Tag: child support

How To Enforce A Child Custody Agreement In Florida

How to Enforce a Child Custody Agreement in Florida

If you need legal help from a divorce and family law/paternity attorney to answer how to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida, call the Jacobs Law Firm for help and guidance when you need it the most. Dial 407-335-8113 today. Your attorney may file a Motion for Enforcement (titled a Motion to Enforce Parenting Plan Florida or a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.960). This Motion does not need to include a count for contempt, though many argue it should. Consider several common situations among parents and decide how you may choose to respond. Placing yourself in the shoes of another parent is a challenge. It is only natural that the further removed two parents and/or former spouses are from their romantic relationship, there can be a degradation of trust about one another’s character and parental abilities and intentions. Over time, many parents see their communications dwindle and the resulting lack of information sharing may cause unforeseeable problems.

How To Enforce A Child Custody Agreement In Florida

How to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida is by considering whether you are prepared for additional litigation in your divorce or paternity case when there are minor children being affected. A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt is designed to help a parent enforce a court-ordered parenting plan. A court has the discretion to enforce a parenting plan, and in doing so, may also hold the other parent in contempt which may involve certain financial or other severe penalties.

A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in Florida

A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in Florida is initiated by a parent that wants to inform the family law circuit court about the other parent’s inability, unwillingness, or outright refusal to comply with their Florida parenting plan. Timesharing is seldom honored to the letter of a parenting plan because life happens and circumstances change. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, clients may want to examine a few hypothetical situations and assess how you would respond. How to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida? Would you file the Motion for Enforcement only, or do you believe a count for contempt is the only way to assure the other parent’s compliance?

A Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in Florida

In scenario #1, Parent 2 is supposed to drop the child off every Friday after school to Parent 1’s house by 6:00 P.M. Instead, Parent 2 brings the minor child home and Parent 2’s girlfriend supervises the child until 8:00 at night before transporting the child to Parent 1’s house. Parent 1 is suspicious of Parent 2’s girlfriend and does not trust her driving safety. Would you file a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt?

In scenario #2, Parent 1 is supposed to follow the clause in the parenting plan about a right of first refusal. Instead, Parent 1 often leaves the minor child at home overnight while Parent 1 goes on a work trip or engages in social activities at night. Parent 2 does not want their child left with a babysitter overnight and wants Parent 1 to abide by the parenting plan by offering them the right to timesharing when Parent 2 is away. Would you file a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt in this situation to enforce the child custody agreement?

In scenario #3, Parent 1 does not allow Parent 2 to have telephone or video communications with their kids even though the parenting plan clearly specifies this should happen every night at 7:30 P.M. Would you choose to file a Motion for Civil Enforcement/Contempt to ask the court to enforce this portion of the parenting plan?

During your hearing on enforcement and contempt, the judge will hear evidence, the testimony of the parties and their witnesses, and will decide how best to resolve the issues before the divorce or family law court. If the court determines the parenting plan has been violated, the court may order the offending party to pay for the movant’s attorney fees, order make-up timesharing, impose jail time, modify the parenting plan, and a host of other remedies may be applied.

How to enforce a child custody agreement in Florida is by standing up for your rights as a responsible parent. Florida family law courts generally prefer that litigants resolve their own differences and work together to parent for the best interest of their children. When there is no reasonable alternative and the facts allow for a good faith Motion For Civil Enforcement/Contempt, call the Jacobs Law Firm paternity attorney Orlando and family lawyer Orlando for help.

Time sharing and child support in Florida

Time Sharing and Child Support in Florida

Time Sharing and Child Support in Florida

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

Timesharing

How Are Time sharing and child support in Florida Connected?

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

Educating Clients about Time sharing and child support in Florida

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