and divorce court for a final judgment the day we file their case. A reason we wait approximately three weeks from the date of filing to ask for your final divorce decree Florida to be granted is because of Florida Statute § 61.19. Florida Statute 61.19 governs the timing of the entry of a final judgment in a dissolution of marriage case. Does Florida have a waiting period for divorce? According to the Statute, an entry of final judgment may not be entered until at least twenty (20) days have elapsed. This is known as the delay period. There is an interesting distinction in the language you have just read. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, flat fee divorce attorney Orlando today for a consultation.

Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage

The official language of Florida Statute 61.19 provides: “No final judgment of dissolution of marriage may be entered until at least 20 days have elapsed from the date of filing the original petition for dissolution of marriage; but the court, on a showing that injustice would result from this delay, may enter a final judgment of dissolution of marriage at an earlier date.” A final divorce decree Florida may not be granted until 20 days after the filing of the ORIGINAL petition for dissolution of marriage. This means a divorce may be granted shortly after a filing of an amended petition for divorce provided twenty days have elapsed since the original had been filed. Timelines are important in dissolution of marriage cases and rules exist to protect one or both litigants and the integrity of the court.

florida statute 61.19

Florida Statute 61.19

Consider the District Court of Appeals case of Magaziner v. Magaziner, 434 So. 2d 10, 11 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983). See Also Golub v. Golub, No. 5D21-421, 2021 WL 1326316, at *5 (Fla. 5th DCA 2021). In Magaziner the Court heard a case in which a final judgment was entered prior to the lapsing/expiration of the statutory 20 day waiting period. The District Court conceded the trial court’s procedural error in its early entry of final judgment. However, the Magaziner Court found there “was no showing in the record that injustice would result from the statutory 20-day delay”. Therefore, a Rule was violated, but that early entry of final judgment did not impact the outcome of the case. This should not encourage a violation of the Rule, but it should be a cause for concern as a judgment could be at risk if the Rule of Florida Statute 61.19 is not followed. If you intend to ask the family court for an early entry of final divorce decree Florida, there should be a mutual agreement of the parties and a valid reason justifying that time is of the essence. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113, flat fee divorce attorney Orlando, uncontested divorce attorney Orlando today for a consultation.

pasco county uncontested divorce

Pasco County Uncontested Divorce

Contact Jacobs Law Firm to start your Pasco County uncontested divorce today. A Pasco County divorce attorney can help make your divorce affordable and as amicable as possible. Among the differences between a contested and an uncontested divorce in Pasco County, FL is an amicable divorce is generally resolved before a case is filed with the family law circuit court. This means that your divorce attorney in Pasco County will assist with drafting all of your documents and seeking to have all required signatures and notarizations complete before the case is filed. Contact Jacobs Law Firm for a consultation about your uncontested divorce in Pasco County, FL at 407-335-8113.

A Pasco County uncontested divorce may involve minor children. When minor children are involved in your family law case, a parenting plan is required, both parties must fill out a financial affidavit, and if child support is not already handled with the Department of Revenue, child support guidelines worksheets are generally submitted to the court. The parenting plan may involve a long-distance arrangement. The number of overnights should be specified, and a vast number of issues regarding parental responsibility and parental roles should be decided and codified.

Affordable Pasco County Divorce Attorney

A Pasco County divorce attorney will assist with (likely draft) a marital settlement agreement for you. This marital/property settlement agreement in your divorce will determine how your marital assets and liabilities are to be equitably distributed in the context of your dissolution of marriage. The property settlement agreement may involve the disposition of homes, cars, personal property, retirement funds, and more. Many litigants utilize their financial affidavits for reference while drafting the agreement. This may assist with ensuring all marital assets and liabilities are accounted for in your uncontested case.

Pasco County Divorce Attorney

Affordable Divorce Pasco County

Should your divorce involve relocation (one party is moving more than 50 miles away from his/her present location), a long-distance parenting plan will be required. Furthermore, your divorce attorney in Pasco County will need to ensure the long-distance parenting plan meets the specific requirements set forth by the court to ensure continuous and meaningful contact among the parents, should the parents prefer such an outcome.

