Articles Posted in Visitation

Very often a client will tell me he or she wants the best possible outcome in a divorce case. He or she may want the other Parent to have diminished time with their child. Much of the time this parent thinks they are protecting their child from what they see to be a bad person. They have confused their failed relationship with this person with a failed parent, which is an entirely different thing. I take a different approach…is my client’s position a reasonable one that I can justify to the Judge? The one issue that must remain on a client’s mind is this: Will a third party (read the Judge) find my position reasonable?

I find this one of the most important and effective of tools to obtain good and fair results in the courtroom, even when I can’t achieve every single one of my client’s goals. Reasonableness speaks to credibility. It also assumes that possibility of some win-win, and enables the Court to feel it has achieved substantial justice. Judges don’t generally like giving one side everything they ask for, unless of course they are really displeased at the other side.

By staking out a position that the judge will find thoughtful and reasonsable, you may gain wiggle room in other areas that you deem to be more important. Winning in Family Court means everyone walks out a winner. And a very happy Judge.

During the holidays, the stress level for many Florida families inevitably goes up. With the much of Florida still stuck in the 2009 recession, unemployment still very high and the foreclosure rate in and around Jacksonville still at record levels, when family problems creep into the picture, stress can go through the roof. Add a separation or dissolution of marriage to the picture and the situation can seem unbearable.

Competing parents can make this unseeingly unbearable situation far worse by fighting over sharing time with their children. But a wise parent, with their eye on the long term will add perspective to their thought process. How do you add that perspective? By remembering two things. First, just because the holidays do not seem like a joyous time right now, does not mean that your children feel the same way. Find ways to hide this stress from your children. Don’t make them associate the holidays with economic and marital stress.

Second, instead of fighting with the competing parent, why not talk things through? Most parents don’t want their children to go through the stress of a divorce and when both parents share that attitude, the stress of sharing time with their children decreases with the level of cooperation. has posted an article titled, “Top Ten Ways to Make a Child Custody Exchange Go Smoothly.”

The article’s suggestions for making timesharing exchanges go smoothly are: (1) Follow your Parenting Plan, (2) Keep it Simple, (3) Arrive on Time, (4) Keep Everyone Updated, (5) Pick Up and Drop Off at School, (6) Neutral Locations for Exchanges, (7) When Exchanging at Home, be Respectful, (8) Communicate with Children, (9) Communicate with the Other Parent and (10) Change the Timesharing as Needed to Meet the Changing Needs of the Children.

As a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer I recommend all parents that are splitting time with their children read this article. It is a nice refresher for parents as they start the new year.

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.

parental alienation.jpgIn many of my Jacksonville divorce cases I run into the all to common problem of Parental Alienation Syndrome. 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.

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.

Florida Statute 61.13001 governs this issue of parental relocation with a minor child. The Statute defines Relocation as, “a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or other person from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing. The change of location must be at least 50 miles from that residence, and for at least 60 consecutive days not including a temporary absence from the principal residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.”

The Statute further states, in so many words, unless an agreement has been entered between the parents as to the relocation the parent desiring to relocate must file a Petition to Relocate with the Court and serve the same upon the other parent.

As a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer, I know what this Petition needs to entail and the process of filing it and arguing it (if necessary) before a Judge.

moving.jpegCourts have one primary consideration when making decisions involving children, and that is the best interests of the child. There is no law that says that you may absolutely not move your children away from the other parent; however, the other parent can generally petition the court to prevent your move. If the other parent is not involved in the children’s life, he or she will not likely file this petition and you can hopefully move without any worries. Even if the other parent does file, the court will not likely side with a parent who has not made an effort to be part of the children’s life before the move.

However, if the other spouse is involved in the child’s life, or if the court has previously approved a parenting plan, you may have to seek the court’s approval before moving. This is where the court considers the interests of the child. For example, if you have primary custody and move because of a new job, the court may find that the children’s interests are best served by the move. As primary caretaker, your new job will benefit the children.

If you are thinking about moving but aren’t sure whether you need court approval, contact a Florida Family Law Attorney.

A 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 Divorce Attorney today.

There are multiple reasons why it happens, but the fact is more and more grandparents are finding themselves having to take care of their grandkids. The problem is, however, grandparents often can’t get their grandchildren the services they need due to various legal complications. For example, grandparents don’t automatically have the ability to enroll the children into school or the doctor’s office. Without filing the right paperwork, grandparents can’t get the assistance they likely need to take proper care of their new responsibilities.

Obtaining the rights necessary to take care of grandchildren can be a frustrating, bureaucratic process and can usually takes around a month to complete. It’s important to contact a qualified attorney to help you through the process. If you are in the Jacksonville area, contact a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney.

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