Articles Posted in Department of Children and Families

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Grandparents’ rights in Florida are not easy to accomplish. The Florida Supreme Court has held that the Florida Constitution makes it a personal right to determine who parents allow around their children, even when the excluded parties are family members. In the Jacksonville, Florida area, there are attorneys working to fight against the perception of no rights for grandparents and sometimes there are creative methods that can be used.

The common scenario we receive is someone calling and stating, “My daughter isn’t allowing me or my Husband to see our grandkids! I want to file a petition for grandparent visitation with the courts! Can you help me?” While the situation is sad and usually not in the best interests of the children to cease a close familial relationship with their grandparents, the Florida law is such that grandparents do not have an inherent right to visitation with their grandchildren.

However, the situation is not completely dire. Sometimes there are ways around the issue and having someone review your particular facts may be beneficial. Recently in St. Augustine, Florida, a man was accused of killing his wife and was charged with the crime. Prior to his arrest, the man completed a Power of Attorney so that his children could be cared for by his parents. While this is an extreme example, the underlying fact remains that parents can give up their visitation with the children to their parents if they are going to be away for a length of time. This may be a “loop hole” for some looking to see the grandchild that now lives with their child’s exspouse

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In Florida divorces, Injunctions are prevalent. A Florida Injunction can be handled by your Florida Divorce Lawyer. There are specific criteria that must be met before a court can enter a permanent injunction. Section 741.30 of the Florida Statutes lays out exactly what must be argued to have a temporary injunction entered as a permanent injunction. The statute says that the petitioner must have been a victim of domestic violence OR have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence. The Elements which must be proven at a hearing before the Circuit Court are as follows:

1. Must be between family or household members.

2. The petitioner must claim to have been the victim of DV or is in fear of imminent DV attack. 3. The sworn petition shall allege the existence of such domestic violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances.

937464_wheel_of_fortune___.jpg A Jacksonville, Florida man was arrested in April 2008, on charges of child pornography. Having committed a crime in the home, the man’s $280,000 home was seized by the government.

In Florida and throughout the country, the police can seize a person’s property such as a home, vehicle, money, etc. if it can be determined that the property was used in the commission of the crime for which the defendant was arrested. It appears that the Jacksonville man had almost 20,000 photographs and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit acts. Since the man viewed these pictures and videos in his home, and the crime was furthered in his home, the state had the right to seize the entire home. Now he is living in an even bigger house as he was sentenced to four years in Florida State Prison.

Written by: Whitney Lonker

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We hear about teen pregancies from Florida to California all of the time. Ranging from politicians to pop stars, the issue seems to be a constant in our lives. Sarah Palin’s daughter was 17 years old and pregnant, Jamie Lynn Spears was 16 and pregnant, and most likely your Florida teen knows someone in high school that’s pregnant. Taking the political nature of the question out, as in Pro Life or Pro Choice, what are the options one has?

I’m pretty certain that many of these young girls really don’t want to get married right now, but obviously that is an option. But, does it really solve the problem? In Florida we recognize that parents have the right to child support, so the old fashioned idea of pregnancy equals marriage is not really necessary. In fact, it statistically causes more problems later since the majority of marriages that end are due to the couples being too young when they got married.

Another answer is for a paternity test to be done and filed with the court in order to prove the child does have a father, and hold that father responsible for any child support obligations. In teen pregnancy the mother and father are sometimes in school, but the court can impute income for child support to be assessed. Also, the child does have the option of going on state funded medical insurance. However, this is a tough road altogether and it’s important to make certain you’re making the right choice.