Category: Florida Law Blog

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. This is when you should hire a small claims lawyer Seminole County or a small claims lawyer Lake County Florida. Get your money back and do not let the other party take what is yours without a fight.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Income Deduction Order Florida

Income Deduction Order Florida

If you have resolved your paternity or divorce lawsuit (involving minor children), one final step that usually occurs is the drafting of an income deduction order Florida child support, and/or the drafting of an income deduction order Florida alimony. Often, the divorce or family law attorney will prepare these documents, but the court may do so as well in the absence of attorneys being affiliated with your case. A deduction order (also known as an income withholding order) is intended to alert the Florida State Disbursement Unit and the payor’s (person obligated to pay) employer of the requirement of automatically deducting a specified amount of money for child support and/or alimony payments on a weekly, bi-monthly, per paycheck, or monthly basis. If you need to know how to stop an income deduction order in Florida, call the Jacobs Law Firm for the help you need right away 407-310-5636.

Income Deduction Order Florida Alimony

Preparing a deduction order Florida child support or alimony is based on the amount of child support and/or the amount of alimony the payor is obligated to pay per the mediated or marital settlement agreement and/or the court order mandating those payments. The forms must be carefully prepared to account for mandatory administrative fees given to the Florida State Disbursement Unit. Your lawyer must also factor in the dates when the amount you are obligated to pay will go down because of a child aging out, or because of the lowering of alimony over time.

How To Stop An Income Deduction Order In Florida

How To Stop An Income Deduction Order In Florida

As a family lawyer in Orlando, the Jacobs Law Firm receives a high volume of calls about how to stop an income deduction order in Florida. Frankly, even if your order provides for a date when your payments should stop, employers and human resource departments do not always follow the guidelines for its termination. This means that you should consider calling the Jacobs Law Firm to be a liaison between your employer, the court, and yourself, in order to stop your income deduction order and to prevent you from overpaying indefinitely for your alimony or child support.

A deduction order is based on mutual agreement of the parties or the court’s ruling. The forms must be prepared with skill and full attention to detail. The payor’s employer must also be made fully aware of the court order to prevent you from accidentally missing payments and being subject to contempt allegations.

Call the Jacobs Law Firm today at 407-310-5636 or fill out our contact form for the help you need. The Jacobs Law Firm, Child Custody Lawyer Orlando, Orlando Alimony Attorney, is here to help you.

Relocation of Children After Divorce

A child relocation attorney Florida can help you litigate your petition for relocation with minor children. Your attorney will petition the court for relocation of children after divorce on your behalf. The first step is to schedule a meeting/consultation with your child relocation lawyer Florida. If you are requesting the court allow you to relocate with your child more than 50 miles away from your current principal address for a period of greater than 60 days (after the court has granted your final judgment and parenting plan), your attorney will ask you a lot of questions to help you determine the strength of your petition. These questions are designed to test the strength of your petition for relocation with minor children. Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce and family law attorney in Orlando.

Winning Relocation Cases Florida

If you are the party seeking to prevent the moving party from moving away with your minor child(ren), your child relocation lawyer Florida will ask you questions about your family, career, health insurance, and proposed move. If you seek to prevent relocation of children after divorce, understand that winning relocation cases Florida has a lot to do with the nature and quality of your facts. Do you have family here locally with whom your child has a close bond? Do your family members help you care for your kid(s)? Is your child already attending a good school? What is the rating of your child’s school? Is your child performing well in school (Earning good grades? Doing well socially?) Do you have a secure job/career locally? Are you making enough income to support your child? These are just starter questions.

Your final judgment and parenting plan will need to be thoroughly analyzed by your child relocation attorney Florida. At that point, your child relocation lawyer Florida will compare the facts of your case as existed at the time of the final judgment and contrast them with your current circumstances involving your proposed move. For example, your attorney will seek to find fault with the relocating party’s alleged facts and prove why it is in the child’s best interests to remain at his/her primary residence.

Child Relocation Attorney Florida

Child Relocation Attorney Florida

Let your child relocation attorney Florida know if you are the party asking the court for relocation of children after divorce. This will reframe your attorney’s perspective on your case. Now, your child relocation attorney will build a case, based on your facts and the evidence you have provided, seeking to convince the court to grant your relocation of children after divorce. This may involve collecting documentation about your new job, health insurance, informally appraising your new housing, and inquiring about the support system you may have at your new job (pending relocation).

