Category: Florida Law Blog

Florida uncontested divorce process

Florida Uncontested Divorce Process

The Florida uncontested divorce process generally involves less or no litigation, lower attorney fees, typically takes less time than a traditional contested divorce, and might not require you to appear in court. The process begins when our new client calls, e-mails or text messages our office. The Jacobs Law Firm, uncontested divorce attorney in Orlando, Uncontested divorce attorney in Seminole County, and all throughout Central Florida, will be happy to hear from you about your amicable divorce case. Our office may be reached at 407-335-8113 by phone or by text, and if you prefer to e-mail us about your family law matter please send your message to admin@jjlawfl.com.

The Florida uncontested divorce process with our firm begins when you fill out our client intake form to enable us to see the issues in your case. Some of the questions include: Do you have assets and/or liabilities/debts together as a married couple? Do you own or finance or lease cars or an apartment together? Do you own real property (houses, condos, townhomes, mobile homes, etc.) as a married couple? Do you have a prenuptial agreement in place? Beyond your assets and debts, do you have minor children together? Are you seeking to establish alimony?

The Uncontested Divorce Process in Florida How Does it Work?

Once we know the vital information about your case, we can begin drafting your pleadings (initial divorce papers required to be filed with the court when you are ready to start your case), make sure your spouse is willing to accept service, and begin negotiating a reasonable settlement to help your case remain amicable and uncontested. The uncontested divorce process in Florida can be labyrinthine without a divorce attorney guiding the way. We often provide reasonable solutions to foster compromise on important issues. When spouses are divorcing, it often occurs that compromise is tougher than usual. This is another reason hiring an uncontested divorce attorney in Osceola County Florida, or anywhere in Central Florida can make a real difference in the outcome of your divorce case.

When spouses have minor children, the uncontested divorce process in Florida must include a parenting plan, child support calculations, and the parties generally must provide a financial affidavit. While discovery may be limited in comparison with the general mandatory disclosures, most Florida family law courts require both parties to provide a financial affidavit. Child support is based on the parties’ incomes and expenses for the children. Divorce is a potentially long process.

The Florida uncontested divorce process does not need to take months or years and it does not have to be one filled with bickering. Uncontested divorces can offer a lot of relief to spouses that are preparing for financial changes in their post-marital life. Call Jonathan Jacobs, uncontested divorce attorney in Lake County Florida and all of Central Florida, for the help you need today. 407-335-8113.

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Florida

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Florida

How much does an uncontested divorce cost in Florida? The cost of uncontested divorce in Florida (the filing fee paid to the Clerk of Court) is approximately $408.00 along with the statutory convenience fee charged to both pro se litigants and attorneys. The price works out to be about $424.00 with the court’s small additional fee. How much is an uncontested divorce in Florida when you have children? The cost remains the same from the standpoint of the Clerk of Court. The major difference in cost occurs when the divorce ends up being contested. In a contested divorce proceeding, the petitioner also has to pay for a summons and service of process, in which case the overall fees are generally closer to $500.00. Jonathan Jacobs is an uncontested divorce attorney in Orlando, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County and all throughout Central Florida. Our family law retainer and flat fees for uncontested divorces are affordable. We offer installment payment plans to help clients get through their difficult divorce proceedings. Call us when you want to talk about your uncontested divorce in Florida at 407-335-8113 or send us a confidential e-mail to admin@JJLawFL.com. The Jacobs Law Firm wants to hear from you!

How much does an uncontested divorce cost in Florida?

The cost of uncontested divorce in Florida is generally more affordable because divorce and family law attorney fees are usually much lower when no litigation is required. In fact, if our role is to act as a document drafter and as a negotiator more so than a litigator in court, your attorney fees will be much more affordable. How much does an uncontested divorce cost in Florida when spouses do not have any minor children (you do not have kids together, no adoption has occurred, and/or your kids are over 18)? In most cases we charge clients less when their divorce involves financial division and there are no minor children. There is usually less paperwork and planning involved when there are no minor kids to consider.

cost of uncontested divorce in Florida

Hiring an Uncontested Divorce Attorney Can Save You Money

How much is an uncontested divorce in Florida when spouses have minor children? The cost of uncontested divorce in Florida when you have kids is a little higher when retaining an attorney because we will need to create a parenting plan to suit your needs, and concurrently calculate child support based on your overnight timesharing arrangement. Often, the higher your timesharing overnights with your children, the more advantageous your child support calculations can be.

The Jacobs Law Firm has helped many amazing spouses with their uncontested divorces. Our goal is to help clients find reasonable resolutions to their most complex family and financial issues to help them save on cost and allow an easier transition to post-marital life. We hope we have in part answered your questions about how much does an uncontested divorce cost in Florida and the initial cost of uncontested divorce in Florida. Call us at 407-335-8113 or e-mail us at admin@jjlawfl.com for a confidential divorce or family law consultation.

How much is an uncontested divorce in Florida

Uncontested Divorce Florida No Court Appearance

Uncontested Divorce Florida No Court Appearance

An uncontested divorce in Florida with no court appearance is generally allowed for litigants represented by a divorce attorney. When you hire a divorce and family law attorney, it is likely the judge will approve your dissolution of marriage (by final judgment) in a shorter period of time than if you are pro se (self-represented). A philosophy shared by many within Florida family law courts is that attorneys are officers of the court and have knowledge and expertise in courtroom procedure. This allows for the process to be done well and in a timely manner. There are many reasons it is advantageous to hire an uncontested divorce attorney in Orlando, Tavares, Clermont, Kissimmee, Sanford, DeLand, Bartow, Bushnell, etc. If you and your spouse are in agreement in some or most issues, and want an amicable divorce or an uncontested divorce Florida no court appearance, call the Jacobs Law Firm, uncontested divorce attorney in Orlando, Osceola County, Polk County, Lake County, Seminole County, for a free initial uncontested divorce consultation 407-335-8113.

https://youtu.be/kFjbC_oeQ1E

An uncontested divorce in Florida with no court appearance is not a simple legal matter. When you and your spouse own property together (cars, houses, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.), and/or have debts/liabilities together (credit card debt, mortgage loans, car loans, personal loans, IRS tax debts, student loan debts, etc.), it is important to equitably divide those assets and liabilities in your divorce. When spouses leave out important information from their marital settlement agreements, it can result in the reopening of a divorce case, as well as in confusion after a case is purportedly over. Hiring an uncontested divorce attorney allows spouses to draft settlement agreements that account for the full portfolio of assets and debts between the two parties. Legally trained divorce attorneys write marital settlement agreements for clients.

Uncontested Divorce in Florida with No Court Appearance

Uncontested Divorce in Florida With No Court
Appearance

An uncontested divorce Florida no court appearance is helpful because many people do not want to appear before a judge for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes, having to appear before a judge means that the petitioner must take off a day from work. Many petitioners prefer to exercise self-determination over their own case and do not want judicial officers making recommendations to them. Or perhaps, when seeking an uncontested divorce in Orlando or elsewhere, spouses want to ensure their attorney handles all of the details for them. Hiring a divorce attorney is a major decision where clients place their trust in the lawyer to act in their best interest.

An uncontested divorce Florida no court appearance is allowed in a large number of counties in Florida. Generally, if you have a divorce attorney, and all issues are settled, and your divorce papers are drafted, executed, and filed correctly, many courts will allow your attorney to finalize your case without requiring your appearance in court. Call uncontested divorce attorney in Lake County Your attorney may also file a notice of limited appearance. Jonathan Jacobs for the help you need to keep your divorce amicable. Dial 407-335-8113 today.

Coronavirus and Divorce in Florida

Coronavirus and Divorce in Florida

You are locked away (in a manner of speaking) with your spouse for weeks. There are shortages of toilet paper, food, and mostly, shortages of patience. This is the reality of coronavirus and divorce in Florida, also known as Covid-19. If you were already experiencing marital discord (arguments, disagreements, financial woes, etc.) being isolated with your spouse might exacerbate that situation. During times of a pandemic there is some degree of mass panic that may cause an elevation in stress levels. Thus far, although many Florida courts have cancelled in person appearances, attorneys such as divorce attorneys and family law attorneys may still file divorce and paternity pleadings. Call the Jacobs Law Firm, offices Winter Park and Clermont Florida for the help and guidance you need at 407-335-8113, for uncontested divorce in Florida or contested divorce representation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI9k27zU3Ao

Coronavirus
and Divorce in Florida

Florida already has a higher than average divorce rate as compared with national statistics. Coronavirus and divorce in Florida may elevate that number. What we know is that we are temporarily, though indefinitely, in a state of national emergency. Stores are largely empty on certain essentials such as toilet paper, hand sanitizers, soaps, bleach, and bottled water. There is a measure of panic out there. Being married is stressful at times, but when we factor in the reality of the impact on businesses and cuts in hours due to non-essential employees being in some instances asked to stay at home, marriages may suffer serious financial hardships. Mortgages may go unpaid, and other bills may go unpaid raising the amounts due. This is serious and is an unfortunate reality. Whether we blame another nation for the outbreak, or our government, or out media for hyping the impact of the virus, the fact remains that even sports and large events are cancelled. It feels like society is at a standstill for a month or longer.

Coronavirus and divorce in Florida go hand-in-hand because marital problems may worsen during times of high tension and stress. If spouses have children, the kids need to be provided for now more than ever. Many schools are closing, leaving kids at home, and requiring one of the parents stay at home to supervise then. This may lead to disputes over whose job is more important and which parent should make the sacrifice of staying at home. Hopefully, employers will recognize this and understand this essential need that families have. Nevertheless, there are many potential stressors that could factor into marriages becoming irretrievably broken.

Ideally, the coronavirus and divorce in Florida will in fact lead to more time together, and closer and more strong bonds with family. Perhaps having a stay-cation with one’s family will help communications get better and will allow for some rare, but well-needed rest and relaxation. There can be an upside to all of this hullabaloo.

Jonathan Jacobs practices divorce (uncontested divorce as well) family law, and civil litigation in Orlando, Kissimmee, Tavares, Sanford, and all throughout Central Florida.

Case Management Conference Florida Divorce

Case Management Conference Florida Divorce

Florida Family Law Rule 12.200 establishes the purpose and parameters of a case management conference Florida divorce. This Rule provides for a lot of options for attorneys to help their client’s divorce case. Litigants may schedule a case management conference after 30 days from the date of service of the petition for dissolution of marriage or the paternity petition. Rule 12.200 also acknowledges that a Florida family law court may sua sponte (on its own volition) order the parties and their attorneys to attend a case management conference in a Florida divorce. If you need a divorce attorney in Orlando or a divorce attorney in Clermont to help you resolve the challenging family law or divorce issues in your case, call us for a consultation, 407-335-8113.

According to Rule 12.200, at a case management conference Florida divorce, the court has the authority to (this is not a full listing, rather it is intended to address some common reasons for setting a conference) set a date certain for trial, narrow or expand discovery, hear arguments for the necessity of expert witnesses, order the parties to attend mediation within a certain period of time, appoint a guardian ad litem, commence a social investigation, and/or schedule further proceedings to address contentious issues in the case.

https://youtu.be/BcmRIWMdD5M

A case management conference in a Florida divorce is among the most useful tools in an attorney’s arsenal. It enables attorneys to appear before the judge to explain the other side’s lack of compliance with discovery and/or other required disclosures or filings. A case management conference can also hasten the pace of a divorce or paternity case that has slowed down considerably due to a refusal to set a matter for a hearing or otherwise. It serves as a vehicle for resolving issues by court order.

When Do You Need A Case Management Conference In A Florida
Divorce?

You do not always need a case management conference in a Florida divorce. It is a tool in the toolkit of attorneys that may be used at an appropriate time. For any number of reasons, including slow-peddling and failure to provide mandatory disclosures, a case management conference can serve the purpose of having the court remind the litigants of their responsibilities (such as taking a genetic test in a paternity action). Cases sometimes go the distance (to trial) because the parties feel the need to have the judge decide their case. Similarly, when one party is non-compliant with the courts rules and protocols, a case management conference Florida divorce can make a substantial difference. Timesharing with the children is often a discussion that happens during these conferences.

Jonathan Jacobs is an uncontested divorce attorney in Orlando, Seminole County, Lake County, Osceola County, and anywhere in Central Florida. Call for a consultation today, 407-335-8113.

uncontested divorce attorney Seminole County Florida

Uncontested Divorce Attorney Seminole County Florida

Jonathan Jacobs is an uncontested divorce attorney Seminole County Florida that works closely with spouses seeking an amicable divorce. An amicable divorce can offer many benefits and positive outcomes for couples that prefer to resolve their differences on their own terms. One of the first steps in this process is filling out our client intake form. After you have filled out our Jacobs Law Firm’s introductory client intake form, the first phone consultation is free. We can schedule your phone call quickly and get you on our calendar. Why wait days or weeks when you need answers to your most pressing questions? Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney Orlando and divorce attorney Clermont FL that provides family law consultations and legal services to valued clients. Call today to speak with us, 407-335-8113 or send us a confidential e-mail about your case admin@JJLawFL.com.

