Tuesday, September 17, 2013


         As of October of 2008, the legal terms "child custody" and "visitation" have been removed from Florida law. The Court now establishes "time sharing" and "parenting plans" to determine the time that the parents may spend with the child. The change is to support a sense of unison between spouses in their parenting their children.
       Two aspects of parental responsibility are considered in Florida divorce proceedings: parental decision making and residential care.  Florida law favors shared parental decision making in which both parents jointly make important decisions related to their children’s welfare, such as those concerning medical care, education, and religion.  If a court finds that shared parental decision making would be detrimental to the child, it may grant one parent sole responsibility to unilaterally make important decisions concerning the child’s upbringing.  The residential custody of children must also be determined. Usually one parent’s home is designated the child’s primary residence, but the court may permit rotating custody in which the child lives for set periods of time in each parent’s house if it is in the child’s best interests.  Courts determine child custody or what is now termed "time-sharing" arrangements based upon the best interests of the children, and both parents are to be given equal consideration regardless of the age and gender of the children.


Monday, September 16, 2013


Probation is usually made with very specific conditions relevant to the conviction for which probation was sentenced. A violation of these conditions can lead to revocation of probation and the imposition of a custodial (Jail or Prison) sentence.
Consequences for a conviction on the charge of Probation Violation include:
  • Probation revoked
  • Jail or imprisonment (depends upon original conviction)
  • Significant fines
  • Probation reinstatement with additional terms including:
    • Jail/Prison
    • Longer term
    • Community service
    • Rehabilitation program
    • Additional fines
  • Other
Defenses for Probation Violation may potentially include:
  • Showing insufficient evidence
  • Proving factual innocence
  • Proving probation terms complied with
  • Other

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Must you be legally separated to divorce?


Divorce legally terminates a marriage through the entry of a court order. Jacksonville divorce is governed by the Marriage Dissolution Act, and the divorce process is generally referred to as dissolution proceedings. The Marriage Dissolution Act permits the dissolution of a marriage if the marriage is irretrievably broken or one spouse is mentally incapacitated. A marriage is found to be “irretrievably broken” when the marital relationship has already virtually ended, there is no hope for reconciliation, and it is in the parties’ best interests that their marriage be dissolved.

However, the parties are not required to live apart before seeking a marital dissolution. One of the spouses must have resided in Florida for at least six months before the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed.