Author: J.J. Dahl

Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney in Lake County. Read more about J.J. Dahl here.

Living Arrangements, Moving or Relocating

When parents separate it is important that both parents maintain contact with the children notwithstanding the age or sex of the children. After separation, if a parent wants to move and the move would materially interfere with the other parent’s contact and access to the children, there are a series of statutory factors that a Court will be required to consider before issuing an Order that permits a parent to move with the children.  It is possible that a parent will be denied permission to move with the children.  This may occur if the other parent has been an involved parent or if the move is not in the best interest of the children, or if a substituted schedule of contact with the children may not be sufficient to maintain the other parent’s relationship with the children.

Sometimes The Best Man For A Job Is A Woman

At Dahl Family Law Group we esteem men too. Most of us are married to them or are raising sons to become great men, husbands and fathers. So do not read this title and think I am bashing men. But sometimes a man should think before going into a divorce or family law matter (especially going into Court) on whether a woman attorney might serve his needs better. Many a man will tell you they left court and felt the result was not fair because it seemed the Court saw things as two men beating up on the little woman. I have had several male clients tell me they flat out hired me because I was a woman that worked and would not automatically expect every wife to stay at home. Another said only women can figure out other women and I need someone to figure this out. One of my favorite clients complemented that his soon-to-be ex-wife’s crocodile tears did not phase me.

Strategically Thinking About Divorce

I saw this great article and wished I wrote it.  No one wants to get divorce but with so much of it around us, it is natural to wonder what if it happened to me?  What should I do?  Of course, we have a great checklist that you should ask us for or check out on our website.  But here are some other great ideas for people that want to protect family wealth or have a business of their own:


Raising Boys Amid Divorce

Often in our profession, we see the effects that a divorce can cause on children.  Divorce is painful, stressful, and emotional on us as adults, but the impact on the children can determine how they conduct themselves as adults.  For our sons’ sakes particularly, some good advice is to not express feelings of negativity about marriage, even though we may be experiencing them ourselves.  Author/physician Meg Meeker says in her book Boys Should be Boys:

The most important decision a man makes in his life (aside from ultimate
questions about God) isn’t choosing his college, his career, or what city he’s
going to live in. It’s choosing his mate. If a man’s marriage is good, life is good.
He can lose his job, a child, a home, but if he has a solid relationship with a
spouse, he draws strength from it to endure the hardships. If, on the other hand,
the relationship is tumultuous and painful, life feels bad. His job leaves him
feeling less satisfied, his interests in hobbies wane, and he is more likely to give
up hope in all other areas of his life. One of the greatest gifts we can give
our boys is preparation for marriage.

Our daughters tend to be more forthright in displaying their feelings.  If you have sons, their emotions are valuable, but they deal with them differently.  Pray for God’s guidance to show you how to influence your son’s viewpoint and attitude about marriage positively.


Martin Luther King Jr.. His great but not so famous quotes. Dream Big! Raise up great men and women.

He had a dream.  So do you.  In honor of a great man, let us all hold our dreams up for the word to see and our heart to embrace.  These are some of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes:

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

“Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.”

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

New Year Goals – Staying Motivated

What is the best way to stay motivated and energized every day?  How do highly successful people maintain their motivation – and conquer their toughest goals?  At this time of year, you may be asking similar questions.  Perhaps you have reflected on the past year or maybe you are planning your 2017 resolutions and wondering, “will this year be better?”  YES!   Let us help you.

Set goals.  Don’t you groan!  I heard you.  But goal setting is the single most powerful psychological tool you have.  The trick – proper goals.  Follow Goldilocks lead – it can’t be too hard or too easy.  If it is too hard you will unconsciously determine it’s not realistic and won’t accomplish it.  If it is too easy, it loses its power too because you assume you will automatically hit it.  Your goals have to be not too hard and not too easy.  Did I say goals?  Yes, one goal is not enough.  Have a physical goal, a family goal, a spiritual goal and a work goal.   Whatever you goals, they need purpose; that is what sustains them the next 365 days of the year.  If you have a why, you will always figure out a how.

Second – speak them.  There is power in words.  Remember God created the world with words.  The bible says our mouth holds the power of life and death.   Say those goals out loud.

Third write them down.  If you see it, you will hold yourself accountable.   Give a copy to a friend and add a second layer of accountability.

You can do it! Now go have a great, happy, healthy, goal-filled year!


J.J. Dahl – A Fellow with the AAML

Dahl Family Law Group is pleased to announce J.J. Dahl has become a Fellow with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  The Academy is the Nation’s premier certification in family law.  There are only 79 Fellows in the State of Florida.  No other family law attorney in Lake County or the entire Fifth Judicial Circuit holds such designation.  Acceptance into the AAML involves a rigorous admission process, including advanced written and oral testing, peer and a judicial review, and certification by The Florida Bar in family law.  Fellows exemplify the highest standards of ethics, professionalism, and knowledge in the practice of family law.


Two wrongs do not make a right.

Together, as a family, both parents provide financially and emotionally for their children. So why is it that once separated, some parents fail to continue their financial and emotional support for their children? Regardless of emotions, both parents have a duty to continue to support their children.  This is ordinarily enforced through an award of child support from one parent to the other. To obtain this award amount, the Court follows the Child Support Guideline Statute. The parties’ gross earnings, specific deductions, including child care expenses and children’s health insurance premiums, and the number of overnights are utilized in the guidelines to calculate the award amount. When it is reasonably available, required payment of health insurance premiums and the cost of uncovered medical, dental and prescriptions are also allocated. Usually, the support amount is then deducted from the paying parent’s paycheck and sent directly to the state’s central depository. The central depository keeps track of all payments made, and not made, and forwards the funds to the receiving parent. Should the paying parent fail to pay their child support obligation once it has been ordered, the receiving parent may request the Court enforce the order by contempt and willful failure to pay, possibly resulting in a person being jailed. As such, it is unlawful to deny a parent time-sharing with the children because of that parent’s failure to pay child support. It is equally unlawful to refuse to pay child support because the other parent is denying access to the children. “Two wrongs do not make a right.”

2015 10 Best Family Law Attorneys in Florida

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized J.J. Dahl, Esquire for her exceptional performance as a 2015 10 Best Family Law Attorney in Florida for Client Satisfaction.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization. The AIOFLA selects the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state annually. The attorneys selected as one of the “10 Best” are required to pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which relies upon client and/or peer nominations, detailed research, and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. The “10  Best” list was initiated for clients to use during their attorney selection process.

Equal Rights

In most circumstances, a judge will Order a “shared parenting plan” for the minor children.  This means that both parents have a right to have full information about their children, and to share in making major decisions for the children.  Just because the children live primarily with the other parent does not give that parent greater say in the children’s upbringing.

Occasionally for very special reasons, a judge may determine that one parent or the other should have the ultimate responsibility to make decisions in a particular area of the children’s lives.

If the parents, after good faith efforts, are unable to agree about a major decision affecting the child, (i.e., which school the children should attend) the court, upon motion, may decide the issue or designate the parent who will make that decision.

Sole parental responsibility may be awarded, usually rarely, to one parent when shared parental responsibility would be detrimental.  Convictions of child or felony spousal abuse is a consideration and a presumptive factor in determining detriment, so is active drug charges.  A court will also consider as evidence the fact that a person has provided false information in a domestic violence proceeding.