An uncontested divorce attorney Seminole County Florida can tell you that uncontested divorces are generally the best kind. Legal fees can be lower, spouses can take their time and get everything right without having to be under pressure at the courthouse, and best of all, it is (with a few mandatory court requirements) on YOUR mutual terms. Why would spouses with a working relationship want the judges or the lawyers to decide their parenting schedules or financial division of marital property? Uncontested divorces often result in less bitterness post-divorce and start a pattern of working together to resolve differences and to manage crises. This spirit of cooperation can be especially important if you have an uncontested divorce with a child together who needs two loving parents, rather than two bickering adults.

What Does An Uncontested Divorce Attorney Seminole County Florida Do?

When you hire the Jacobs Law Firm as your uncontested divorce attorney Seminole County Florida, we will likely draft all of your paperwork, including a marital settlement agreement, parenting plan, and child support guidelines. There may be as many as (estimated) ten or more documents you need to file. The child support guidelines worksheets are best prepared by a family law attorney as they can be especially complex.

We understand that spouses need to save money for their post-divorce life. We can do an installment plans and offer flexible payment options. Please note that there is a filing fee for dissolution/divorce cases in Florida. The fee is $408 (and the court charges a 3.5% statutory convenience fee). Keeping a divorce uncontested may also allow you to save on a summons and service of process.

We offer attention to detail, answers to many of your questions, revisions to your agreements/plans, legal advice, guidance in resolving your issues, and a lot of sensitivity to your situation. If you are considering alimony in your case, plan carefully and thoughtfully.

If you would like to work with us, the Jacobs Law Firm, as your uncontested divorce attorney Seminole County Florida, we will send a contract offer and an invoice and we can get started as soon as you are ready to proceed. This process can unfold primarily on your terms and can be amicable. Call or e-mail us today for the help you need with your uncontested divorce case in Orlando, Kissimmee, Tavares, Sanford, or anywhere else in Central Florida.

Florida Small Claims Court Service of Process

Florida Small Claims Court Service of Process

Florida Small Claims Court Service of Process can be effective in different ways. The Florida Small Claims Rules 2020 provides that service of process can me made by hiring a process server and/or by Certified Mail. If you retain an Orlando small claims attorney or an Osceola small claims attorney, your lawyer will hire a process server for you or attempt to serve the defendant by Certified Mail. If you are in the Central Florida area (Tavares, Kissimmee, Brooksville, Orlando, Sanford, etc.) we welcome you to call us or e-mail us to discuss your small claims case. Our phone number is 407-335-8113 and our e-mail address is admin@jjlawfl.com.

According to the Florida Small Claims Rules 2020 (updated
in some interesting ways), Florida Small Claims Court Service of Process (Small
Claims Rule 7.070) can be made by Certified Mail provided that there is a
return receipt filed with the court that demonstrates the defendant(s) signed,
or that someone in their household authorized to accept the documents has
signed. Specifically, Rule 7.070 states: “Service of process on Florida
residents only may also be effected by Certified Mail, return receipt signed by
the defendant, or someone authorized to receive mail at the residence or
principal place of business of the defendant.” Read carefully. Only Florida
residents may be served this way. In cases where the defendant is a business,
there is some question as to whether actual service of process is required, but
that is an arguable issue of fact and law.

The Florida Small Claims Rules 2020 make it clear that when Florida Small Claims Court Service of Process is done by Certified Mail service, it is generally not valid when the defendant is an out-of-state defendant. Remember, that you may at any time hire a process server to effect service on a defendant. Certified Mail service in small claims court in Florida is often less expensive and easier to do. Of course, the defendant or someone reasonably able to accept the pleadings on their behalf must sign for it, and you must file proof of their acceptance with the court for it to be effective.

Florida Small Claims Rules 2020

Be careful plaintiff. If you are scheduled for pretrial mediation in Florida small claims court, and you are pro se (self-represented), you may encounter problems with Florida Small Claims Court Service of Process  because some clerks of court do not know the Florida Small Claims Rules 2020. Sometimes the clerks will try to cancel mediation claiming the defendant has not been properly served because they only know about service of process by standard means. You may wish to bring to court a copy of Florida Small Claims Rule 7.070 to alert the clerk as to your right to serve the defendant by Certified Mail under the circumstances. Pay careful attention to the Rules and make sure you have complied with them fully. Your case could be delayed or otherwise, for a failure to abide by the Rules.

Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a civil litigation lawyer in Orlando and an Orlando small claims attorney that has worked with many clients in small claims court. We welcome you to call us or e-mail us to discuss your case. 407-335-8113 or admin@jjlawfl.com.

