February 2012 Archives

February 29, 2012

Consult with a Family Law Lawyer

free.jpgJacksonville Divorce, custody and family disputes are highly emotional and important matters that we at Apple Law Firm take special pride in handling. Regardless of the circumstances, the break up of any marriage involves many legal issues that cannot be overlooked and must be thoroughly researched and evaluated so that our clients obtain a fair and equitable result upon the termination of their marriage.

Our Jacksonville Florida Divorce and Family Law Attorneys recognize that a divorce or child custody issue can create stress and cause individuals to take unrealistic positions on various topics. We strive to open lines of communication and help families work through this difficult process while creating an environment that allows children to enjoy a normal and healthy lifestyle. Whether you need an uncontested divorce or just enforcement of a previous agreement we are able to help preserve and enforce your rights in Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns County.


If you are considering divorce or have just been served with divorce papers contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer at (904) 685-1200 to schedule a free consultation.

February 28, 2012

Don't Like Your Name? Change your name.

name change.jpgJacksonville area residents seeking to change their name may do so by filing a Petition for Change of Name with the court in the county in which they reside. However, there are a few hoops that must be jumped prior to the court granting a name change. In particular, fingerprints must be submitted for a state and national criminal records check. In Jacksonville the name change petitioner can have their fingerprints scanned at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for a nominal fee of $5.

Also, the petitioner must make sure the Petition is verified and show numerous other things, including: the Petitioner is a bona fide resident of the county where the name change is sought, whether the Petitioner has ever been adjudicated bankrupt and if so, when and where, and whether any money judgment has ever been entered against the Petitioner

After everything is filed and received by the clerk's office a hearing on the Petition can be scheduled. The hearing consists of the Petitioner giving brief testimony to a Jacksonville Family Law Judge. If there are no issues the Judge will sign a final judgment, making the name change official.

Should you desire any further information on this topic please contact a Jacksonville Name Change Attorney. Consultations are free and night and weekend appointments are available.

February 27, 2012

Child Custody and Family Law

gps.jpgAs a Jacksonville area Family Law Attorney I get an exorbitant amount of inquires regarding child custody issues. However, not all of the individuals posing such inquires are the biological parents of the minor child or children. Many aunts, uncles, grandparents and other extended family members seek to gain custody of a family member's minor child or children.

Many of these extended family members have been caring for a minor child or minor children for sometime and have run into many obstacles when trying to make decisions concerning them, whether they are decisions for education or healthcare. Fortunately, the state of Florida has a law on the books that deals with this issue. Florida Statute 751, titled Temporary Custody of Minor Children by Extended Family is the governing law. The purpose of the law is as follows:

(1) Recognize that many minor children in this state live with and are well cared for by members of their extended families. The parents of these children have often provided for their care by placing them temporarily with another family member who is better able to care for them. Because of the care being provided the children by their extended families, they are not dependent children.

(2) Provide for the welfare of a minor child who is living with extended family members. At present, such family members are unable to give complete care to the child in their custody because they lack a legal document that explains and defines their relationship to the child, and they are unable effectively to consent to the care of the child by third parties.

(3) Provide temporary or concurrent custody of a minor child to a family member having physical custody of the minor child to enable the custodian to:

(a) Consent to all necessary and reasonable medical and dental care for the child, including nonemergency surgery and psychiatric care.
(b) Secure copies of the child's records, held by third parties, that are necessary for the care of the child, including, but not limited to:
1. Medical, dental, and psychiatric records.
2. Birth certificates and other records.
3. Educational records.
(c) Enroll the child in school and grant or withhold consent for a child to be tested or placed in special school programs, including exceptional education.
(d) Do all other things necessary for the care of the child.

Be aware, there are specific requirements that must be met when an extended family member petitions a court for custody of a minor child. It is important to make sure everything is done properly and effectively. Thus, it is both beneficial and wise to consult with a Jacksonville area Family Law Attorney before taking any steps.

February 24, 2012

Smokers and Child Custody - Beware!

Smokers Beware! If it wasn't bad enough that smoking harms your health, appearance and wallet; it can also harm your chances of winning a child custody battle. So if all the other harmful effects of smoking haven't motivated you to kick your habit maybe the thought of losing time with your child or children will.