As a Pasco County divorce attorney, Jacobs Law Firm assists clients with their Pasco County uncontested divorce cases. If retained, this service can be as extensive as drafting all required documents for clients, filing their documents, and arranging for the case to be completed through a final judgment for dissolution of marriage. Call 407-335-8113 to speak with a divorce attorney in Pasco County and start your uncontested divorce in Pasco County, FL.

tavares divorce attorney

Tavares Divorce Attorney

Jacobs Law Firm and Tavares Divorce Attorney Jonathan Jacobs and his team represent and welcome clients from Leesburg, Tavares, Groveland, Eustis, Mount Dora and all of Lake County, Florida. With offices in Lake County and Orange County, Florida, Leesburg divorce Attorney Jonathan Jacobs litigates cases involving issues such as the equitable distribution of marital assets (the parties and/or the court must separate nonmarital from marital property) and liabilities (debts and loans, etc.), child custody and timesharing matters where a parenting plan is negotiated or litigated, child support (cannot be waived), pet ownership, alimony (short term, permanent, etc.) and more. To schedule a consultation, call 407-335-8113 to speak with us a divorce attorney Tavares and divorce attorney Leesburg about your unique divorce or paternity case. Jacobs Law Firm enjoys working with great clients, offer flat fee and installment payment plans and look forward to speaking with you. Ask us about an uncontested divorce in Tavares!

Divorce Attorney Tavares

As a Tavares divorce attorney, we recognize that family law and divorce cases often involve two primary issues. These issues are timesharing with the minor children (formerly known as child custody) and determining the appropriate amount of child support for the benefit of the children. A general guideline is that overnight timesharing with minor children is presumed to be equal or close to 50/50 unless the facts of the case warrant a different result. Frequently, litigants prefer to have majority timesharing because they are concerned the other parent is irresponsible or unavailable to care for the children. The history between the parties is often a determinant of the position the primary parent (historically) will take in the litigation that follows. A Leesburg divorce attorney can help guide you through this difficult time in your life.

Leesburg Divorce Attorney

Leesburg Divorce Attorney

Leesburg divorce Attorney Jacobs understand that alimony and child support are vigorously litigated financial issues impacting your family’s financial future. It is important to retain counsel that understands your struggles and can provide you with the best legal advice and strategy for your legal battle. A Tavares divorce attorney recognizes the nuances of financial issues in your family or divorce case. This is among the primary reasons the discovery process is of vital important. Mandatory disclosures may just the foundation for building a case, but in many cases, the court’s standard requirements are just the beginning.

Tavares divorce attorney and Leesburg divorce Attorney Jonathan Jacobs of the Jacobs Law Firm represents great clients throughout Lake County, Florida and the surrounding counties when you need us the most. Call 407-335-8113 for your consultation. Your rights and responsibilities are important.

Pet Custody in Florida Divorce

Pet Custody in Florida Divorce

Pet custody in Florida divorce is a really sad reality to confront. Who gets the dog in a divorce in Florida? We love our pets be they dogs, cats, birds, fish, etc and often think of ourselves as their parents. Pets become family to us personally as well as to our children. While a dog may be considered by many to be a member of the family, under Florida law, animals are considered to be mere personal property. In a Florida divorce, personal property is subject to equitable distribution.  County of Pasco v. Riehl, 620 So.2d 229 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993), and Levine v. Knowles, 197 So.2d 329 (Fla. 3d DCA 1967). There is no authority which provides for a trial court to grant custody or visitation pertaining to personal property. § 61.075, Fla. Stat. (1993). Bennett v. Bennett, 655 So. 2d 109, 110 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995). The courts will likely award ownership of your pet(s) to only one spouse. If you have questions about pet custody in Florida divorce and want to know who gets the dog in divorce, call us at 407-335-8113 to schedule a consultation.

Who gets the dog in a divorce Florida?

Regarding Pet custody in Florida divorce, Florida law classifies pets (household, outdoor, exotic pets, etc.) as tangible personal property which is generally subject to equitable distribution in a divorce settlement or via a family law trial. Pursuant to Florida Statute § Chapter 61, equitable distribution is the “legal process of identifying, valuing, and distributing marital assets and liabilities acquired during the parties’ marriage. Marital property generally includes all property acquired through marital efforts during the marriage, including interspousal gifts, such as pets.” The word gift is the operative term here. There are arguments to be made by both spouses to determine the “rightful” pet owner. Perhaps one spouse gave the other spouse a pet as a gift but paid for the pet entirely and registered the pet in their name and not in the name of the recipient. There are many scenarios to consider.

