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Two Attorneys Join Cleaveland & Cleaveland Team

We are excited to introduce Julia McLaughlin, Esquire, and Hillary Mesa, Esquire, who have recently joined the team at Cleaveland & Cleaveland, P.L.

Julia McLaughlin, Esquire, graduated from Princeton University in 1984, and from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1987. She became a member of the Wisconsin Bar in 1987, and the Pennsylvania Bar in 1987 and handled a variety of family law matters including divorce, parenting issues, child support, and prenuptial agreements. In 1998, Ms. McLaughlin joined the faculty of Villanova Law School, where she taught legal research and writing, and in 1999, joined the faculty of Widener University Law School, where she also taught legal writing. In 2004, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and joined the Florida Coastal School of Law faculty where she taught a wide variety of courses including Family Law, Children and the Law, Dependency Law, Juvenile Justice Administration, Domestic Violence, and Property Law. In 2015, she became a member of the Florida Bar.

Ms. McLaughlin has published widely in the area of family law and children’s rights. Some of her publications include: Taking Religion out of Divorce, 65 RUTGERS L. REV. 395 (2013); Exploring the First Amendment Rights of Teens in Relationship to Sexting and Censorship, 45 U. MICH. J. L. REFORM 315 (2012); Crime and Punishment: Teen Sexting in Context, 115 PENN. ST. L. REV. 135 (2010); The Fundamental Truth about Best Interests, 54 ST. LOUIS U.L.J. 113 (2009); 5) DOMA and the Constitutional Coming-out of Same-sex Marriage, 24 WIS. J.L GEN. & SOC’Y 145 (2009); Premarital Agreements & Choice of Law: “One, Two, Three, Baby You and Me,” 72  MO. L. REV. 793 (2007); Litigation Funding: Charting a Legal and Ethical Course, 31 VT. L. REV. 615 (2007); and Should Marital Property Rights Be Inalienable?  Preserving the Marriage Ante, 82 NEB. L. REV. 460 (2003).

Julia joined Cleaveland & Cleaveland, P.L. in 2018, where she brings over 30 years of legal and teaching experience to the practice, and will handle family matters such as divorce (including parental responsibility, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, and related issues), paternity (including parental responsibility, child support, and related issues), prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and family law appeals; and estate planning (including wills, trusts, advance directives, and power of attorney designations) and probate matters.

Hillary Mesa, Esquire, graduated with honors from the University of Florida, where she was a Dean’s List recipient, and received her law degree with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she was a Dean’s List recipient, a student ambassador, and received book awards in Legal Research and Child, Parent, and State.

Ms. Mesa worked as a judicial extern for The Honorable Thomas M. Jaworski and as a legal extern in the felony division of the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit of the State Attorney’s Office.

She is a member of the Florida Bar, and is licensed to practice in the State of Florida, and the Middle District of Florida.

Hillary joined Cleaveland & Cleaveland, P.L. in 2018, and will handle consumer matters such as bankruptcy, debt defense, and foreclosure defense.

Posted in Alimony, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Debt, Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law, Foreclosure Defense, Injunction, Paternity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Timesharing Guidelines Change in Duval County, Clay County, and Nassau County

HomeworkWe all know a Dad who has his kids every other Friday to Sunday and one evening during the week. This schedule, commonly referred to as guideline visitation or guideline timesharing, has been the standard in Jacksonville, and throughout most of the state of Florida, for many years. Over the last several years, there have been significant changes to the laws regulating divorce and parentage. Recently, the timesharing guidelines in the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County) have been updated. Now, absent a compelling reason otherwise, judges are awarding the non-majority timesharing parent every other Friday evening through Monday morning and one overnight every week. This new schedule, including half the summer and sharing or alternating holidays, comprises roughly 40% of the time. While timesharing guidelines are not law, they represent the judiciary’s more modern approach to the division of time between parents. The updated timesharing guidelines can be found here.

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Posted in Divorce, Family Law, Paternity | Tagged , , , , |

Is it still cheaper to keep her? Alimony Reform in Florida

TheAlimony phrase “it’s cheaper to keep her” is often a reference to permanent alimony. Many people in Florida, primarily men, face the possibility of paying a large portion of their income to their spouse for the rest of their lives, in the event of a divorce. While permanent alimony can be awarded in any case, given certain circumstances, those who have been married for 17 years or more are at the highest risk.

However, Florida law makers are working to change that. In 2013, an alimony reform bill eliminating permanent alimony was passed by both houses, but was ultimately vetoed by the governor. This year, an amended version of the bill will be voted upon, and it is expected to pass.

Is it still cheaper to keep her? Maybe not for long.

The following link is to an article in the Orlando Sentinel about the upcoming vote on alimony reform:

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Posted in Alimony, Divorce, Family Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |