Articles Posted in Custody/Time-Sharing

In family law cases, the courts will order one party to pay the other’s legal fees in certain situations. In doing so, if the court finds that the party from whom fees are sought engaged in litigation conduct that is deemed egregious, vexatious, or meritless, the court may impose fees on that party to deter them from engaging in such behavior. Known as Rosen fees, they are typically reserved for cases involving the most egregious litigation behavior. The award of Rosen fees is at the discretion of the court, and the court will carefully evaluate the specific circumstances of each case before making such an award. It is important to note, however, that the Rosen case does not provide grounds for awarding such fees but sets forth the criteria for adjusting an award, as explained in a recent Florida ruling. If you are involved in a family law argument, it is smart to talk to a Miami family law lawyer about what steps you can take to protect your interests.

Case Setting

It is alleged that the mother and father engaged in a contentious paternity dispute. After the parties came to an agreement on paternity, the mother sought to establish a parenting plan and define parental responsibility and child support. The initial trial, conducted by the retiring judge, resulted in proposed findings that favored equal timesharing rights and shared parental responsibility, with details on exchanges and holidays. The parties couldn’t agree on a judgment, and the succeeding judge refused to enter one. A second trial was conducted, concluding with a final judgment granting the father majority timesharing and sole parental responsibility, which is the subject of a separate appeal.

It is reported that the father subsequently moved for fees under Rosen, alleging the mother’s conduct was hypocritical, lacked merit, and was against the child’s best interests. The court granted the request, citing the mother’s non-compliance with a speech therapy schedule and unsubstantiated concerns for the child’s safety. The court ordered the mother to pay $25,000 in fees, and she appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, the courts may deem it necessary to terminate parental rights under specific circumstances outlined in the Florida Statutes. Termination of parental rights is a serious legal action and is considered when it is determined to be in the best interest of the child due to factors that jeopardize the child’s well-being and safety. While generally, the Divison of Children and Families brings actions to terminate parental rights, parents can file termination actions as well, as discussed in a recent Florida opinion. If you need help with a dispute over child custody, it is advisable to confer with a Miami child custody attorney promptly.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the child was born in 2011 to the mother and Father, Venezuelan citizens whose relationship ended before her birth. A Venezuelan court approved a custody arrangement, but in July 2012, the mother brought the child to Miami, prompting the Father to file a Hague Convention petition for the child’s return to Venezuela. The court granted the Father’s petition, and the child returned to Venezuela.

Reportedly,  after the Father’s relocation to the U.S., a second Hague Convention case was initiated by the mother, but the court denied her petition. In 2013, the Father filed a petition for termination of the mother’s parental rights. The court issued a final judgment terminating the mother’s parental rights based on statutory grounds, including abandonment, conduct threatening the child’s well-being, egregious conduct, and conspiracy or solicitation to murder the other parent. The mother timely appealed. Continue reading ›

When people in romantic relationships decide to part, they will typically go their separate ways. If they have a child together, though, they may have to seek intervention from the courts to determine their parental rights and obligations. In any custody matter, the Florida courts must rule in the best interest of the child. In doing so, however, they must uphold the parties’ right to due process, as explained in a recent Florida custody action. If you have questions about what steps you can take to safeguard your relationship with your child, it is wise to contact a Miami child custody attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the parties began their relationship in August 2019 and had a child in June 2021. Following the child’s birth, the mother returned to Miami, and the relationship between the parties ended. The father initiated a paternity action, seeking a 50-50 timesharing arrangement. During the hearing on the motion for temporary relief, the trial court introduced the concept of a two-week rotating schedule, which was not previously raised in the pleadings.

Allegedly, the court considered this schedule despite objections from the mother and her counsel, who requested time to discuss the alternative and present witnesses. Nevertheless, the trial court ordered the two-week rotating schedule based on its determination of the child’s best interests. The mother appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida child custody cases, the courts will always rule in the best interest of the child. In some instances, this means that they will grant temporary custody to an extended family member rather than either of the biological parents. The courts can only do so if certain requirements are met, though, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Florida court. If you need assistance protecting your parental rights, it is prudent to confer with a Miami child custody attorney about your options.

