Articles Posted in Timesharing

whisper.jpgAs a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer I am familiar with the many issues that surround custody disputes. I also know what Jacksonville Judges absolutely hate to see in child custody cases. One of the main things that divorcing parents in contested cases have a tendency to do is disparage the other parent. This is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Jacqueline Harounian speaks on this topic in her Huffington Post article titled “How To Lose Child Custody“. Harounian states, “A parent who is constantly denigrating the other parent, leaking anger, and negatively influencing the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent will be reprimanded. In extreme cases, there will be allegations of parental alienation and interference with parenting time. Many judges will consider a change of custody if this type of interference is shown.Bottom line: if you want to show the Judge that you will promote the best interests of your child, then you need to show that you recognize the value of the child’s relationship with your ex, and will take the steps to encourage that relationship. Of course, when you are going through an adversarial proceeding with someone you don’t like very much, it can be very hard to put those feelings aside for the sake of your child. But that is exactly what you need to do if you want to prevail in your case.”

If you’re considering divorce and live in the Jacksonville area contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.

Thumbnail image for Judge Adams.jpgA few days ago I wrote about the Texas Family Law Judge, William Adams, being caught on video beating his daughter. The video showed Judge Adams beating his then 16 year-old daughter, Hilary Adams with a belt. The video has caught the attention of news agencies across the country and has outrage the public at large.

Since the video has been released Judge Adams has been served with a restraining order that temporarily terminates his visitation with his younger daughter. Judge Adam’s, ex-wife, Hallie Adams is reported to fear that her daughter is not safe spending time with Judge Adams right now.

A hearing has been scheduled for November 21st to determine whether Judge Adam’s visitation with his younger daughter should continue to be denied or should be supervised by a third party.

According to a recent news report, parents are increasingly arguing the issue of child obesity in child custody cases. In many states, including Florida, family courts are often burdened with deciding the rights of parents following a divorce. Couples should figure these terms out on their own, but the court may, in some instances, have to make the decision for them. In Jacksonville the court makes this decision based on the best interest of the child standard and considers arguments from both sides as to which parent should get which rights.

Parents are generally free to offer any sort of evidence (provided it complies with the rules of evidence) for the court to consider, and some parents are beginning to argue that the other parent has contributed to the child’s obesity. They can show this in any number of ways; for example, by referencing the child’s weight, by showing the sort of diet the other parent provides the child, or showing the other parent lets the child sit inside to play video games all day. For example, one case from Oregon saw a judge limit rights of a parent who was providing fast-food meals to the child for nearly every single meal.

It is important to note that a child’s obesity is just one factor the court might consider. But if a child’s parent is encouraging unhealthy behavior, there are likely other issues to consider as well. If you are going through a child custody case or a divorce, contact a Florida Family Law Attorney to discuss your case.

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.

As a Jacksonville Beach Child Custody Lawyer, I will, on occasion, have clients ask whether the Judge overseeing their divorce will likely grant them and their soon-to-be ex-spouse 50/50 timesharing (commonly known as custody). The law surrounding this question is convoluted at best.

Basically, Florida law has established a presumption against ordering rotating or 50/50 timesharing. With this presumption Florida courts have traditionally not ordered 50/50 timesharing unless the court can find that exceptional circumstances exist which make such a timesharing arrangement in the best interests of the child.

However, in 1997 the Florida Legislature enacted section 61.121, Florida Statutes, which states as follows: “The court may order rotating custody if the court finds that rotating custody is in the best interests of the child.” And looking just at the plain language of this Statute it appears as though there is no presumption against 50/50 timesharing.

whos your daddy.jpgAs a Jacksonville Paternity Lawyer, I often have cases where the parties are not married but they have a child in common. In my experience many men falsely believe simply because their name is on the birth certificate that they are legally the fathers. In Florida this is simply not the case!

Under Florida law, until a Judge signs an Order which determines you are the father, then the child is NOT legally yours. As such, you have no legal rights to the child for timesharing or parental rights of any kind.

In order to be recognized as the legal father in Florida it is necessary to file what is called a Petition for Determination of Paternity. Paternity actions are brought before the court in order to assist a parent in acknowledging and protecting important time-sharing and child support rights and/or obligations.

dress.jpgHiring a good Florida Family Law Attorney is one of the more important decisions you can make in your family law issue. A good attorney will use the most persuasive means to advocate your cause.

Sometimes, however, people overlook a very important aspect of persuasion: your attire. As the client, you want to give the court the best impression you can. This means you need to dress conservatively. The court may not say anything if you show up in jeans and a cut-off shirt; however, the court definitely does notice it. You want to make a good impression, so wear something you might wear to church or to a nice restaurant.

Most of all, you want to convey respect to the court. Look presentable. The court might not notice if you got a new haircut, but it will definitely notice if you just rolled out of bed. Being presentable to the court will help your Florida Family Law Attorney persuade the court to your side. Contact an attorney to discuss any family law issues you may have.

date.jpegClients often ask me whether it will hurt their divorce case if they date someone before their divorce is final. I tend to tell them, it depends on whether or not children are involved in their divorce.

If children are involved, especially young children, I think it is probably best to hold off on dating. This is especially true if you want to introduce the children to your new significant other. This could cause issues with the children and your soon to be ex-spouse.

However, if no children are involved in the divorce I don’t think dating during the divorce process will necessarily harm the case in a negative way. But I still think it should be done discreetly.

kids_divorce.pngThe State of Florida requires all parents seeking dissolution of marriage to complete a parenting course before granting a pending divorce. Said parenting course is designed to educate parents on the complex and challenging issues that often arise through the divorce process with parents and children alike.

In Duval County the required course is the Children First in Divorce Program offered through Hope Haven’s Children’s Clinic. Both parents are required to complete the course but do not have to do so together. Also, many Judges require completion of the above mentioned course in paternity actions.

If you are a parent considering divorce in Duval County and have questions regarding what else Florida requires in a dissolution of marriage proceeding contact a Duval County Divorce and Child Custody Attorney today.

hurricane.jpgWhile Hurricane Irene brought minimal damage to Florida, Floridians are well aware of the destruction and disruption such disasters can cause. Despite this, many parents fail to take such disasters into account when creating their timeshare schedule.

For example, let’s say you and your spouse split timesharing throughout the year. You have timesharing for a few weeks during the summer, but your spouse has majority timeshairng. Unfortunately, a hurricane arrives and cuts your visit a week short. You were really looking forward to spending as much time as you could with your children, but your spouse is not keen on allowing you to keep the kids past your court-ordered date.

If your agreement doesn’t mention natural disasters, you might have to petition the court to allow you to keep your kids a few extra days. Doing so isn’t free, and this may deter many parents from trying to get relief in court.

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