Washingtontimes.com posted an article on this exact topic titled, "Smokers losing child custody cases a growing trend". The author of the article, Myra Fleischer, describes how more and more states are factoring in "cigarette smoking in making decisions about who gets custody of minor children". Specifically, Fleischer, lists results from a survey conducted by Action on Smoking and Health, which are as follows:

In at least 18 states, courts have ruled that subjecting a child to tobacco smoke is a factor which should be considered in deciding custody.

No judge and no court has ever ruled that subjecting a child to tobacco smoke should be ignored in deciding custody.

In thousands of cases, courts have issued orders prohibiting smoking in the presence of a child, especially in vehicles.

In some cases the orders prohibit smoking in a home 24 (or even 48) hours before the child arrives.

In some cases, parents have lost custody or had visitation reduced because they subjected a child to tobacco smoke.

Existing court orders regarding custody, visitation, etc. can often be modified if a child is being subjected to tobacco smoke.

Courts sometimes consider the smoking habits of others who may have contact with the child, such as grandparents, friends, and "significant others" when making custody decisions.

As a Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney I am well aware of the factors Jacksonville Judges take into consideration when making a child custody determination. Smoking is definitely one of them. Jacksonville Judges as well as all Florida Family Law Judges look to the best interest of the child standard when making custody determinations. So anything that can be harmful or detrimental to a child will be factored into a Judge's decision.

Fighting in a child custody battle? Contact a Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and options.

February 23, 2012

Is Divorce Only Available to the Wealthy?

empty pockets.jpgThe economic downturn has brought about fear for many American families. Many fear the possibilities of foreclosure and/or bankruptcy. Families have thus started tightening the reigns on frivolous spending. Many families can no longer afford the luxuries of week long vacations, shopping sprees and eating out.

This turn in financial ability begs the question, "is divorce now a luxury many can no longer afford"? Judith Acosta wrote an article on Huffington Post titled, "The Luxury of Divorce" broaching this very topic. In the article Acosta quotes Joy Joseph, a White Plains, New York attorney, who stated, "for people of moderate means, the economy has had a big impact. It is very expensive to get divorced. Only a part of it is attorney's fees. The bigger part is that the assets are split or devalued in the process. Usually that's the house, in which they have very little equity. Plus there's the risk of losing the partner's health benefits. They're afraid to live uninsured. So, they cling to an unhappy marriage because they can't afford to leave."

As a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer I have observed the same issues with married couples in the Jacksonville and surrounding areas. Many married couples seeking a divorce are concerned with what will happen with the house if their mortgage is under water. Who will be liable for the deficit if both parties' names are on the mortgage? As a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer I know there is no simple answer, it simply depends case by case.

My observations as well as Joy Joseph's above quoted statement seem to be valid per statistics laid out by the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy. The statistics show that "for every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate, the divorce rate goes down by 1 percent".

Although the economic down turn has taken a toll on many divorce seeking couples and their finances a divorce can still be in the cards. Contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer today to see if you can afford a divorce. Free consultations and payment plans are available.

February 22, 2012

When Does Child Support End?

money.jpgMany parents in the Jacksonville, Florida area are under the impression that child support is paid throughout a child's college eduction or until a child reaches the age of 21. Although this is true in other states across the country, it is simple not the case in Florida. In Florida, child support terminates when a child reaches the legal age of majority, 18. There is no statute or case law in Florida stating that a Parent has a duty to pay child support or help with a child's college expenses.

However, there are always exceptions to any rule. For example, in Florida if a child becomes incapacitated or otherwise disabled and thus remains a dependent child, child support will more than likely continue. Conversely, if a child becomes emancipated through court proceedings or joins the military child support will terminate.

Whether child support was determined via a divorce action or a paternity action the termination date should be set out in the final judgment. If there is no termination date specified the law will dictate and the child support will terminate upon the child's eighteenth birthday, unless, of course, the above mentioned exceptions apply.

However, it is important to take into consideration that parents can agree to a different termination date. Parents can agree to what ever terms they desire in a contract as long as it is legal.

To learn more about child support termination, child support guidelines and child support in general contact a Jacksonville Family Lawyer today!