Who gets the dog in a divorce Florida

Who gets the dog in a divorce Florida? The first step in this process of dividing marital assets and liabilities is for the divorce court to separate marital property from nonmarital property. This may lead to arguments that the person who gets the dog in a divorce Florida is the party that has ownership documents entitling him/her to full pet ownership. Buyer beware; if there are outstanding bill associated with your pet ownership, and you choose to fight for full ownership, you could conceivably also be subject to all of the veterinary bills. Are you accustomed to caring for a pet 24-7? Child custody is different.

While final judgments in a Florida divorce allow for the family court to retain jurisdiction to modify and or otherwise enforce a child custody agreement, divorce courts do not retain post-divorce jurisdiction beyond enforcement of equitable distribution orders. The aforementioned Chapter 61 Florida Statutes does not address pets as property in divorce and therefore does not provide a guidepost for attorneys or litigants. Imagine the implications with Pet custody in Florida divorce of requiring changes to a pet custody award and the court having no authority to make modifications.

retroactive alimony florida

Retroactive Alimony Florida

Retroactive alimony in Florida requires the identical analysis as does an assessment of/for permanent alimony. This same analysis must be applied when retroactive alimony in Florida is pled in conjunction with any other form of alimony. A family law attorney’s argument at trial for retroactive alimony must be based on the recipient’s need and the payor’s ability to pay. Barrett v. Barrett, No. 5D20-946, 2021 WL 934990, at *3 (Fla. 5th DCA Mar. 12, 2021), see Motie v. Motie, 132 So. 3d 1210, 1214 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014). This makes sense because alimony is not intended to equalize two spouse’s incomes, nor is alimony intended to punish the paying spouse by impoverishing him or her. Jonathan Jacobs is an Orlando alimony attorney practicing divorce and family law throughout Central Florida. Call us for a consultation to discuss your retroactive alimony Florida case. Dial 407-335-8113 today to call the Jacobs Law Firm.

In unity with section Florida Statute 61.08(1), a family law trial court is obligated to support its Retroactive alimony Florida determination by making specific factual findings concerning the spouse that must pay alimony and his/her ability to pay and the need of the spouse that may receive an alimony payment. The trial court must adhere to the factors listed in section 61.08(2)(a)-(j). Austin v. Austin, 12 So.3d 314, 317 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (citing Williams v. Williams, 923 So.2d 606, 607 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006)). Valentine v. Van Sickle, 42 So. 3d 267, 272 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010).

Retroactive Alimony in Florida and Florida Alimony Statute

Pursuant to the Florida Alimony Statute regarding Retroactive alimony Florida, the factors a court must consider and express written findings thereof are in part and paraphrased as follows:

(a) The standard of living established during the marriage (middle class? Luxurious? Frugal? Living within one’s means?).

(b) The duration of the marriage (a short term marriage lasts for fewer than seven years, a moderate term marriage for approximately 7-17 years and a long term marriage for 17 or more years).

(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party (many dissolution of marriage cases involve one spouse that is disabled).

(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each (this may in certain circumstances include inheritances and premarital property).

(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment (this goes to bridge the gap and rehabilitative alimony alongside retroactive alimony Florida).

(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party (being a full time parent is a rewarding and wonderful sacrifice and is taken into account when a court considers retroactive alimony Florida).

(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.

(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.

Jonathan Jacobs is managing partner of the Jacobs Law Firm, a divorce and family law firm with offices in Winter Park and Clermont, Florida.

Personal Injury Settlement Marital Property

Personal Injury Settlement Marital Property

At least two Florida Courts have ruled on the issue of pain and suffering divorce settlement and personal injury settlement marital property. In a recently released decision, the case of Roth v. Roth, the District Court of Appeals focuses in part on Florida Statute 61.075(1). No. 2D19-2559, 2021 WL 800268, at 2 (Fla. 2d DCA Mar. 3, 2021). Florida Statute 61.075 governs the equitable distribution of marital property (both assets and liabilities) in a Florida divorce. Pursuant to the Statute, the trial court is instructed to first “set apart to each spouse that spouse’s nonmarital assets and liabilities” and then “distribute the marital assets and liabilities between the parties.” Florida Statute § 61.075(8) further provides that “Assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage are presumed to be marital, and the presumption is overcome only by a showing that the assets are nonmarital.” Is a personal injury settlement marital property in Florida? Have you been injured in a case accident or slip and fall and you want to know if your personal injury settlement is marital property and/or if your pain and suffering is going to be part of a divorce settlement? Call Jacobs Law Firm for a consultation at 407-335-8113.