Procedural and Factual Background

It is reported that the mother of a minor child sought to challenge a trial court order that granted immediate exclusive custody and care of the minor child to the child’s maternal grandmother. This case revolved around the issue of whether the grandmother qualified for temporary custody under Chapter 751 of the Florida Statutes in 2022. Chapter 751 permits extended family members to pursue temporary custody of minors under specific circumstances. Specifically, it allows proceedings to be initiated either by any extended family member, if they have the signed and notarized consent of the child’s legal parents. It also allows any member of the extended family to initiate proceedings if they care for the child full time, taking on the role of the substitute parent and with whom the child is presently living.

Under Florida law, people who marry someone with a child will often embrace the role of being that child’s step-parent. Unless they formally adopt the child, though, they will not have any parental rights in the event of a divorce, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling. If you have questions about how you can protect your parental rights in a custody dispute, it is prudent to confer with a Miami child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural Background:

It is reported that the wife challenged a final judgment of dissolution of marriage that granted equal timesharing and shared parental responsibility of her minor child to the husband. The situation was complicated by the fact that the husband was not the biological or adoptive parent of the child, and there had been no finding of parental unfitness or harm to the child. The background of the case revealed that the wife initially identified her then-partner as the father of the minor child on the birth certificate. Later, the wife and the husband married, and during their marriage, she obtained a judgment disestablishing the putative father’s paternity of the minor child. However, the husband neither adopted the minor child nor sought to establish paternity.

Allegedly, in 2021, the husband filed a petition to dissolve the marriage and asserted that there were three minor children born to the parties, including the minor child. He sought equal timesharing and shared parental responsibility. The husband identified himself as the “father” of the minor child in an affidavit and mentioned that paternity had been disestablished in 2018. The trial court conducted a hearing and ultimately rendered a judgment granting equal timesharing and shared parental responsibility. The wife appealed this decision. Continue reading ›

In divorce actions involving minor children, the courts will typically determine parental responsibility and time-sharing rights. Regardless of whether a parent agrees with the custody determinations made by a court, they must abide by them; otherwise, they may be sanctioned. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida case in which the court granted the father compensatory time-sharing days due to the mother’s refusal to comply with the custody order. If you have questions about your options with regard to protecting your parental rights, it is recommended that you consult a Miami child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the mother and father had two minor children before divorcing. The final judgment of dissolution included a parenting plan. The father filed a contempt motion against the mother, alleging that she had denied him timesharing with their younger child on multiple occasions. In his motion, the father requested compensatory timesharing for the missed days. After an evidentiary hearing, the court granted the father’s request and awarded him compensatory timesharing for thirteen overnights that were denied to him. The mother appealed, arguing that the court violated her right to due process by providing relief beyond what the father sought in his motion.

Sanctions for Violating a Parenting Plan

On appeal, the court rejected the mother’s reasoning. In doing so, the court explained that if a court grants a remedy that a party did not request, it constitutes a violation of due process. As such, the trial court would have violated the mother’s due process rights if it granted the father greater compensatory timesharing than he sought. Contrary to the mother’s assertions, however, the court found that the trial court did not do so. Continue reading ›

When issuing custody orders, the Florida courts’ paramount concern is what is in the best interest of the child. Circumstances can change, however, and an order that was once appropriate may no longer serve a child’s interests. While the courts can modify child custody orders, absent an emergency, they cannot do so without providing notice to both parents, as discussed in a recent ruling issued in a Florida custody case. If you want to know what measures you can take to protect your parental rights, you should speak to a Miami child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother had a child in 2013. The father’s paternity was subsequently established via a paternity suit. The court issued a parenting plan specifying that the child would primarily live with her mother but would also spend significant time with her father. The court ordered the father to pay child support as well. In 2021, the mother requested the appointment of a parenting coordinator to help resolve disagreements between the parents regarding the child. The father agreed to the appointment. If the coordinator couldn’t resolve the issues, they had the authority to ask the court for a status hearing.