Florida Divorce Jurisdiction

Florida Divorce Jurisdiction

Florida Divorce Jurisdiction is simple in theory and really complicated in practice. There are two kinds of divorce jurisdiction in Florida. The first kind is called Personal Jurisdiction. The second type is known as Subject Matter Jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is often easier for our clients to wrap their arms around. Subject matter jurisdiction is what sometimes causes nonplussed (puzzled) looks on faces. Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando and a divorce attorney in Lake County Florida. When you need answers to your most important questions about your family law case, call us at 407-335-8113 for more information.

Personal Jurisdiction in Florida

First, let’s address the easier of the two Florida divorce jurisdiction requirements. Personal jurisdiction means exactly how it sounds; the court must have jurisdiction (the legal right to make decisions) over the person (husband or wife). Florida Statute 48.193 identifies the behaviors/acts that subject a spouse to divorce jurisdiction in Florida: “(1)(a) A person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, who personally or through an agent…submits himself or herself…to the jurisdiction of the [divorce] courts of this state [Florida]…With respect to a proceeding for alimony, child support, or division of property in connection with an action to dissolve a marriage or with respect to an independent action for support of dependents [paternity lawsuit], maintaining a matrimonial domicile in this state at the time of the commencement of this action or, if the defendant [Respondent] resided in this state preceding the commencement of the action, whether cohabiting during that time or not.” The moral of this story is that personal jurisdiction is the court’s authority over an individual person.

Long-Arm
Jurisdiction in Florida Divorce

Have you ever heard of Long-arm jurisdiction? In plain language, long-arm jurisdiction means your spouse lives out of state and you want to have your divorce heard here in Florida. Long-arm divorce jurisdiction matters when a marriage has been over for some time, and one spouse has moved to Florida, or the other spouse has moved to another state from Florida. You still can have the court take divorce jurisdiction in Florida. Provided one party to the divorce has lived in Florida for at least 6 months and the other party has not served you with divorce pleadings from another state, Florida likely may hear your case. The Florida resident seeking to obtain jurisdiction over an out-of-state spouse will need to hire a process server to serve the respondent where he/she resides.

Divorce jurisdiction in Florida

Subject
Matter Jurisdiction in Florida Divorces

Here is the statutory language regarding Florida divorce jurisdiction that refers to Subject Matter Jurisdiction: “61.021 To obtain a dissolution of marriage, one of the parties to the marriage must reside 6 months in the state before the filing of the petition.” Subject matter jurisdiction is not about serving the other party. Subject matter jurisdiction is about the court’s authority to hear your case. A Florida divorce court may not confer subject matter jurisdiction on spouses just because they consent to Florida hearing their divorce. At a minimum, one party to the divorce must have lived here in Florida for at least six months or else the court most likely will dismiss the case or refuse to issue a final judgment. Subject matter sounds like it means the nature of the case, and in a way it does. The subject of this article is divorce, and a divorce cannot be granted in Florida until the jurisdiction is established by the six-month policy.

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Clermont and a divorce attorney in Orange County Florida. When you need answers to your most important questions about your divorce or paternity/family law case, call us at 407-335-8113.

ultimate decision making authority florida

Ultimate Decision Making Authority Florida

Ultimate decision making authority Florida in a paternity or a divorce parenting plan is about ensuring the best interests of the children are met. Shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision making authority means that according to the parenting plan, one parent will be able to make most if not all major decisions for the children. In this type of an agreement, parental responsibility will be “shared” and the parties must confer about major decisions impacting the minor children, but, ultimately, the parent with ultimate decision making authority over major decisions for the minor children has the authority to make the final decision. There is an important exception/caveat to this authority. Call us at 407-335-8113 to speak with a divorce attorney and a family law attorney today.

An exception to ultimate decision making authority Florida was recently propounded by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in the case of Clarke v. Stofft, 263 So. 3d 84 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019). The Court has added that if a parent is awarded shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision making authority, the parenting plan or the court must specify the areas wherein the parent will have this authority. It is not sufficient that this authority is generally stated without any identification of what those issues are that impact the kids.

Tie-Breaking Vote in Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision Making Authority

Ultimate decision making authority Florida is often colloquially referred to as the “tie-breaking vote” in parental authority designations. This goes back to the principle that both parents must confer (hence why it is shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision making authority) on all major decisions impacting the minor child (at least those specified in the parenting plan), however, one parent has the tie-breaking vote if there is a disagreement.