Pain and Suffering Divorce Settlement

In categorizing personal injury awards acquired during the marriage, Florida follows the “analytical approach” not the “unitary approach” (the unitary approach argues that any accident settlement for an individual is uniquely and solely for that individual) in identifying and decision on the issue of pain and suffering divorce settlement and personal injury settlement marital property See Weisfeld v. Weisfeld, 545 So. 2d 1341, 1346 (Fla. 1989) (the Florida Supreme Court adopted the aforementioned analytical approach, which considers the purpose of the portions of the personal injury award when classifying them as marital or nonmarital). According to the so-called analytical approach, the type(s) of accident settlement awards/monies that are subject to being classified as marital property may include: “the amount of the award for lost wages or lost earning capacity during the marriage of the parties and medical expenses paid out of marital funds during the marriage.” Id. at 1345. The reasoning may be that monies paid to replace lost wages would otherwise have been marital monies as standard earnings/earnings capacity. Generally, potential future lost wages and future pain and suffering are not marital property subject to equitable distribution.

Pain and Suffering Divorce Settlement

When ruling on pain and suffering divorce settlement in Florida and personal injury settlement marital property, the family law court must distinguish which portion of the settlement is marital and that which is nonmarital property. The injured and/or aggrieved spouse’s nonmarital property may be comprised of any portion of the damages award allocated because of the spouse’s pain and suffering. Id. If the Court finds that there is no law, rule, precedent, or guideline for how to classify an accident award of damages, they generally regard it as marital.

Any given case can have serious questions, particularly when an accident settlement does not come with an itemized listing of how damages are apportioned. Litigants may wish to consider avoiding the commingling of accident settlement funds as they may lose their non-marital character. When in doubt, call Jacobs Law Firm for a consultation to help understand your rights and responsibilities. 407-335-8113.

extracurricular activities in a florida divorce

Extracurricular Activities In A Florida Divorce

Who pays for extracurricular activities in a Florida divorce? After a Florida divorce or paternity action, extracurricular activities are generally separate from child support calculations. Parents often ask who will pay for their children’s extracurricular activities and if they are included in child support calculations. Florida law does not contemplate extracurricular activities as a standard child support deduction. Moreover, there is no one formula family law courts provide for deciding which parent pays a certain percentage of the cost. Do you have questions about extracurricular activities in your divorce or paternity action? Call the Jacobs Law Firm to speak with a family lawyer Orlando, 407-335-8113.

Who Pays For Extracurricular Activities In A Florida Divorce?

Generally, parents choose to pay 50% per parent toward extracurricular activities for their children. Who pays for extracurricular activities in a divorce if the case is contested or the parents have a disparity in income? In this scenario, sometimes parents rely on the percentage (pro rata share) of responsibility for child support and pay for the children’s extracurricular activities and related uniforms and equipment according to that percentage (65%-35% for example).

In some heavily litigated cases, one parent wants their child to participate in an activity the other parent strongly disagrees with. This may lead to an agreement whereby the parent choosing the extracurricular activity will pay for the children’s activity and uniforms and equipment in its/their entirety. This may cause the issue to be litigated through motions for clarification, contempt, and/or enforcement, but renewed/continued family litigation is not prohibited or prohibitive. Perhaps the parties truly believe they require clarification and guidance from the court.

Some extracurricular activities in a divorce include travel sports (soccer, hockey, lacrosse, football, baseball, volleyball), dance (ballet or ballroom or modern), debate club (or some other partially school-sponsored activity), and martial arts (karate, jiu jitsu, and tae kwon do are popular). One can envision disagreements about these activities as some may be physically and emotionally taxing and many parents are cautious about enrolling their children.

Who Pays For Extracurricular Activities In A Florida Divorce

Call the Jacobs Law Firm to speak with a family lawyer Orlando, 407-335-8113. Attorney Jacobs litigates family law matters in divorce and paternity cases involving minor children. If your parenting plan is ambiguous or silent on the matter of who pays for extracurricular activities in a divorce, you may need to seek legal counsel to identify the correct course of action and determine whether your issues are appropriate for court intervention.