Allegedly, during one of these status conferences, the parenting coordinator requested direction from the court regarding the father’s ability to speak to the child over the telephone. The court then issued an order that placed the child in the temporary custody of the father, prohibited the mother from contacting the child, and modified the timesharing rights and communication requirements established in the final judgment of paternity. The mother was not provided prior notice of these changes. As such, she argued that the court violated her due process rights. She moved for reconsideration, but her motion was denied without a hearing. She then appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, the courts may terminate parental rights if they believe a child faces a risk of harm if they remain in the parent’s custody. In some instances, however, the courts may find cause to terminate a parent’s rights even if a child is a newborn, as demonstrated recently in a Florida opinion. If you are at risk of losing your parental rights, it is smart to talk to a Miami child custody lawyer about your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father, who already had two older children, had a third child. However, both older children were placed in out-of-home care due to an ongoing dependency case. The parents had a significant history with the relevant department concerning the well-being of their children. Specifically, the oldest child, when she was six months old, was removed from the parents’ care due to injuries, including a spiral arm fracture, bruising, and soft tissue damage. The parents denied causing these injuries, offering an explanation that medical professionals found implausible. As a result, the oldest child was deemed dependent. The parents’ second child was sheltered shortly after birth, and the parents agreed to the second child’s dependency status.

Allegedly, since being placed in out-of-home care, both older children have remained separated from their parents, as the parents have not fulfilled the necessary conditions for reunification. They are only allowed supervised visitation with their children. The dependency cases for the older children are still ongoing. When the third child was born, the department removed the child from the parents’ care and initiated proceedings to place the child in out-of-home care as well. However, the trial court denied the shelter petition for the third child, stating that although the parents had a history of involvement with the department, there was no imminent harm identified for the third child. The department appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, when a couple with minor children divorces, the courts must not only determine the parents’ rights with regard to child support and visitation, but also which parent can make important decisions about how the child will be raised. As explained in a recent Florida ruling, the law dictates that absent evidence that doing so would harm the child in question, the courts must grant equal parental responsibility rights. If you are dealing with a custody dispute, it is wise to talk to a Miami child custody lawyer about what action you can take to safeguard your interests as soon as possible.

Legal Background

It is alleged that in August 2019, the wife initiated legal proceedings to dissolve her marriage. At the time, the couple had two minor children; one is still a minor, while the other has reached the age of majority. In May 2021, the trial court issued a final judgment officially ending the marriage, deferring the resolution of various other matters associated with the dissolution. Subsequently, in 2021, the wife modified her initial petition to request exclusive parental responsibility for the minor child. A consent partial judgment was later reached by both parties and officially sanctioned by the trial court in March 2022. This judgment granted joint parental responsibility.

It is reported that the unresolved issues, primarily involving child support and visitation arrangements, were then brought before the court for trial. The trial court directed both parties to adhere to the previously agreed-upon consent partial judgment and granted joint parental responsibility for the minor child, affirming the shared responsibility aspect of the consent partial judgment. The court also incorporated a comprehensive parenting plan that stipulated shared parental responsibility but granted the wife ultimate decision-making authority concerning the child’s education, academics, and non-emergency healthcare in the event of disagreement between the parties. The husband appealed. Continue reading ›

In a Florida child custody case, the court’s driving concern is what is in the best interest of the child that is the subject of the suit. The court will look at numerous factors to determine what custody arrangement will best benefit the child’s welfare and well-being. The courts generally are not permitted to analyze factors on a prospective basis, but there are some exceptions, as discussed by a recent Florida opinion issued in a custody matter in which the father appealed the trial court ruling. If you need assistance protecting your parental rights, it is advisable to confer with a Miami child custody lawyer regarding your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father were parties to a custody action to determine parental rights with regard to their minor child. The trial court issued a judgment determining timesharing and parental rights. The judgment also permitted the mother to relocate to another city in Florida with the minor child when the child began attending school and allowed for a modification of time-sharing rights due to the relocation.

Allegedly, the father appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in issuing a judgment that allowed for an automatic modification of timesharing rights in the future, as it relied on a prospective-based analysis, which Florida law prohibits. Continue reading ›