Florida Reopening and the New Normal …

Florida “Reopening” and the New Normal

Monday, May 4, 2020, marked the expiration of the Florida “safer-at-home” order that mandated all Floridians to stay at home in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Slowly, the state has began the reopening phase and allowed many sectors of the economy to begin operations. As we navigate the new normal of social distancing and the use of facemasks, the courts are also navigating the new normal in maintaining their operations while protecting the people they serve.

During the pandemic, the family law courts have continued to operate. The courts have quickly moved from the traditional court setting to a virtual one. On May 21, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court signed Administrative Order No.AOSC20-32 and No.AOSC20-23 Amendment 2 addressing the public safety precautions of the gradual reopening and extending the emergencies measures to court proceedings previously implemented.
In order for the courts to expand the in-person activities they must first meet the following criteria:

1. No confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the court facility within a 14-day period; or if confirmed or suspected cases have
occurred in the court facility, deep cleaning and disinfecting of exposed areas and applicable employee self-quarantine actions have been implemented.

2. Rescission of local and state restrictive movement and/or stay-at-home orders.

3. Improving COVID-19 health conditions over a 14-day period in the community, including conditions such as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths in relation to a community’s population density, downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests, size of particularly vulnerable populations, and availability of medical facilities including emergency and intensive care capacity.

4. Adequate testing programs in place, increased availability of COVID-19 tests, and emerging antibody testing.

5. Consultation with other building occupants (for multi-tenant courthouses or buildings) and with justice system partners (including, but not limited to clerk of court, state attorney, public defender, law enforcement, local bar, and others necessary to resume certain case types, such as the Department of Children and Families).

Moreover, the use of technology continues to be highly encouraged in order to move cases along. It appears that the new changes under the pandemic will continue to be implemented as we slowly go back to the normal we knew before the pandemic. Whether you are considering filing for divorce, time-sharing or child support for the first time, or you are considering revisiting your case, the law office for Jennifer T. Dane is here to assist you during the new normal as we slowly transition to a post COVID-19 world.

Jurisdiction for Child Custody and the UCCJEA

When families are considering life altering decisions such as filing for divorce or for paternity, planning for what life is going to look like after the case concludes is extremely important. Such considerations might include moving near family or a support system to assist you and your family with the transition. If you and your family currently live in the State of Florida and have been residing in Florida for at least six months prior to filing, Florida Courts will have jurisdiction to decide all issues in the proceedings including child custody. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) gives Florida jurisdiction to decide custody matters because it has a superior position than out of state courts to decide what is in the best interest of the children. If you move out of the state of Florida prior to filing a case, Florida courts will remain with jurisdiction to make custody decisions for six months after you relocated out of the state. This means that if you decided to move to another state, the other party may file in Florida up to six months after you relocated, and the relocated parent will have to defend the case in Florida.

If there is no pending case, and you decided to move from Florida to another state, and the other party has not filed a case in Florida within six months of your relocation, you may be able to file for divorce or paternity in your new state of residency. Residency requirements vary per state so make sure you check such requirements in your state.

However, if the initial proceeding is filed in Florida, Florida will remain the home state, and will continue having jurisdiction to decide any permanent, temporary, initial and modifications custody issues. If you case concludes in Florida, and the children and parties no longer reside in Florida, you may be able to register the final order for purposes of enforcement and modification in the children’s new state. The same applies to out of state custody orders for parties that now reside in Florida.

Whether you are making plans to move out of state, or you have an out of state custody order that now you wish to enforce in Florida, the Law Office of Jennifer T. Dane is here to assist you navigate the intricacies of the UCCJEA and the implications for your family.

CHILD SUPPORT DURING COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every sector of our lives, including our finances. The economic consequences of social distancing and stay-at-home orders have impacted the global economy.  Such impact is so unprecedented that even the U.S. Congress acted to help American families during the time of Covid-19 by passing the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), while still considering further relief. As families readjust their personal finances to weather the pandemic, many parents consider whether now is the time to request a reduction in child support.

               To obtain a reduction in child support the party seeking such reduction must show a substantial change in circumstance that is significant, material, involuntary and permanent in change. A substantial and material change is one that significantly impacts the ability to pay child support. If you have been impacted by a layoff, furlough, or your income has been significantly reduced because of Covid-19, you might consider modifying your child support obligation.

Under current law, the change in income must be at least a year to be considered permanent. However, courts now will have to consider whether the drop in income based on Covid-19 is permanent in nature considering that there is no definite date as to when the economy will be fully operational, and everything will go back to normal.

Whether you are contemplating a temporary issue or a permanent change to child support, know that The Office of Jennifer T. Dane is diligently working to continue assisting families with all family law issues, including child support.

Stay-At-Home Orders and Co-parenting Issues

Covid-19 has drastically changed our daily lives. With the pressure of staying healthy, working from home and even becoming teachers overnight, our relationships are being put to the test. If you considered a dissolution of marriage or a separation from the parent of your children prior to Covid-19,  perhaps the current conditions of stay-at-home orders and social distancing made you realize that taking that step might be the right choice for your family, but are courts even open?

Navigating a divorce or litigation of any parental issue is difficult without the added stress of fighting the spread of a virus. The Florida Supreme Court has given the lower courts the ability to remain open and operational so long as they are in compliance with the Court’s orders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and stay-at-home orders. Now that Florida is under a statewide “safer-at home” order, the courts are quickly moving from face-to-face interactions to a digital space.  Some rules have also been amended to facilitate legal proceedings, and the courts continue to hear emergencies. The procedures followed by the court might look different, but they are still open.

The courts are working hard to continue working even if it means working remotely and for parties to appear by phone or video.  The judges have wide discretion as to how handle their docket, and we are quickly learning how each judge is handling a family law case in their virtual courtrooms.

As we continue to monitor the spread of Covid-19, and quickly learning how the spread of the virus affects the procedures of the courts, we are here to assist you with your family law case. The Law Office of Jennifer T Dane has always been here to help you through the difficulties of a divorce or any custody issues, even more so in the time of Covid-19. Stay Safe!

Custody during a Pandemic

As our nation continues to fight the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and as we all adapt to the new normal of social distancing, what happens when one parent decides to use this pandemic to deny the other parent court ordered timesharing?

In an effort to reduce the number of emergency filings regarding timesharing disputes, the Circuit Court in Orange and Osceola counties, enacted an emergency order directing parties as to timesharing under the new conditions of social distancing and the stay at home order. First, all parties are expected to continue adhering “to all current Final Judgment, Temporary Order, Settlement Agreement, or other orders.” Additionally, “each parent is prohibited from unreasonably restricting access of the child(ren) to the other parent.” The consequences to arbitrarily withholding timesharing include severe sanctions by the Court such as make-up time to the non-offending parent including summer and consecutive holidays. The court may also grant attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. The Court also warned that such behavior may impact the “Court’s long term decision for timesharing” in your case.  In Seminole County the Court will continue to address parenting issues even as the efforts and response of the Court may evolve week to week and even day to day in light of Covid-19.

The best course of action right now is to remain calm and be in our best behavior as we navigate this pandemic. Whether you have a case in Orange, Osceola or Seminole county, know that if the other parent is withholding timesharing, you have options.  If the offending party insists on denying your timesharing, you may proceed with filing the appropriate motion and obtain hearing time to address the issue. These are very stressful times, but we are here to help you navigate your family law case during Covid-19. Stay safe and healthy! 

Domestic Violence Injunctions & Covid-19

How to seek protection against Domestic Violence as we face a Pandemic.

The spread of Covid-19 has not only disrupted our day to day life, it has further isolated the most vulnerable, including victims of domestic violence. In an effort to limit the face to face interactions and to implement social distancing at all levels, and per the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Supreme Court has instructed all Florida courts to limit operations at court houses throughout the state.