Ultimately, a child relocation attorney Florida will understand the perspectives of both sides. This will help him to defend against or ask the court to grant your relocation of children after divorce Florida. When you need an experienced relocation attorney Orlando, Tavares, Kissimmee, Bushnell, Brooksville, and Sanford, call the Jacobs Law Firm for the help you need.

Florida Parenting Plan Modification

Florida Parenting Plan Modification, Modification Of Timesharing Florida

Are you seeking a Florida parenting plan modification from the final judgment in your Florida divorce or paternity case? In order to obtain a court-ordered or negotiated modification of timesharing Florida you will need to file a supplemental petition for modification of timesharing. This will allow the court to have jurisdiction to hear your supplemental petition and alert the respondent that you are seeking a change in your Florida parenting plan.

One of the best ways to analyze the strength of your modification of timesharing Florida supplemental petition is to look to case law precedent for guidance. There are many cases in which Florida family law courts have both denied Florida parenting plan modification petitions and granted them. Here is a listing of case law holdings regarding modification of timesharing that have been paraphrased to make them more understandable.

Case Law For Supplemental Petition for modification of Timesharing Florida

In Schot v. Schot, 273 So. 3d 48 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019) the Court granted the moving party’s (person asking for the change) supplemental petition because the other parent failed to support the minor child who had a serious medical condition resulting in the child’s detriment.

modification of timesharing Florida

In the case of Wade v. Hirschman, 872 So. 2d 952 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) the Court recognized the evidence showed the mother deliberately sabotaged the parenting plan, causing the Court to award majority timesharing to the father.

C.B. v. Dep’t of Children & Families, 879 So. 2d 82 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004) is a truly heart-wrenching case in which there had been a long history of child abuse of three prior children. Consequently, the District Court of Appeals granted the moving party’s Florida Parenting Plan Modification  by nullifying the abusive parent’s timesharing.

In Horton v. Horton, 257 So. 3d 1197 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018) the Court ruled on something that would seem like common sense, “If the first round of the parenting plan does not take the best interest of the child into account.” [then a modification of timesharing Florida must be granted]

Fosshage v. Fosshage, 167 So. 3d 525 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015) is a relocation case in which the father of the child sought to have his child move with him out of state because the mother’s new husband abused their child. The court deemed this vulgar development to be a substantial material and unanticipated change in circumstances and stated the move to Wisconsin with the father was in the child’s best interests.

These cases are just a few examples of Florida parenting plan modification actions and demonstrate some of the conditions/circumstances in which Florida courts will grant a modification of timesharing Florida.

Jonathan Jacobs is a child custody attorney in Central Florida and a relocation attorney Orlando that is ready to help you modify your timesharing with your minor children.

Unequal Distribution Divorce Florida

Unequal Distribution Divorce Florida, Unequal Equitable Distribution Of Marital Property

Many clients ask about unequal distribution divorce Florida. Clients ask about unequal distribution because they believe that in their divorce settlement or judgment, they should be the majority owner of a house, a car, or other marital property. When assessing whether our client’s claim is feasible, and/or whether their spouse has a claim for unequal equitable distribution of marital property, we like to revisit Florida case law to frame our arguments. Case law precedent is vital to winning cases.

As a starting point, Florida case holdings tell us that “The equitable distribution statute [Florida § 61.075(1)] begins with the premise that the distribution should be equal, but the trial court may make an unequal distribution when proper justification is demonstrated, Rogers v. Rogers, 12 So. 3d 288, 291 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). Florida Statute 61.075 subsection (1) provides the factors for the family law circuit trial court to consider in making this determination. Case law makes it abundantly clear that a family law court MUST justify its unequal distribution of marital property with specific factual findings. The standard of evidence/burden of proof for both sides for unequal distribution divorce Florida is “competent substantial evidence with reference to the factors” mentioned above in subsection 1. Cooley v. Cooley, 253 So. 3d 1223, 1226 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018). In other words, your attorney should seek to enter relevant exhibits that demonstrate your assertions or defenses for unequal distribution. Your attorney may consider adhering to the statutory factors when taking testimony and presenting evidence before the court. Foley v. Foley, 19 So. 3d 1031, 1032 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009); see also, Stough v. Stough, 18 So. 3d 601, 604-05 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009).