February 21, 2012

Changes May Be Coming to Alimony Laws

law.jpgThe Florida legislature is currently dealing with two bills dealing with alimony, and the bills may bring a dramatic change to some of the rules. Most of the changes are coming to long-term marriages -- those that last 17 years or longer. The changes are evidently designed to make things more predictable, though the actual effects remain to be seen. The overall thrust of the changes, however, may make it more difficult for the spouse receiving alimony.

One of the changes may be purely rhetorical. Currently, divorce after a long-term marriage may lead to what is called "permanent alimony," which is exactly what it sounds like: it is designed so one party pays the other on a permanent basis. The changes, however, now refer to permanent alimony as "long-term" alimony, suggesting that courts need to decide the duration of the alimony.

This might be beneficial for parties currently paying alimony but considering retirement. In fact, one of the other changes addresses this problem head on. Imagine you have been divorced for some time and are approaching the age of retirement. You are required to pay a certain amount each month in alimony and are afraid retirement will make you unable to complete this obligation. Under the present law, it is not always possible to lower alimony payments due to a decrease in income from retirement. The new law allows courts to consider retirement as a legal "change of circumstance," making it easier to reduce alimony payments in such situations.

Another change updates a change that was made in 2010. Prior to 2010, alimony payments ended when the receiving party got married, but did not end if the receiving party was simply cohabitating with another person. This meant that a person could move in with a new significant other, buy a house, open a joint checking account, and do many of the things that married couples do without actually getting married -- all while still receiving alimony. The legislature recognized this and passed a law allowing courts to reduce or terminate alimony if the receiving party was in a "supportive relationship" with a significant other.

With this change in place, courts began cutting off alimony payments for cohabitating couples. However, some of the couples split up, and courts reinstated alimony. This makes life uncertain -- unfairly, some would argue -- for the spouse paying alimony. The new law prevents courts from reinstating alimony in these scenarios.

The new laws are not yet in effect, and in fact have not yet passed the state senate (the bill has passed the house, however). Nevertheless, changes in the law almost always bring unexpected results. If you have questions or are considering divorce, contact a Florida Family Law Attorney. A Family Law Attorney here in Jacksonville can help you through this difficult time.

February 20, 2012

How Long Does It Take To Finalize A Divorce

time.jpgAs a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney I've noticed one of the first questions new clients ask me is, "how long is it going to take for my divorce to become finalized." Unfortunately, there is no one answer to that question.

A divorce can last as long as the parties want it to last. It truly depends on the issues of the case and how willing the parties are to compromise and communicate openly with their respective attorneys.

As a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney, I have had all of the required paperwork and signatures completed within a week for simple divorces that do not involve children. However, Florida Statute 61.19 requires a period of 20 days to elapse from the time the Petition is filed to the time a Final Judgment can be entered.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Jacksonville, Florida and are concerned about how long it will take before it will be finalized, contact a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney today.

February 17, 2012

Adultery and Divorce

cheater.jpgFlorida is a "no fault" divorce state. This means that either spouse may seek a divorce without showing cause for the desired separation. The spouse seeking a divorce has the option to simply claim the marriage is "irretrievably broken." Generally, Jacksonville Florida courts are not concerned with which party played the greater role in causing the divorce.

As a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney, I am often asked how a cheating spouse factors into a divorce in Florida. While adulterous conduct does not factor into the court's decision to grant a divorce, it can impact other important issues raised in a divorce.
In child custody battles, a court considers the "moral fitness" of a parent seeking custody. Evidence of adulterous conduct can lower a party's level of "moral fitness," and decrease his or her chances of receiving custody. However, it is not an absolute bar to child custody. Often times, a larger impact will be whether the adultery had an adverse impact on the child.

Additionally, Florida Law stipulates that adultery is a factor to be considered in determining the amount of alimony awarded. In short, a higher frequency of adulterous conduct by a cheating spouse can lead to a larger amount of alimony he or she will have to pay.

If you are contemplating a divorce in Jacksonville, Florida or have concerns about the impact of adulterous behavior on your divorce, contact a Florida Divorce Attorney today!

February 16, 2012

Parental Rights Of Pregnant Minor Child

pregnant teen.jpgIf you are parent of a teenage girl in Florida, I am sure you have seen the show 16 and Pregnant, documenting the tribulations of teenage pregnancy. Some of these teens contemplate abortion. It is important to know that in Florida the parents of a teen who is pregnant have rights when it comes to the abortion of their soon to be grandchild.