The good news is that even though the courts of Orange, Osceola and Seminole County are all closed to the public, essential services remain uninterrupted. If you are in need of a temporary injunction to protect yourself, you may seek such protection from the court even during these uncertain times.

First, if you live in Orange County you may visit the Clerk’s website to find all the appropriate documents. You will have to create an account to file such documents electronically. The Clerk has a call center to assist you if you have any questions. Moreover, the Harbor House office located in the Orange County Courthouse remains open from 7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Security will have discretion as to whether you will be allowed to enter the building to access the Harbor House office.

In Osceola County, the Family Law Department will continue to assist parties seeking injunctions for protection in person. You will be screened at the door by the Health Department and once cleared will be able to proceed.

In Seminole County you may also find the documents online and file electronically. The court is permitting people to go to the Clerk in person to complete all the forms. You should contact the Clerk prior to going since they are also awaiting instructions as to whether such services will be at the civil or criminal court.

These are extremely stressful times, especially as we navigate through this pandemic. We can assist you navigate the process of a Petition for Injunction. Stay safe!

Men Divorce and What They Wish They Knew

When a couple is divorcing many times the women have a built in network of other women who have gone through similar circumstances and who they rely on to talk them through the hurt and heartache a divorce can cause, men however are not always surrounded by the same network of support. This is obviously not the case in every circumstance but it does happen. This article below is from the male perspective and how what they wish they had known or thought about their divorce. Divorce is an emotional process for both parties, but everyone handles or deals with the process differently. Finding the right attorney to walk you through the legal process as well as the emotional process is important. Set a confidential consultation today with Attorney Jennifer Dane and learn how to best maneuver through your divorce.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/divorced-men-marriage-regrets_n_5b916885e4b0511db3e046de

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Law Office of Jennifer T Dane. We wish you a wonderful day with family and friends old and new! Thank you for choosing the Law Office of Jennifer T Dane for your family law needs, we are truly thankful for all of our clients and friends!

Parenting Plans – New Family New Traditions

Thanksgiving is upon us and the calendar is filling up for the end of the year. Most divorced parents are calendaring experts especially at the holidays, they live by the calendar and their days with the children. For some newly divorced or separated parents the first holiday alone can be stressful as it brings a new set of challenges. Creating a new holiday tradition for your family may be just the thing to smooth over a new holiday schedule. See the article below for more ideas on creating a new Thanksgiving tradition. During your divorce you will create a parenting plan, or a schedule of where your children will be until they turn 18 years old. Parenting plans are created to help families transition from being together to being separate. It is important to remember that if you have a parenting plan that its a guideline, you are free to change it if the other parent is in agreement. Remember to keep an open mind when you former spouse is asking for flexibility surrounding a holiday in the parenting plan, because you may need the same courtesy next year. If you have questions about how to create a functional parenting plan please contact Family Law Attorney Jennifer T. Dane at 407-260-0500 for help today.

 

https://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/traditions/Thanksgiving-Family-rituals

Same Sex Marriage and Divorce

Same sex marriage was confirmed by the Supreme Court decision several years ago, however, the implementation has taken considerably more time. In last nights nail-bitter election coverage, you may have missed the unseating of the clerk of court in Kentucky who initially refused to issue same sex marriage licences. (See the article below) Florida has been recognizing same sex marriages and divorces for several years. Winter Park family law attorney Jennifer T. Dane helps guide all types of different families through the divorcing process. If you are seeking sound legal advise and a practical approach to your same sex divorce, please contact the Law Office of Jennifer T. Dane today for a confidential consultation, 407-260-0500.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/politics/clerk-who-refused-to-sign-off-on-samesex-marriages-loses-reelection

Florida Reopening and the New Normal …

Florida “Reopening” and the New Normal

Monday, May 4, 2020, marked the expiration of the Florida “safer-at-home” order that mandated all Floridians to stay at home in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Slowly, the state has began the reopening phase and allowed many sectors of the economy to begin operations. As we navigate the new normal of social distancing and the use of facemasks, the courts are also navigating the new normal in maintaining their operations while protecting the people they serve.