What are some examples of shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision making authority and the tie-breaking vote being exercised by the parent with the additional authority? Hypothetical: Suppose Mom has ultimate decision making authority and the parenting plan specifies she has this authority over mental-health decisions impacting the child. The minor child has been disruptive at school and may need mental health counseling. Mom tells Dad about this issue, after which the parties spend hours discussing the child’s mental health, and then Dad refuses to consent to allowing the child to be seen by a counselor. Does Mom have the right to allow the child to see the mental health professional without the father’s consent? This is a tricky issue. On the one hand, Mom has the tie-breaking vote and the parenting plan allows her to make this decision. However, Dad’s consent in some circumstances may be required for the child to be seen by a mental health care professional. In a situation like this, if the parties need additional clarification, they may at any time for a motion for clarification or a motion for enforcement for an additional ruling from the court on this important issue. Shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision making authority is not always as clear an issue as one might imagine.

Shared parental responsibility with ultimate decision making authority

Hypothetical 2: Dad has the ultimate decision making authority Florida and tells the Mom that he wants to enroll the minor child in karate or tae kwon do for the child to learn self-defense. Mom disagrees with this and explains her objections to the child being enrolled in an allegedly dangerous sport. Mom refuses to give her consent. However, the parenting plan does not address this specific type of authority over extra-curricular activities. It is possible that despite Dad having the tie-breaking vote, this case could be one that needs to go before the court for further adjudication because the issue of extracurricular activities was not contemplated in the parenting plan and final judgment.  

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando and family law attorney in Clermont Florida. We work with clients when they need help with their divorce and family law cases. Our areas of practice include same sex divorce, paternity petitions, parenting plans, alimony, and child support matters.

parenting plan Florida divorce

Parenting Plan Florida Divorce

A parenting plan in a Florida divorce requires certain standards to be met. These minimum requirements are prescribed by Florida Statute 61.13, Florida’s Timesharing Statute. A parenting plan Florida divorce must meet those minimum standards or else a family law divorce court may reject the proposed plan. The litigants and their family law attorneys may be sent back to the proverbial drawing board to draft a plan that meets the minimum standards outlined in the Statute. Call us for help creating your timesharing agreement in your divorce or paternity case. Dial 407-335-8113.

A Parenting plan in a Florida divorce must describe the role each parent will take in the child’s daily life. In practical terms this may mean a parenting plan Florida divorce should identify which parent will provide child support in the form of the meals, transportation, clothes, bathing, and other forms of moral, emotional and logistical support for the minor child. Some of this information may be specified in the marital settlement agreement.

What Does a Parenting plan in a Florida Divorce Include?

The plan must designate/delineate the time the child will spend with each parent. For example, Parent 1 shall have timesharing (formerly called child custody) with the minor child from Monday after school at 5:30 P.M. until Friday morning school drop-off at 8:30 A.M. Parent 2 shall have all other times. Any reasonable configuration could be appropriate provided that both parents are allowed to have time with the child (frequent and continuing contact to promote the bonds between parents and children and to encourage co-parenting for the benefit of the child).

A parenting plan in a Florida divorce must identify the parent that provides health care (the method or source of health insurance may also be appropriate) for the child. Both parents’ consent should be obtained for mental health treatment if the parties have shared parental responsibility (i.e. both parents must confer regarding all major decisions impacting the child). Mental health treatment can be expensive for families and may be covered by health insurance, but there could still be co-pays. Communicating about these expenses is vital to co-parenting.

You may have heard that a parenting plan Florida divorce must also include school designation authority. This means the plan shall specify which parent’s address will be utilized for school-boundary determination and school registration. This often impacts the timesharing schedule and can majorly influence a parent’s request for relocation.

A parenting plan in a Florida divorce must provide for
the means and methods of communications between parents and children. Will the
parties use Skype, Google Duo, FaceTime, text messaging, phone calls, letters,
and/or any other form(s) of communication? The parents and the court must know.
The plan should also incorporate the fact that both parents may share in
school, health, and other pertinent records for the child.

One other minimum requirement worth referencing is that
the parents shall have shared parental responsibility unless shared parental
responsibility would pose a detriment to the child. For example, if one parent
has been convicted of domestic violence, a rebuttable presumption is created in
favor of the non-convicted parent having sole parental responsibility.

Ultimately, a parenting plan Florida divorce is about the best interests of the child. This phrase is rather generalized, but it comes down to what is best for the child’s safety, health, welfare, security, and well-being.

Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce attorney in Orlando and a divorce attorney in Clermont Florida that works with clients on their family law and paternity cases involving minor children to achieve the best outcome for timesharing and child support.