Unequal Distribution Of Marital Property

If One Spouse Earns More, Does that Justify Unequal Distribution of Marital Property?

“The fact that the Former Husband was the primary source of income does not support an unequal distribution. When one spouse is the primary wage earner and makes a significant contribution to the marital assets, it ‘does not justify disparate treatment.’” Cooley v. Cooley, 253 So. 3d 1223, 1226 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018) Citing Horne v. Horne, 711 So. 2d 1310, 1312 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998). In Horne, the Court ruled that unequal distribution was not justified by the evidence presented to the Court, and case law often provides for unequal distribution as more of an exception than a common holding.

Unequal Distribution Of Marital Property When Wife’s Mother Paid for the House?

In the case of Franklin v. Franklin, the parties had a long-term marriage of 37 years. Franklin v. Franklin, 988 So. 2d 125, 128 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). The Wife’s parents gave gifts to both Husband and the Wife when they were married. The Court stated that the court record from trial did not establish that the gifts given buy the parent could be considered as the Wife’s contributions to the marriage under Florida Statute 61.075(1)(g). Unequal distribution divorce Florida was not necessary to establish fairness in the parties’ divorce judgment.

school designation authority florida parenting plan

School Designation Florida Parenting Plan

One of the biggest conflicts in every divorce or paternity case involving minor children is school designation authority. Specifically, which parent will have school designation authority in their Florida parenting plan? This one singular issue often prevents the parties from coming to an agreement on a parenting plan, even when all other issues have been decided on. In order to find out why school designation Florida parenting plan is so vital to family law litigants, we must first understand what it is, and why it is so important. School issues after divorce are serious for both parents and children.

School Issues After Divorce

Generally, the custodial parent, meaning the primary timesharing parent, has school designation authority leading to school issues after divorce. This is logical and rational. Generally speaking, Mom or Dad lives close to the children’s school and has more time with the kids. The kids will not have to travel far to attend school, and they can remain in the same school district/zone that they attended before their parents started divorcing. This can prevent additional stressors and anxiety for the kids. Routines are important. However, in some cases, Mom or Dad has moved because of the breakup or divorce and the area where they live has a much better school system with better school ratings. Perhaps Mom or Dad’s new school zone is a more appropriate place for the kids to attend.

school issues after divorce

Access to Better Schools for the Minor Children

The availability of good schools, the distance the parents live from those schools, and the safety and stability of the kids are three factors the court uses to determine school designation in Florida parenting plans. The question is, during settlement negotiations, or during mediation, will the parties themselves consider their children’s best interests in deciding which party has school designation authority. If not, school issues after divorce will arise.

Relocation with Minor Children and School Designation Authority

Perhaps adding an extra layer of conflict is parents often relocate with minor children. Jobs and careers change often, and new opportunities are often available in other areas. This may mean that the parent with school designation Florida parenting plan may be allowed to transfer the kids to a new school. This may cause the other side to contest relocation, or to petition the court for school designation authority to be transferred to them, the other parent.

Contact an Orlando Divorce Attorney and Clermont Divorce Attorney today for help litigating or resolving your school designation authority Florida parenting plan legal issue when you and your children have school issues after divorce. We pride ourselves on suggesting reasonable and practical solutions to help resolve your family law case.

Motion for Clarification Florida

Motion for Clarification Florida

When should you file a motion for clarification Florida? Consider the following situation: You have a parenting plan with your ex. You had a lawyer, and the other side had a lawyer. The lawyers made a parenting plan and the court ordered it. Now it is two years later. The parenting plan is confusing and ambiguous. You do not know 100% what your obligations are and what your ex is supposed to do. This is the time for you to make a motion for clarification Florida. An Orlando divorce lawyer can help you make the decision to file or negotiate.

Why do I need a Motion for Clarification?

Let’s be more specific about the scenario presented above. You have a parenting plan and you are reading it over. It says that you are entitled to “Reasonable Communication” with your daughter. Yet, when your ex is with your daughter, you are lucky to get 10 minutes on the phone during the other side’s timesharing. You are truly upset and want to know your daughter is safe, happy, and cared for. BUT, you cannot get your ex to give you more time with her and the parenting plan does not specify just what reasonable communication is. Make a motion for clarification and bring your issue before the judge.

What does a Motion for Clarification Florida Achieve?

If the court hears your motion for clarification Florida, you are asking the judge to hear your perspective on what reasonable communication (or any other part of your parenting plan) means. For instance, to you, reasonable may mean three 15 minute FaceTime or Skype talks while your child is with your ex. Or it might mean unlimited texting. Reasonable is not the easiest word to interpret and it is not specific. Therefore, a motion for clarification as asking the court to decide what the ambiguous or confusing parts of your parenting plan mean. The court will then order its interpretation to become part of your parenting plan to solve your lack of understanding.

Divorce Parenting Plan and Paternity Parenting Plan

A motion for clarification Florida can provide you with the relief your need in your child custody/timesharing case. Many parenting plans are too non-specific and cause a lot of confusion. Living with uncertainty when it involves your children can be emotionally and psychologically stressful and it is not great for anyone involved.

Jonathan Jacobs us a divorce attorney in Orlando and a divorce attorney in Clermont Florida who practices same sex divorce and relocation with minor children law. Call us today 407-310-5636.

Emergency Child Pick Up Order Florida

Emergency Child Pick Up Order Florida

An Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order must be verified (the person asking the court for the return of his or her children must have the papers notarized under oath). If an Emergency Child Pick Up Order Florida is granted, the Court will direct law enforcement to remove the minor child from the other party’s residence and deliver the child to the other parent’s home.

There is a major requirement the family law Court mandates before the party filing for this order may have standing. The party asking for the order must have a legal right to timesharing with the child through a court-ordered parenting plan or that party may be the biological mother of the child and there has been no court case adjudicating the matter. Remember that unmarried fathers that have not established paternity through the family law court have no rights to timesharing.

When filing an Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order there are additional documents/papers that must be filed for the Court to hear your case. First, a UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit) must be filed. The UCCJEA is a statement under oath alleging that the child lives with you. If there is a court-ratified parenting plan demonstrating your child custody/timesharing, it should be filed with your motion. For the Court to grant your Emergency Child Pick Up Order Florida, you may also need to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate if paternity has not been established by the Court.

In the Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order you will need to allege the child’s name, gender, birth date, race, and provide a physical description. It may be helpful for you to identify the reasons why the child is in imminent danger with the other party, and state why and how the child has been wrongfully removed from your residence. Call the Jacobs Law Firm, divorce and family law lawyer.

An Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order means you are asking the Court to hold a hearing at the soonest possible time because the situation is urgent and the threat of harm to your child is serious. The Court has the authority to grant a hearing if it deems the circumstances are exigent.

Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order

Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order

In a recent Fifth District Court of Appeals case, Gimonge v. Gimonge, 239 So. 3d 1275, 1277 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018), the Father of a minor child filed an ex parte (where only one party appears before the judge) emergency motion for contempt/enforcement and child pick-up. Father told the Court that the Mother had refused to abide by the terms of their agreed-upon summer visitation (the parties had come to a temporary agreement by stipulating while the court was deciding their relocation case).

On the one hand, the court awarded Father thirty days of make-up timesharing because Mother had denied his timesharing, but Father filed an emergency motion for an injunction asking the Court to prevent the removal of their child from Florida and the Court ruled (at least temporarily) in favor of Mother. Father argued that Mother should have filed a petition to relocate with the child pursuant to Florida’s Relocation Statute, and was in fact acting in contempt of court by seeking to take their child from Florida without his consent. This prompted Mother to file an Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order, alleging that Father refused to return the child following his timesharing pursuant to the court ordered make-up visitation. The trial court ruled in favor of Mother because it felt that the situation would best be addressed at trial to allow for a final judgment to control the parties’ timesharing. Frankly, the parties were left in limbo as neither the Emergency Child Pick Up Order Florida nor the proper residence of the child was decided with semi-permanence.

If you believe you need an Emergency Child Pick Up Order Florida call the Jacobs Law Firm for immediate help with obtaining an Emergency Motion for Child Pick Up Order for the return of your child. Divorce and family law are challenging fields of law because they involve the people most important to you. Divorce is a serious lawsuit.