During the pandemic, the family law courts have continued to operate. The courts have quickly moved from the traditional court setting to a virtual one. On May 21, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court signed Administrative Order No.AOSC20-32 and No.AOSC20-23 Amendment 2 addressing the public safety precautions of the gradual reopening and extending the emergencies measures to court proceedings previously implemented.
In order for the courts to expand the in-person activities they must first meet the following criteria:

1. No confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the court facility within a 14-day period; or if confirmed or suspected cases have
occurred in the court facility, deep cleaning and disinfecting of exposed areas and applicable employee self-quarantine actions have been implemented.

2. Rescission of local and state restrictive movement and/or stay-at-home orders.

3. Improving COVID-19 health conditions over a 14-day period in the community, including conditions such as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths in relation to a community’s population density, downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests, size of particularly vulnerable populations, and availability of medical facilities including emergency and intensive care capacity.

4. Adequate testing programs in place, increased availability of COVID-19 tests, and emerging antibody testing.

5. Consultation with other building occupants (for multi-tenant courthouses or buildings) and with justice system partners (including, but not limited to clerk of court, state attorney, public defender, law enforcement, local bar, and others necessary to resume certain case types, such as the Department of Children and Families).

Moreover, the use of technology continues to be highly encouraged in order to move cases along. It appears that the new changes under the pandemic will continue to be implemented as we slowly go back to the normal we knew before the pandemic. Whether you are considering filing for divorce, time-sharing or child support for the first time, or you are considering revisiting your case, the law office for Jennifer T. Dane is here to assist you during the new normal as we slowly transition to a post COVID-19 world.

Jurisdiction for Child Custody and the UCCJEA

When families are considering life altering decisions such as filing for divorce or for paternity, planning for what life is going to look like after the case concludes is extremely important. Such considerations might include moving near family or a support system to assist you and your family with the transition. If you and your family currently live in the State of Florida and have been residing in Florida for at least six months prior to filing, Florida Courts will have jurisdiction to decide all issues in the proceedings including child custody. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) gives Florida jurisdiction to decide custody matters because it has a superior position than out of state courts to decide what is in the best interest of the children. If you move out of the state of Florida prior to filing a case, Florida courts will remain with jurisdiction to make custody decisions for six months after you relocated out of the state. This means that if you decided to move to another state, the other party may file in Florida up to six months after you relocated, and the relocated parent will have to defend the case in Florida.

If there is no pending case, and you decided to move from Florida to another state, and the other party has not filed a case in Florida within six months of your relocation, you may be able to file for divorce or paternity in your new state of residency. Residency requirements vary per state so make sure you check such requirements in your state.

However, if the initial proceeding is filed in Florida, Florida will remain the home state, and will continue having jurisdiction to decide any permanent, temporary, initial and modifications custody issues. If you case concludes in Florida, and the children and parties no longer reside in Florida, you may be able to register the final order for purposes of enforcement and modification in the children’s new state. The same applies to out of state custody orders for parties that now reside in Florida.

Whether you are making plans to move out of state, or you have an out of state custody order that now you wish to enforce in Florida, the Law Office of Jennifer T. Dane is here to assist you navigate the intricacies of the UCCJEA and the implications for your family.

CHILD SUPPORT DURING COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every sector of our lives, including our finances. The economic consequences of social distancing and stay-at-home orders have impacted the global economy.  Such impact is so unprecedented that even the U.S. Congress acted to help American families during the time of Covid-19 by passing the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), while still considering further relief. As families readjust their personal finances to weather the pandemic, many parents consider whether now is the time to request a reduction in child support.