The Florida legislature recently passed a bill that will go into effect on October 1, 2011, giving more rights to these parents during the occurrence of their minor daughter's abortion. One of the rights in this bill is the right to be notified. A physician administering the abortion must give the parents of a minor "constructive" notice by way of first-class mail AND by certified mail.

Please contact a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer for more information on this or similar issues.

February 15, 2012

Name Change required for Drivers Licenses and other Benefits

Who Are You.jpgNewly married or divorced individuals can simply have their name changed through their marriage certificate or their divorce decree. However, if someone wants to change to a new name for other reasons, such as they simply don't like their birth name, a court order is required.

The process to have an adult name change in Jacksonville involves; filing a Petition with the court, having a criminal background check done, having fingerprints taken, and appearing before a judge at a final hearing.

Should you be a divorcee and did not have your maiden name restored in the divorce decree you still need to file a Name Change Petition with the court but you will not need to do a criminal background check.

Should you want to change your name contact a Jacksonville Name Change Lawyer today for assistance with the process.

February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day and Divorce

valentines day.jpgWhen thinking of February many people think of Valentine's Day and all the romantic frills associated with the day such as, chocolates, flowers, and more. Well it turns out that February should also be known for being the most active divorce month.

Other interesting divorce statistics include:

The average cost of divorce is $18,400.

The least active divorce month is October.

Men and women in the South have the highest divorce rates while those in the Northeast have the lowest.

Average length of divorce process is 8 months.

Some of the above listed information may be surprising. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you are considering divorce it can easily cost less than $18,400 and last shorter than 8 months. If you want a quick, easy and reasonably priced divorce, call a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.

February 13, 2012

Who Should be the Decision Maker for the children?

fork in road.jpgWhen divorcing in Jacksonville, Florida, couples have one big decision to make regarding how their divorce process will play out. Divorcing couples can choose to go down the often less stressful and short road of an uncontested divorce by deciding they will be the decision maker in the divorce process or they can decide to go down the long and often tumultuous road of a contested divorce giving full decision making power to the Family Law Judge.

If divorcing couples are smart they will save time and money by choosing to attend mediation (which is almost always court ordered in Jacksonville, Florida) and come to an amicable agreement in regards to the splitting of assets and debts and time with any minor children. If parties choose to take this route their divorce can be completed within a matter of a few months.

However, taking the uncontested/mediating avenue is not always an option. Sometimes parties can just not agree. After all, roughly 10% of divorces end in a trial. When this occurs a Judge decides the parties fate. It has been my experience, as a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer, that neither party is truly happy with the Judge's decision. Not only may the parties' be unhappy with the Judge's ruling, they likely spent a substantial amount of money in attorney's fees and the process could have lasted many many months.

If you are considering divorce in Jacksonville, Florida and believe you and your spouse can choose the path of least resistance contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer to discuss the possibility of an uncontested divorce.

February 10, 2012

9th Circuit Rules 2008 Proposition against Gay Marriage Unconsitutional

gay marriage constitution.jpgToday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the August 2010 District Court decision that ruled Proposition 8 in California is unconstitutional. Prop. 8 is the 2008 measure that stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry in California.

While this is great for people within the 9th circuit, those of us including those living in Florida who are not within the jurisdiction of the court must rely on potentially differing interpretations of laws within our states.

The Court also rejected Prop 8 supporters' argument that Judge Vaughn Walker (who presided over the District Court proceedings) should have recused himself from the case because he is gay and in a same-sex relationship.

The court ruled that Proposition 8 violates the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution because it "serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples."

Opponents of same-sex marriage remain vigilant in their fight. However, a recent CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll taken in September 2011 found that public opinion has shifted nationwide since 2009. The poll reports that 53% of people believe that same-sex marriages should be recognized as valid and 46% are still opposed.

The ruling today is significant and is the biggest step that the American judicial system has taken to end the discrimination against men and women in same-sex relationships.

February 9, 2012

Stress and Seperation

custody.jpgTimesharing after a divorce is often the most highly contentious and stressful issue that can stem from a couple separating. Parents and courts alike are very concerned with the child(ren) maintaining a loving and healthy relationship with both parents. In order to maintain such a relationship many parents going through a divorce would like to see an order granting 50/50 timesharing.

