In any civil court case, including family law cases, paperwork is an important part of achieving a successful outcome. The difference between a successful resolution and an unsuccessful one can be your ability to provide the correct documentation to the court to meet all of the procedural rules and to establish that you are entitled to the relief you’re requesting. In a recent case from Broward County, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s decision finding a due process violation, which the court declared was a result of a lack of written proof that a father received proper notice that his former mother-in-law was requesting a change in custody of the man’s child.
Child custody court cases involve many elements. One vital aspect is determining what is in the best interest of the child, an issue that many parents might feel capable addressing on their own. However, family law cases are still civil litigation matters, in many cases complete with multiple procedural layers. In one recent case, a trial court’s decision to grant a grandmother’s custody-related motion survived because, according to the 5th District Court of Appeal, the motion complied with the rules of procedure, so the trial court was within proper bounds to hear it and rule on it.
The case involved the custody of a son born to a Florida woman. In 1999, she granted legal temporary custody of the infant boy to the child’s grandmother. More than a decade later, in 2010, the mother was drug-free, remarried, and caring for her younger children with her husband. The mother asked the court to grant her substantial visitation with the child. The grandmother asked that the court require supervision for the visits, and the court agreed.
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Yesterday, a judge in Miami-Dade’s Family Court lifted an emergency protection order that forbade a 22-year-old father from seeing his 3-year-old daughter. The father is currently engaged in a custody battle with the child’s mother, a Venezuelan national who reportedly accused him of kidnapping their daughter in March 2011. She allegedly filed a missing persons report on the child before returning to Venezuela to give birth to another baby. It is currently unclear whether she ever intends to return to the United States.
In February, the father was reportedly arrested in Pensacola and returned to Miami-Dade on interfering with child custody charges. He was released from jail on Wednesday. His mother was also reportedly arrested for interfering with child custody after she brought the child to court last month in order to demonstrate she was not missing and was being well cared for. Last Monday, a Miami-Dade judge dismissed both interfering with custody charges.
According to the man’s mother, she and her husband had custody of the child at the time the child’s mother reported her missing. The child’s mother allegedly accused the child’s father of child abuse, child neglect, and domestic violence as well as kidnapping. A home study of the grandmother’s residence reportedly revealed no environmental hazards, no evidence of abuse, and stated the child was happy. Following the home study, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman granted temporary custody of the child to the grandparents. Permanent custody of the child will not be resolved until the child’s mother returns from Venezuela.
To many parents, the question of who will retain custody of your children following a separation or divorce is an emotional one. Since October 2008, child custody arrangements in Florida have been referred to as time-sharing schedules. A time-sharing agreement generally outlines the amount of time a child will spend with each parent, including overnights, weekends, school breaks, and holidays. If parents cannot come to an agreement regarding a time-sharing plan, one will be ordered by a family court. A Florida family court will normally examine the moral fitness of the parents, any evidence of abuse, and a variety of other statutory factors when creating a time-sharing schedule. Because a Florida parent who wishes to modify a time-sharing plan must show substantially changed circumstances, modifying a time-sharing plan can be difficult. If you are a Florida parent who would like to establish or modify your child’s time-sharing plan, it is a good idea to contact a skilled family law lawyer to assist you.
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The Miami Herald is reporting that Circuit Judge Jeri Cohen has ruled that a Hialeah women will not have custody of her children pending an investigation by DCF. On Monday, Rebecca Garcia, 21, left her infant and five year old son alone in her vehicle while shopping. She was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect. In addition, she tested positive for marijuana prior to Tuesday’s hearing.
She told law enforcement that she was returning a previously made purchase and only left her children in the car for five minutes. Judge Cohen placed the daughter with the grandparents and father and the son with an aunt. While the parties are due to return to court on September 28, 2010, the court is permitting liberal time-sharing with the mother.
Garcia was previously investigated by DCF in 2005 when her daughter obtained a bone fracture.
An extended family member such as a relative in the third degree by blood or marriage to the parent of a stepparent of a child currently married to a parent may have a lawyer file an action under Florida law to seek temporary custody of a minor child in Broward. This is intended to provide a legal means for a statutorily defined family member to acquire the necessary legal documentation to permit them to provide for the minor child under for whom they are caring for by allowing them to consent to medical treatment, to obtain copies of school records and to enroll the minor child in school.
In a recent case from the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Mohorn v Thomas, the grandmother appealed an order entered by Broward marital and family Judge Marina Garcia-Wood. The trial court denied her petition for temporary custody. Judge Garcia-Wood found that the father’s name on the birth certificate was insufficient to establish paternity and that the father was required to file a paternity action to establish or ratify paternity before temporary custody of an extended family member could be sought by an extended family member.
The minor child’s birth certificate listed Sylenia Danielle Thomas as the mother and Ronnie Kennedy as the father. One year after the minor child was born, the mother and father executed a document that gave all rights and legal guardianship of the minor child to the paternal grandparents.