               To obtain a reduction in child support the party seeking such reduction must show a substantial change in circumstance that is significant, material, involuntary and permanent in change. A substantial and material change is one that significantly impacts the ability to pay child support. If you have been impacted by a layoff, furlough, or your income has been significantly reduced because of Covid-19, you might consider modifying your child support obligation.

Under current law, the change in income must be at least a year to be considered permanent. However, courts now will have to consider whether the drop in income based on Covid-19 is permanent in nature considering that there is no definite date as to when the economy will be fully operational, and everything will go back to normal.

Whether you are contemplating a temporary issue or a permanent change to child support, know that The Office of Jennifer T. Dane is diligently working to continue assisting families with all family law issues, including child support.

Stay-At-Home Orders and Co-parenting Issues

Covid-19 has drastically changed our daily lives. With the pressure of staying healthy, working from home and even becoming teachers overnight, our relationships are being put to the test. If you considered a dissolution of marriage or a separation from the parent of your children prior to Covid-19,  perhaps the current conditions of stay-at-home orders and social distancing made you realize that taking that step might be the right choice for your family, but are courts even open?

Navigating a divorce or litigation of any parental issue is difficult without the added stress of fighting the spread of a virus. The Florida Supreme Court has given the lower courts the ability to remain open and operational so long as they are in compliance with the Court’s orders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and stay-at-home orders. Now that Florida is under a statewide “safer-at home” order, the courts are quickly moving from face-to-face interactions to a digital space.  Some rules have also been amended to facilitate legal proceedings, and the courts continue to hear emergencies. The procedures followed by the court might look different, but they are still open.

The courts are working hard to continue working even if it means working remotely and for parties to appear by phone or video.  The judges have wide discretion as to how handle their docket, and we are quickly learning how each judge is handling a family law case in their virtual courtrooms.

As we continue to monitor the spread of Covid-19, and quickly learning how the spread of the virus affects the procedures of the courts, we are here to assist you with your family law case. The Law Office of Jennifer T Dane has always been here to help you through the difficulties of a divorce or any custody issues, even more so in the time of Covid-19. Stay Safe!

Custody during a Pandemic

As our nation continues to fight the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and as we all adapt to the new normal of social distancing, what happens when one parent decides to use this pandemic to deny the other parent court ordered timesharing?

In an effort to reduce the number of emergency filings regarding timesharing disputes, the Circuit Court in Orange and Osceola counties, enacted an emergency order directing parties as to timesharing under the new conditions of social distancing and the stay at home order. First, all parties are expected to continue adhering “to all current Final Judgment, Temporary Order, Settlement Agreement, or other orders.” Additionally, “each parent is prohibited from unreasonably restricting access of the child(ren) to the other parent.” The consequences to arbitrarily withholding timesharing include severe sanctions by the Court such as make-up time to the non-offending parent including summer and consecutive holidays. The court may also grant attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. The Court also warned that such behavior may impact the “Court’s long term decision for timesharing” in your case.  In Seminole County the Court will continue to address parenting issues even as the efforts and response of the Court may evolve week to week and even day to day in light of Covid-19.

The best course of action right now is to remain calm and be in our best behavior as we navigate this pandemic. Whether you have a case in Orange, Osceola or Seminole county, know that if the other parent is withholding timesharing, you have options.  If the offending party insists on denying your timesharing, you may proceed with filing the appropriate motion and obtain hearing time to address the issue. These are very stressful times, but we are here to help you navigate your family law case during Covid-19. Stay safe and healthy! 

Domestic Violence Injunctions & Covid-19

How to seek protection against Domestic Violence as we face a Pandemic.

The spread of Covid-19 has not only disrupted our day to day life, it has further isolated the most vulnerable, including victims of domestic violence. In an effort to limit the face to face interactions and to implement social distancing at all levels, and per the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Supreme Court has instructed all Florida courts to limit operations at court houses throughout the state.

The good news is that even though the courts of Orange, Osceola and Seminole County are all closed to the public, essential services remain uninterrupted. If you are in need of a temporary injunction to protect yourself, you may seek such protection from the court even during these uncertain times.