However, as a Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney I am aware that the courts often discourage 50/50 timesharing arrangements. Why is this so? Well, many children young and old experience high stress levels and difficulty handling the disruptions that comes along with switching back and forth between mom and dad.

If you are a parent seeking divorce and worry how a timesharing schedule might end up in your case contact a Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney today for the information you may need in developing the best schedule for you and your child(ren).

February 9, 2012

LGBT Divorce in Florida? California Same-sex Divorce

Not only will Florida perform same-sex marriages, but there is no method for a legally married same-sex couple who has moved to Florida to obtain a divorce in Florida courts.

Same-sex marriage is not recognized in very many states, but evidence is showing that people are increasingly receptive to allowing same-sex marriage. With any marriage, things can go wrong, and divorce is sometimes necessary.

Unfortunately, those states that do not recognize same-sex marriage generally do not recognize same-sex divorce (this includes Florida). This is because granting a same-sex couple a divorce is basically a legal recognition that the couple was married in the first place -- something these states aren't ready to accept. If you are in one of these states, getting a divorce might require establishing residency in a state that recognizes marriage, meaning you'd have to move to that state for six months, a year, or even more.

If you were married in California, however, you may have a new option. California's governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that allows couples who were married in California to file for divorce in California -- even if the couple no longer lives there. For example, if you were married in California's Orange County, moved to Florida's Orange County, and are now seeking a divorce, the California County that married you still has jurisdiction to grant your divorce.

While this is good news for couples who were married in California, couples married in other states will still have trouble securing a divorce. If you and your partner have decided to draw your relationship to a close, talk with a Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Attorney to discuss some of your options.

February 8, 2012

How Divorce Lawyers Handle Their Own Divorce.

argue.jpgHave you been wronged in your marriage and want to file for divorce? Do you want to make the divorce process as miserable and prolonged as possible for the spouse who wronged you? As a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer I recommend thinking past your anger and looking at the bigger picture. Divorce is obviously an unpleasant procedure, but divorcing couples should consider doing what divorce lawyers do in their own divorces.

Divorce lawyers going through a personal divorce do their damnedest to stay out of the courtroom. They know all to well that no one wins when divorcing couples go all the way to trial. They know going to court, "wastes energy, time, and money and is a last resort; it is something they will consider only when there is no other choice."

Divorce lawyers have vicariously experienced their client's frustrations during the divorce process. One such frustration is the client's desire to inform the Family Law Judge of all the injustices, dishonesty, betrayal, adultery, etc... However, in reality, if the client is given the opportunity to testify in front of the Judge they are merely allowed to speak when answering a question posed to them. There is no, "Judge he did this to me and didn't do this, that or the other." Oh, and of course, the rules of evidence will only allow that certain testimony be presented.

Divorce lawyers are also aware that divorce litigation may bring about a legal resolution but may cause significant family issues. Further, hostile and unnecessary litigation can cause emotional trauma to parties and their children that can last for decades.

Thus, it is not surprising that over 90% percent of all divorce cases settle before trial. Most settle before or at mediation. In Jacksonville, Family Law Judges almost always order parties to attend mediation prior to going to trial. As a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer, I know this is the best chance to settle the case with both parties being as satisfied as possible.

To learn more about how to settle a divorce case before going to trial contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer with Apple Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.

February 8, 2012

Can I be a Guardian? What are the Requirements?

Elderly couple - sad.jpgWho is qualified to be a guardian over a Florida resident?

Any interested person who is a resident of Florida may be considered to act as a guardian for another person who lives in Florida, if they meet certain criteria. A guardian must be over the age of 18 and have no legal disability.

A nonresident may serve as guardian of a resident ward if he or she is: a descendant (child, grandchild, great granchild) of the ward; an adopted child or adoptive parent of the ward, or a spouse, sibling, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew of the ward, or a spouse of a person qualified under this section.

A person will be disqualified to act as guardian of a resident ward if he or she has been convicted of a felony and his or her civil rights have not been restored. Even if civil rights have been restored, the judge residing over the guardianship proceeding has the discretion to order a criminal background of one seeking guardianship.

A person will be disqualified if there has ever been a judicial determination of abuse, abandonment or neglect against a child, or if one has ever been found guilty of any offense under Florida Statute 435.04, including any offense relating to adult abuse, neglect or exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult.

