This is a question that comes up fairly often in our area of practice. What do I do when one party has not complied with a Final Judgment that is child related? For example, when one party is not making his/her child support payments on time, or if they are not complying with a court ordered Parenting Plan. To begin, it is always best (and encouraged), to always engage in conflict resolution. Let's say that a parent has missed a child support payment. Take it upon yourself, to inquire as to why that payment was missed (assuming that there is not an I.W.O. in place). Perhaps the parent forgot, something came up, or they may be dealing with financial hardships (COVID-19) that make it very difficult to meet their child support obligation. It is always encouraged to try to resolve the issue with the other parent before going to Court. The same applies with any issues regarding timesharing. If a parent has missed an exchange or two, reach out to the other parent and inquire as to why the timesharing visit was missed. More importantly, it's good to have documentation to show the judge you were acting reasonably, prior to filing your motion for contempt of Court.
This is a question that I hear most frequently upon speaking to a potential client regarding a divorce matter. The first thing to do, is breathe. Everything will be okay. While it may be stressful and somewhat surprising that you were served divorce papers via a process server (or sheriff), you don't want to overreact and make an irrational decision. Generally, I always suggest the following, upon being served with divorce papers:
McWilson v. McWilson, __ So. 3d__, 2016 WL 3191135 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). Former wife appealed the distribution of the marital home, the child support calculation, and the parenting plan in her appeal of a dissolution of marriage. The appellate court affirmed the distribution of the marital home and parenting plan without comment, but agreed with former wife that the gross income used on the child support guidelines worksheet did not match the figures on the spouses’ most recent financial affidavits. Unable to discern whether the child support award was made in accordance with the guidelines, the appellate court reversed and remanded for recalculation. Because visitation expenses should be allocated at the same rate as other child care expenses, the appellate court instructed the trial court on remand to either allocate former husband’s travel expenses for visitation according to the ratios in the recalculated child support or to make findings to support a different allocation.
One of the parties, the petitioner or respondent, must reside in the state of Florida for six months before the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage and have the intent to remain a resident of the state of Florida at the time of filing. [Fla Stat Sec. 61.021.]