First, if you live in Orange County you may visit the Clerk’s website to find all the appropriate documents. You will have to create an account to file such documents electronically. The Clerk has a call center to assist you if you have any questions. Moreover, the Harbor House office located in the Orange County Courthouse remains open from 7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Security will have discretion as to whether you will be allowed to enter the building to access the Harbor House office.

In Osceola County, the Family Law Department will continue to assist parties seeking injunctions for protection in person. You will be screened at the door by the Health Department and once cleared will be able to proceed.

In Seminole County you may also find the documents online and file electronically. The court is permitting people to go to the Clerk in person to complete all the forms. You should contact the Clerk prior to going since they are also awaiting instructions as to whether such services will be at the civil or criminal court.

These are extremely stressful times, especially as we navigate through this pandemic. We can assist you navigate the process of a Petition for Injunction. Stay safe!

Men Divorce and What They Wish They Knew

When a couple is divorcing many times the women have a built in network of other women who have gone through similar circumstances and who they rely on to talk them through the hurt and heartache a divorce can cause, men however are not always surrounded by the same network of support. This is obviously not the case in every circumstance but it does happen. This article below is from the male perspective and how what they wish they had known or thought about their divorce. Divorce is an emotional process for both parties, but everyone handles or deals with the process differently. Finding the right attorney to walk you through the legal process as well as the emotional process is important. Set a confidential consultation today with Attorney Jennifer Dane and learn how to best maneuver through your divorce.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/divorced-men-marriage-regrets_n_5b916885e4b0511db3e046de

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Law Office of Jennifer T Dane. We wish you a wonderful day with family and friends old and new! Thank you for choosing the Law Office of Jennifer T Dane for your family law needs, we are truly thankful for all of our clients and friends!

Parenting Plans – New Family New Traditions

Thanksgiving is upon us and the calendar is filling up for the end of the year. Most divorced parents are calendaring experts especially at the holidays, they live by the calendar and their days with the children. For some newly divorced or separated parents the first holiday alone can be stressful as it brings a new set of challenges. Creating a new holiday tradition for your family may be just the thing to smooth over a new holiday schedule. See the article below for more ideas on creating a new Thanksgiving tradition. During your divorce you will create a parenting plan, or a schedule of where your children will be until they turn 18 years old. Parenting plans are created to help families transition from being together to being separate. It is important to remember that if you have a parenting plan that its a guideline, you are free to change it if the other parent is in agreement. Remember to keep an open mind when you former spouse is asking for flexibility surrounding a holiday in the parenting plan, because you may need the same courtesy next year. If you have questions about how to create a functional parenting plan please contact Family Law Attorney Jennifer T. Dane at 407-260-0500 for help today.

 

https://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/traditions/Thanksgiving-Family-rituals

Same Sex Marriage and Divorce

Same sex marriage was confirmed by the Supreme Court decision several years ago, however, the implementation has taken considerably more time. In last nights nail-bitter election coverage, you may have missed the unseating of the clerk of court in Kentucky who initially refused to issue same sex marriage licences. (See the article below) Florida has been recognizing same sex marriages and divorces for several years. Winter Park family law attorney Jennifer T. Dane helps guide all types of different families through the divorcing process. If you are seeking sound legal advise and a practical approach to your same sex divorce, please contact the Law Office of Jennifer T. Dane today for a confidential consultation, 407-260-0500.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/politics/clerk-who-refused-to-sign-off-on-samesex-marriages-loses-reelection

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Jennifer was recommended to me from a friend for my child’s parenting plan and child support case. Jennifer and her staff were wonderful to work with. They always had my best interest at heart but also upfront on the reality of how parenting plans work. She walked me through each step and fought for me where she needed to and talked to me about agreeing when needed. I would recommend Jennifer to family and friends! Going through a split is a very emotional time and she kept the level head for me when I could not.
Lyndsay P

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