A person will be disqualified from serving as a guardian, if that person provides substantial services to the proposed ward in a professional or business capacity, or any creditor of the proposed ward, may not be appointed guardian and retain that previous professional or business relationship.

No person who provides health care service to the ward may be appointed guardian of the ward, unless the court finds that there is no conflict of interest with the ward.

To learn more about whether you might qualify to act as guaridan over a ward in the State of Florida, contact a Jacksonville Guardianship Lawyer.

February 7, 2012

Divorce Hotel? A two day divorce

hotel.jpgEver hear of a "Divorce Hotel?" No. Well neither had I until I read a recent Fox News.com article titled, "Dutch 'Divorce Hotel' Helps Couples Untie The Knot."

Apparently, a new divorce concept has developed in the Netherlands that is catching a lot of attention across the globe. The concept, "Divorce Hotel" assists divorcing spouses by arranging a weekend with a mediator and numerous lawyers that will help the divorcing couple determine the splitting of assets and debts, alimony payments, child support payments and child custody. According to the concepts creator, Jim Halfens, "when they leave the hotel, all work is done."

This is an intriguing idea for many reasons. Divorce proceedings can lead to extremely high legal fees and court costs and can last for many months. The "Divorce Hotel" creates an avenue that can cost much less than a traditional divorce and a time span as short as a two day hotel stay.

If you are considering divorce and are looking for a quick and easy resolution contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer to discuss the appropriate avenue for your situation.

February 6, 2012

What is a Parenting Plan?

Parenting plan.jpgA Parenting Plan is a document that governs the way divorcing parties relate to one another about the decisions made regarding their children. A Parenting Plan includes a time-sharing schedule that dictates when the parties' children will be spending time with each parent, including overnights, weekends, holidays and summer breaks. Also included in a Parenting Plan is how often and the method of technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the children.

If a Parenting Plan can be developed and agreed to by the divorcing parents then it only needs the approval of the Court to become binding. However, if the divorcing parents cannot agree, the schedule will be established by the Court's determination.

If you have questions regarding an upcoming divorce or a current parenting plan contact a knowledgable Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer today.

February 3, 2012

Premarital Agreements: $500

got prenup.jpgPremarital Agreements, also known as prenups, have been around for over 200 years and with divorce rates the way they are I can't imagine them going anywhere anytime soon.

In Jacksonville, Florida, premarital agreements are governed by Florida Statute 61.079. This statute is often referred to as the "Uniform Premarital Agreement Act". Under this act a premarital agreement is defined as, "an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage".

As a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer I assist soon to be married clients with the process of developing a prenup to their specifications. Should you and your soon to be spouse be considering entering into a premarital agreement contact a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer for further advice and information.

Prices for basic premarital agreements start at $500

February 2, 2012

Parental Alienation and risks

parental alienation.jpgIn many of my Jacksonville divorce cases I run into the all to common problem of Parental Alienation Syndrome. ParentalAlienation.org defines Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) as "a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrination and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent."

In my past Child Custody Cases in Jacksonville, I have unfortunately seen parents make degrading remarks about the other parent to the child, make false accusations to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and refuse to comply with time-sharing agreements.

In cases where Parental Alienation is an issue the Court needs to be made aware of what exactly is occurring and the severity of the problem in order for the Court devise a remedy.

Contact a Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer today for further information.

February 1, 2012

Family law and Divorce

Jacksonville Divorce, custody and family disputes are highly emotional and important matters that we at Apple Law Firm take special pride in handling. Regardless of the circumstances, the break up of any marriage involves many legal issues that cannot be overlooked and must be thoroughly researched and evaluated so that our clients obtain a fair and equitable result upon termination of their marriage.

Our Jacksonville Florida Divorce and Family law Attorneys recognize that a divorce or child custody issues can create stress and cause individuals to take unrealistic positions on various topics. We strive to open lines of communication and help families work through this difficult process while creating an environment that allows children to have a normal healthy lifestyle. Whether you need an uncontested divorce or just enforcement of a previous agreement we are able to help preserve and enforce your rights in Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns County.


If you are considering divorce or have just been filed with divorce papers contact a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney at (904) 685-1200 to schedule a free consultation. Weekend and night appointments are available.